Thursday, October 14, 2010

THE GALLERY WALL

Many houses these days have living rooms with extremely high ceilings.  Often times such large expanses of wall created by these ceiling heights are left empty and a bit sad looking.  I am a huge advocate of the Victorian/European style of hanging art....the old school museum style hanging (otherwise known as filling up the wall space as much as possible).  While some might find it cluttered, I find it interesting and quite visually stimulating, especially when done correctly.  It can really be a great focal point in a room, and with one wall full of art, your other walls can remain empty without looking empty.  And its a great option for people with somewhat mediocre art, since it puts less emphasis on one particular piece, and instead leads the eye quickly around the group.  Here are a few historical precedents:

Two paintings of the paintings galleries at the Louvre once upon a time (perhaps a bit much for our times but still a cool effect):




































Here are some Victorian homes:
The Dewar House in England in 1910:




The Long Gallery in Althorp Hall, Northamptonshire, UK:

And the Library, also in Althorp Hall:

The gallery at Lyndhurst, the greatest Gothic Revival home in the US:





And why shouldn't we look towards such Victorian homes? They had similarly high ceiling heights with lots of walls to fill, and knew how to fill up those walls in a dramatic way.
One of my current clients always wanted to create such a gallery wall, and we decided to go for it on her very high living room wall... to, if I must say so myself, great effect.

 






While my client did have the space fairly well filled prior to our change, the focus on one large piece was not as effective visually as the collection of images. And I must mention, the artwork in the collection is far from mediocre.
BEFORE:





AFTER:























After this sucessful project, I am re-inspired by the gallery wall idea, and plan on creating a similar wall on a much smaller scale (with much more mediocre art) in my own bathroom. And I shall be recommending it to several other clients.....stay tuned for more gallery walls!

4 comments:

  1. NOT ONLY DO WALLS LOOK GREAT WITH THE "FILLME" LOOK DONT FORGET TO LOOK DOWN AT THE FLOOR.THERE IS A LOT TO SAY ABOUT THE FLOOR FILLED ORIENTAL LOOK.I HAVE SEEN MANY FLOORS IN ASIA,SINGAPORE,MALAYSIA AND THE PHILIPPINES WITH A GALLERY OF EXQUISITE CARPETS. ONE PARTICULAR HOME I WAS INVITED TO VIST WITH MY MALAYSIAN DISTRIBUTOR WHO WAS THE WEALTHIEST STOCK BROKER IN KUALA LUMPURE. HIS RESEPTION ROOM WAS ABOUT 60 BY 35 FEET AND FILLED WITH WONDERFUL CARPETS,DIFERENT SIZES AND DIFFERNT DESIGNS.MANY SILK THAT DANCED IN THE NATURAL LIGHT POURING THROUGH THE MASSIVE WINDOWS. I CAN NOT REMEMBER LOOKING AT THE WALLS
    LTP

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  2. Yes, the Victorians did a great job filling everying...I will have to find some good images filled with Oriental Rugs...thanks for the idea!

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  3. Isn't it sad, I've had art piled in my guest room for 1-1/2 years now with the intention of doing a gallery wall in my living room. I've even laid it out on autoCAD. I'm too OCD to do it randomly, which makes it into a really tedious task, which is why it has yet to be finished. Maybe your future projects will motivate me. :)

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  4. Wow, even laid it out in CAD? You have to do it!

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