Picture it – Frame Those Walls

Blank walls, like a blank canvas seem to lord an abiliity over their creators to intimidate or even paralyze.  But fear no more – an art wall is a great way to cast off design doubt by unifying your whole space with shape, and color – or flavor sterile high-ceiling walls with intimacy and humanity.

an art wall image from Natural Curiositie

But just a second – is this image really an art wall? Aren’t art walls supposed to be complex configurations of framed art that have complex associations with each other that mere mortals cannot begin to fathom let alone assemble? Deep cleansing breath……………………

Yes, no, yes, and no. Art walls are not the exclusive domains of designers and translations don’t need to be literal to achieve great design. The image up top is indeed an art wall. The focal print is a canvas from Natural Curiosities and is amongst my favorites from their line. The focal art  enjoys great relationships with related elements that compose the wall. The art wall blends seamlessly into function, as it should in a residential setting. The console/car is topped by the image of whimsical birds in flight. Underneath, an organic arrangement of wood cuttings collude with the painting to integrate an outdoor aesthetic into a distinctly urban setting. Two elements at odds create design tension and interest.

So how does this work in multiplicity? In many ways – the key however, is to create the frame arrangement in the likeness of the room’s architecture and color palette.

The image below defies perfection and fussy arrangement, but it’s accomplishing a number of things to incorporate balance and sophistication that remains true to the room’s style.

image via better homes and gardens

Since the room is rustic, the wall art does not conform precisely to a grid, instead residing within a rough out layout. The frames are a mixed bag, yet neutrally mixed and are not fighting with the multi-color Eames chairs. In the same regard they are unified in their blue/green/brown palette that picks up of the floor and table. The floral are spot on, picking up on the pink chairs – I’m not sure I would have thought of the color palette in the arrangements but it’s perfect and the capiz adds just a bit of dazzle, where crystal might have gone amiss.

A fabulously concise yet Bohemian art wall – image via Theplumednest

Remaining firmly on the Bohemian path, this room is un-decorate in style but the wall is study in presumptuousness genius! No paintings? No problem – go to the thrifty shopper and re-purpose cast-off suit cases!


An asymmetrical art wall via HGTV

Transitional rooms tend to handle asymmetry very well, accepting easily its updated voice – but be wary. Asymmetry is difficult to assemble. Most people will assemble them on the floor – but it works better to lay down butcher paper, and trace the outlines of the art in your composition. Tape your template to the wall, and have a look at it the shapes on the wall. Then nail your picture hangers to the taped-up template and tear down the paper carefully – your composition goes up easily!

image via christinamarieinteriors

Compositions that are off-center read as sophisticated.

image via Natural Curiosities

Less makes a statement that’s more.

image via Dwell-Studio

Dwell Studio image

Symmetry conveys both a more formal feel and contemporary vibe.

Contemporary living room via theplumednest

and one last thought – do you have intimidating empty walls of formidable height? I can’t put a figure to buyers remorse about a home purchased in part for its great room or open concept grandeur, due in part or in whole to its soaring ceilings. Cathedral ceilings sit atop high, empty walls that can really pose design dilemmas – and one that art is up it’s really  hard to change – but stas makes solutions that create wall art of any media at any height.


Get your hammer, nails, extendable sockets or whatever it takes to picture your own signature wall art!

image via theplumednestcom