One design challenge I face with practically every project is dressing the walls. I'm not talking about picking art that suits clients needs, wants and budgets here, that'll be in a later post. I'm talking about how to be creative, original and still cost conscious when selecting pieces for your client, while still maintaining the home's story. Not everyone has an extensively curated collection of heirloom art pieces that are the pot of gold at the end of a long design rainbow. Quite the contrary. Sometimes the pieces that people have a sentimental attachment to.... well, they ain't pretty. You hate to say, "well, that would look great in the guest room closet," or "that's definitely bathroom art." But you have to give them the truth and guide them in the right direction, that's why they hired a designer after all. So to counter the bad with the good, you need options; versatile, interesting, universally pleasing options.
My favorite way to finish a space, create visual interest, complete a vignette or just add to the overall cohesive thoughtfulness of a space, is with fiber wall hangings. I tend to steer towards hand made natural, organic material art pieces. They're inherently more meaningful and create the warmth that a one dimensional, mass produced print can not. You can usually get pieces commissioned to your exact specifications which is great and any time you can support an independent artisan, I'm all for it. Bonus feature, they're earthquake proof so great for kids rooms and to hang over the bed.
Hanging hats is another great way to create a little art installation with clients existing collected pieces that has a lot of bohemian personality. Whether in a row in the entry, ready to complete your carefree beach look, or in a random formation in the bedroom, hallway or stairwell, its effortlessly organic and totally personal. Straw hats in particular I feel are a beautifully fun way to fill a spacial void and give a room some dimension.
Don't count out a tapestry you guys. And by tapestry I mean pretty silk, linen, cotton, or wool textiles from one of your travels hung as art that serves as a constant reminder of your adventures. Whether it was passed down from a family member that couldn't find a use for it, carefully picked out of a stack of a thousand at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, or bargained for in a small dark alley over mint tea in Marrakech, rugs and textiles as wall decoration are simple, soft, eclectic and typically a great conversation piece. Great framed, draped or simply hung.
Lastly and maybe my favorite alternative art option, are ceramic wallhangings. Mquan started the revolution with her gorgeous bells and eyes but now I see similar ceramic pieces popping up all over my feed and in my favorite boutiquey home stores. Heather Levine is another who makes some really delicate neutral pieces as well as notary ceramics. I'm proud to say I have a notary bell hanging in my living room gifted to me by my sweet girlfriend. It adds the perfect layer of interest to finish off an otherwise awkward corner vignette.