While 2021 was just starting, I was packing up my heavy art books and multiple pieces of framed art (plus pieces still waiting to be framed) and moved into a new house.
This is the 25th time I have moved in my life and I pride myself in routinely cleaning out clothes and papers and objects that I no longer need. But the artwork is just too hard to let go of, especially because most of the work was made by friends or bought on a special occasion or traded for work of my own.
More than a month passed after the movers left and I was still shuffling my art around, making room for stuff like, oh... couches and beds and lamps and the family pet!
After considering a minimalist approach, (those clean white walls do look nice) I googled some ideas for "gallery walls" and discovered that it is very hip to over-hang. In the art world, they call it salon-style which comes from the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture's regular exhibitions that began in Paris in the 17th century. In order to showcase the work of so many students, the academy hung paintings as close together as possible, right from the floor to the ceiling.
You can achieve this look with a variety of sizes and styles. Cover a whole wall or just a corner of a room. Take a look at some of these inspiring looks spotted on Pinterest and Instagram.
Most of my collection is small works. I have never lived in big rooms but rather studio apartments, urban dwellings and now a cozy Victorian. So salon-style is the perfect way for me to fill a room and achieve my signature bohemian vibe.
In order to blend our TV screen into the wall, I placed artworks all around the edges with a slight overlap behind the screen to give the illusion of an entire wall of art. Smart TVs these days have screensaver art that can be fun to incorporate into your decor while you're not watching.
To make things really simple, I like to use picture rails or ledges such as the ones you can find at IKEA. These are ideal for very small works and you can incorporate small objects if you like. Once in a while, I will walk into a room and switch out the works on a ledge to feature a color theme or just to refresh the space.
Now that my art is hung, I truly feel at home in the new place. And with the pandemic isolation still in effect, it feels good to be surrounded by the energy of my artist friends and to remember a time when we could roam freely around galleries and museums.
I hope you enjoy this inspiration and find some ways to group your art for more impact. Shop for affordable and original works to fill the walls at PERCH and support local artists.