There is hardly anything which has a greater impact in decorating then the display of artwork and collections.
Here strong red on the walls complement the vibrant colors of the still life above the mantel, small objects in front relate in playful ways to the artwork. Although this is not a 'real' living room but a showroom for the carpets, it is wonderfully balanced and a great example for a classic over the mantel display with a bohemian touch.
This glamorous sitting area not only wins through the classic blue and white color combination but the impact comes from the use of mirrors and artwork, symmetrical hang for the greatest effect. The mirrors function as light sources and from the strict parallel display of artwork to the positions of small frames, hurricanes, candles and the sculpture on the table below this niche becomes a grand place.
Here a view of the same room in the opposite direction, every small space is cleverly used to hang artwork. The quiet colors bring harmony in a place which could otherwise be overly stimulating.
Another room in the same house takes full advantage of the small space between the doors.
Paintings, framed prints and letters are hang in a seemingly random way. The different kinds of frames add to this feeling. But look again and you will see a pattern emerge. Stepping up in a diagonal way, all falls into place. Notice the subtle zigzag pattern on the wall.
I love this side board display. Not only is this a wonderful collection of pottery, but the clever use of half rounded mirrors behind create more depth. The off center print and the twigs take the seriousness away and make me smile.
If you are blessed with a great hall way, then you have the perfect place to hang works of art, collections of coins, plates, hats, family photos or anything else what you want out of boxes and on to your walls. The entrance area in this home below is used to its fullest potential, lining one side with a collection of framed artwork, the opposite side with small plates. The mirrored cabinet brings in more light and multiplies the glamour factor.
In this wonderful, more then three hundred year old hotel in a small town in Germany the spiral stair case is used to display original works of art, collected over many generations.
A small dining room makes good use of the over the mantel space with a large painting and several smaller ones above the sofa. There is often more space to hang artwork then we think.
A great collection of sculptures can be wonderfully exhibited like in this custom shelf, framing every single object for greater emphasis.
In Vicente Wolf's eclectic New York sitting room the floating shelves show off his photo collection and playfully create a display which can be changed easily!
The possibilities are endless and there is little which actually can go wrong when you display art or collections you love. A few rules of thumb: Do not hang small artwork above eye level and keep the collections connected either through frames, colors or subject matter.
Mix things up, mirrors with prints, wallpaper and original art work, colorful background and minimalist art. Create groups of your collections like glass bottles, snuff boxes, miniatures, create frames for them using trays. Trust your feeling, but lay out your planned display before you start drilling...Don't be afraid! Nothing is more fun then the unexpected....
And do not forget: nature provides great pieces for display, driftwood, stones, pressed leaves and sea shells are wonderful and inexpensive. A collection of old spoons from a flea market can have great visual impact in your kitchen when hang together in a shadow box. You do not have to spend a fortune.
Pictures via Lonny magazine, Elle Decoration UK and my own.