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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wilson

Off the Wall 2--The hanging continues

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

Ok, so finally, the promised sequel to my post on different ways to hang (or in some cases not hang) art in your home. The holiday season kind of put me in, well, holiday mode, so no blog-writing! Then accidentally another week or two went by and the final date for blaming the holidays came and went (a couple times, I think).

So without further ado or lame excuses, it's time to talk about a few more ideas on styling your home with art. If you missed Part 1 on less conventional ways to to display art, you can see it here at Off the Wall, which I wrote after I realized that I often hang art a little left of centre, in a manner of speaking.

Last time, I talked about hanging pictures lower than usual, leaning pictures rather than hanging them, playing with scale with both oversized and miniature art, and using art to conceal the

less-than-beautiful things in our homes, like thermostats:

1. Canvas hung below light switch 2. Leaning botanical 3. Biiiggg owl 4. Tiny oil

As I said in that post, leaning art against the wall isn't exactly revolutionary; it's just a nice way to give a slightly more relaxed and impromptu feel to a space. And everyone knows the best way to seem super cool is to look like you're not trying too hard. And believe me, I KNOW from cool. Just ask my kids.

Okay, wait don't ask my kids, bad idea.

Miniature painting in display box interior decorator mississauga

Taking the not-hanging thing a little further, I took this charming and extremely teeny-weeny miniature I bought in Heidelberg as a keepsake of a trip to Germany, and plunked it on top of some moss inside a glass display box, then plunked the whole thing on a shelf in our powder room.

Easy (except for the travelling to Heidelberg part, ha), and a hit of the unexpected for guests passing through.

Another kinda quirky thing I have going on is this:

interior decorating hanging art empty frame
I guess this is more about displaying the absence of art

It actually came about accidentally. I hung this antique frame to test the size out, with the intention of buying some art to put in it. I grew to like the frame by itself, and it keeps the attention on the birch branch.

And then of course, we can go from the frame with no painting to a painting with no frame. This unframed canvas is simply tacked to the wall in our renovated basement.

unframed oil painting canvas antique fireplace mantel basement interior design
Someday maybe I'll unite this frameless painting with the pictureless frame. So romantic.

A newly renovated space will always benefit by a bit of 'old' to add soul to all the 'new'; in this case I added the antique fireplace mantel and the print of a century old painting.

A fun place to be a bit unconventional with your art choices is in a bathroom, don't ask me why, it just is. This serving platter is hung in one of our bathrooms, above a Redouté botanical that my husband and I bought during a truly awesome weekend in Chicago. (Quick aside: the two best souvenirs: art, and footware, right?)

Redouté botanical, Anthropologie serving platter
I love the unexpected combination of the classic botanical and the quirky serving platter

And no, I don't pull the serving platter down and use it for company ;)

Oil paintings are not something you see in a bathroom very often (and I wouldn't recommend it for a costly piece), but it's a great opportunity to use a vintage painting or an inexpensive piece. It can add some personality and softness to a room that is mostly hard surfaces.

interior design oil painting in marble bathroom
All that water -- perfect for gazing at from a hot bath ;)

The platter a couple pictures up is just one example illustrating how you can hang pretty much anything on your wall, if it makes you happy and you can figure out a way to stick a hook on the back of it.

faux antlers art deco bar modern floor lamp

Faux antlers have been a popular decor piece for some time now (Although I guess real antlers have been a popular thing to hang for centuries. I'm gonna stick with faux).

white fireplace mantel with greenery, brass tray hanging

Instead of a painting or print above this mantel, I hung a large tray in aged brass. The round shape adds some curves to a room with lots of large rectangles going on, as well as adding some nice texture.

antique tapestry in acrylic frame panels

This is an antique parlour mat that belonged to my great-great-grandmother. I hung it between modern acrylic panels so that it floats against the clear white wall.

Any fabric item that is special to you can be hung between acrylic for display: a baby gown, bridal veil, tapestry, flag, you name it. Although please let's not tell my husband that. He might get ideas about that 50-piece collection of bar mats he acquired while living in England in his twenties. I think they look great in that box under the stairs.

I'll finish off with a hanging trick that, like antlers and plates on the wall, has been around for a long time, but most people today don't usually think of it as an option: mounting paintings in front of books on a bookshelf, like this shelf below.

oil paining hung in front of bookshelf interior designer mississauga

These days we often place small pieces of art on shelves, beside a stack of books, but it's not often that we hang a larger piece in front of the books. This look is very reminiscent of a cozy library in an old English manor, and I love it. Probably because it involves books!

I hope these photos have inspired you with some ideas on how to use art to tell your own story in your home. We have a few months of cold dark days in front of us to hunker down and find something to do indoors, so unless you're one of those robust types that loves to go for long walks in high winds and blizzards, you'll have plenty of time on your hands.

Time to go mix it up!


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