17 Ways to Bring the Gallery Look Home
Use the Tricks of a Curator to Make Your Art Collection Shine
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta that I'll describe as "collected." I got into design via Landscape Architecture, which I studied at the University of Virginia. I've been writing about design online for quite a few years over at Hatch: The Design Public Blog.
Houzz Contributor. Hi There! I currently live in a 1920s cottage in Atlanta... More »
Whether it's a visit to a gallery in SoHo or to an exhibition at your hometown museum, there's something about how the gallery spaces are arranged that brings out the best in the pieces. If you are a budding art collector or simply want to display your favorite rock posters in the best way possible, try and think like a curator who is arranging an exhibition to make it look its best. Here are some tips and inspiration to help you let your artwork shine at home.
Mix views of art with views of the landscape. Think of the courtyard garden view at MoMA, or the way you can see streetscapes from the urban galleries.
Give the work the lighting it deserves. Whether it's spots and pots or sconces, your collection deserves good lighting.
Incorporate natural light when possible. No other kind of light does more to help your art look its best. Just be sure that the glass on the frames will protect from the work from UV rays, otherwise your pieces may fade.
Consider contrast. These dark niches let the colors of the works stand out.
Don't limit the gallery to a hallway. Diners in this room can admire the large photograph while they enjoy dinner.
Here's another dining area where those at the table can enjoy the well-placed artwork.
Find the right spaces for displaying sculpture. This niche (and the lighting within it) is perfect for this tall sculpture.
Make a visitor's arrival memorable. At the High Museum here in Atlanta, there is a modern courtyard and a Lichtenstein sculpture out front that let me know I'm headed toward something special inside. These three panels and large metallic balls make the entry into this home equally memorable.
Understand the value of white space. At first glance you may think these pieces are too small for this wall, but the fact that they have so much space around them lets your eye zero right in on them.
Spread a little Louvre love. Whether it's this interpretation of Mona...
...or this painting of the lady with the best poker face since Lady Gaga.
Don't fear going sculptural right on the wall. This dynamic piece adds texture and movement to this minimal, neutral bedroom.
Keep perspective. Giving this Rothko a long hallway lets you experience it from near, far, and everywhere in between.
As you ascend this staircase, each step reveals a bit more of a well-placed sculpture bathed in light.
Don't count out your smaller rooms. Even in a powder room, you can proudly display art in an artful way. This vertical line of identically framed works on the gray wall stands out — and draws your eye away from the toilet, which is always a good thing!
Group like items together in a line. A picture rail is an easy way to make this happen.
Give large pieces some breathing room. Large, spectacular pieces like this one deserve the right amount of space.
Here's a second example of giving art breathing room. Crisp light walls let the work stand out.
Use a greater framework. To get an effect like this, tape off a large rectangle or square on the wall, and bump the edges of every piece up to it. You can figure out how big this square should be by laying out all of the artwork on the floor with equal spacing between the pieces and measuring the length and width of the big square.
Use a grid pattern for arrangement and use identical frames and mats. This lends a cohesion to a group of pieces that may otherwise seem disparate, and is a great strategy for displaying your child's artwork. You can find inexpensive coordinating frames at stores like Michael's and IKEA.
Pair your works with artful furnishings. Functional pieces with museum-collection looks are great to pair with paintings. Many iconic furnishings are included in museum collections, and shops such as MoMAstore sell them.
Don't neglect the garden. A sculpture garden is full of experiences of magical discovery, and large pieces like this help to frame greater views from every angle.
For more tips on displaying your artwork, check out these ideabooks:
Make a Big Statement with Oversized Art
Creating Wall Groupings That Wow
Ideabook updated on March 7, 2011.
"It's the Flickr of design idea sites"
"The online equivalent of clipping decor inspiration from magazines"
"A digital look book for interior-decorating ideas"
"So long scrapbooks and online bookmarks! ...it can be hard to stop. Consider yourself warned."
"One of the most comprehensive collections of home design images"
"One of Home and Living's favorite websites"
"Just click on the image you like and save it to your own Ideabook... It's quite an addictive site"
What are you working on?
News From Our Partners
People found the photos in this ideabook after searching for: