Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How to Hang It Up: Creative Wall Displays

Framed images over wallpaper. A daring and artistic approach.  From amberinteriordesign.blogspot.com
I am a big believer in the idea that if you want to enjoy your personal collection of hang-able photos, artwork, sculpture or other objects, you should feel free to place them, hang them, dangle them any way you wish. There are so many endless and creative ways to display those things that you love.

Some designers may disagree with this free-for-all way of thinking, but I recently found numerous images from a variety of people's homes that show anything but conventional ways to display framed artwork and objects. I believe these walls, arranged with careful abandon, are much more interesting and alive than the standard ways you see art displayed in some catalogs or stores.

There is definitely room for carefully organized wall displays, and I have included some examples here, but organized madness can be fun to look at and experience as well. That craziness can sometimes be very engaging to the eye.  Each home showcases personal statements about those who live there, and that's kind of the purpose of displaying things you love don't you think?

So, here are some fabulously quirky, and/or inventive ways people have chosen to hang their personal mementos, artwork and such. Each one is very particular and unique to each home and environment.  I hope you find inspiration here!

Which of these unusual wall displays sparks that creative drive in you?

Creating a personal statement:  Here is a cute, young couple and the wall behind them also conveys their sweet personality and joy.  Lots of love and individuality here.  Clocks, mirrors, and even collages of the couple, all make for a cohesive statement.  They enjoy that wall behind them. Image: sarahrhodes.com

An inspiring art niche from designer Matthew MacCaul Turner of MacCaul Turner Design, from the San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2008-Art Niche. I think this could be translated well to any home with an unused closet or small space. Very inventive way to display artwork and objects.  Sculpture, objects, lithographs are hung upon ornate fabric draping in a unique manner. Love this!
Unexpected! These frames were stenciled onto the wall and the prints were applied using a decoupage method.  Plus, you can also just stencil the frames without photos to create a geometric wall pattern.  From stencil-library.com.

An adorable attic room with black framed pieces covering every inch of wall space. The unifying elements are black and white frames, a black wooden bed, white walls and bedding. Charmant!  From rufflesandstuff.com
Using a dark wall color really gives a distinctive, masculine look to the arrangement. Also the use of furniture and objects to ground the space. From catalogliving.net (A nice catalog example! Bravo!)
Designer Mary McDonald's office: Ahhh, now this is just so pretty.  A delightful punch of turquoise wall color with white and black elements. I could work here every day without a problem. From google.com
I love the idea of using fish prints over a tub! Again, black frames are used--a very classic and popular way to unify a look. It does not seem to get old.  From aubreyroad.blogspot.com
A cozy, vintage-inspired reading nook, punctuated with a cute dog too.  An eclectic, warm and inviting use of special items, heirlooms, artful constructions that surround the chair and lamp. From theSelby.com

Love how they used framed stained glass as an artful wall. The handmade bench underneath is a nice touch that grounds the display.  Great way to show off an endearing collection. From Leah Dent via Pinterest.com

Perfect use of a tight stairwell to highlight family images and  photos. All frames are different colors and materials. This  really gives a sweet human element, a sense of family and personality.  I kind of feel I know this family just from their wall of love.  From cocokelley.blogspot.com
Surely an artist lives here? Such an eclectic mix of personal artwork of all shapes and sizes, well displayed next to each other. Love the disheveled leather sofa too, a touch of urbanity. From Nat Cat via Pinterest.com.
This is what I call "perfectly measured framing." You need a ruler for this effect, but hey, it really looks great, no? I believe the home owners attached a fabric covered board to the wall first and then hung their collection on top of it. This saves the wall, instead of pounding nails into it. Also a great way to be able to change-out photos if you so desire. From Leah Dent via Pinterest.com
Along with the adorable butterfly mirror to the left, these numerous items are arranged in such a creative way and it works. So many elements here. Very artful approach to the hanging artwork, and also in using the un-used fireplace as another object to enjoy as well.  From adore-vintage-home.tumblr.com
I chose this as my last image because it is so gosh-darn dramatic! A winding stairwell  with a dizzying, art-filled display of photos, posters and artwork. Image from dwellerswithoutdecorators.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

When One Door Closes...
Beautiful Doors From Around the World

Behind Door Number One

 Location: Jaffa, Israel. Image: Donna Levi via Pinterest.
There is something mysterious and meaningful about a beautiful door. For instance, just look at the door above.  It has an inventive use of metal, iron and wood aged into a striking patina, similar to an abstract work of art.

I recently came upon some unique images of old and new doors from all over the world--Russia, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Israel, to name a few countries.  I found myself drawn to the older, more distressed and ornate doors, hand-carved wooden church doors and those colorful European iron doors framed by bright, elaborate exteriors. The more surprising the better.

Many people in the world have a fascination with doors as they are symbolic of many things. They can be shut to create privacy from the outside world. They can be seen as an entry into a new world or new phase in one's life. They can be locked and perceived as a barrier. The phrase "Having an Open Door Policy" is wonderful in that it means there are no secrets and all are welcome. I personally love the saying, "When one door closes another one opens", meaning there are unlimited opportunities which are inevitable and forthcoming.

Here are 20 stunning doors that I found to have an inspirational feel and are creatively designed. I love gazing at their artistry. Some are surrounded by unconventional facades, some are crazy and colorful, and some are just plain gorgeous in their simplicity.

Feel free to step right in, and let me know which doors inspire you and which are your favorites. Enjoy!

This door is almost the smallest part of the design but it is beautifully carved and incorporated into an unusual facade. Stained glass elements throughout. Perhaps this unique design was inspired from mathematical or astronomical drawings?
From Spain (perhaps Barcelona?). Gorgeous stone facade with Art Nouveau swirls and a bit of Gaudi inspiration. Image: Donna Levi, Pinterest.com
I believe this may not actually open to a room as there seems to be a wall behind it. Looks like somebody saved this door. Lovely workmanship even in it's distressed state. Love the color. From goingglamwithgigi.blogspot
Turquoise painted, a Floral Sunburst wooden door that was obviously hand carved. My guess is that this is from India. Image: Terri Hall, Pinterest
Russian Golden Doors, Cathedral of the Nativity, Suzdal, Russia.  Numerous religious scenes carved into brass on huge doors of the Cathedral in Russia.  So much detail and each scene is framed. Image: WikiMedia.org
One of my favorite doors. I believe it is wooden designed with many rivets. The unexpected wild purple color and coral facade around it makes it such a happy door to someone's Villa. Would love to know where this is!  Any ideas? image found at beautifulportals.tumblr.com
Door #74, Portuguese, from Alcacer do Sal. Image from Pinterest.com
St. Isaacs Cathedral, Royal Doors, Russian, image: wiki media.org
Iron Door in Neveh Tzedek, Tel Aviv, from Etsy.com
Russian Church of the Theotokos of Vladimir (Mavrino) 11,  from wikimedia.org

Witches House Door from: latimes.com

Art Noveau Machine Shop Door, from: havedegreewilltravel blog...I really love this entrance design and door.

Lovely blue door with gorgeous contrast of rusty-coral facade, in Munster, Ireland. From: Dan Heller.com.. obviously..

Love the carved stone elements around this turquoise wooden church door, as well as the shape of the door and heavy lock. From: Rachel Follett via Pinterest

Ornate flying cupids in concrete decorate above the door. Deep blood orange facade, from: inspireddecorating.blogspot.com

Painted floral wonder door from: designspongeonline.com

Open arch that highlights a Venice, Italy doorway... From: Sharon Shannon via Pinterest

I love the color green and this door has all my favorite hues and a beautiful distressed finish. From: Josephine Holmboe via Pinterest

Love Gustavian grey doors, and this is such an unusual shape. From: linenandlavender.blogspot.com

I ended this post with a bright orange door, unknown origin. It just makes me happy. I am guessing England or Ireland,but I could be way off. Have any ideas? From: Zvile Virkutyte via Pinterest

Monday, May 9, 2011

Benefit Book & Wine Event
for Rappahannock Food Pantry

Join us May 14th, 2:00- 4:30pm for a FREE and delicious benefit for the Rappahannock Food Pantry, featuring an informative and humorous presentation with author Jason Tesauro who will be signing copies of his newly released book: 

Savvy & Vice, 2nd Edition

Barboursville Vineyards will be on hand pouring their wines,  Dr. Pat Elliot of Virginia's own Everona Dairy will be showcasing her award-winning cheeses, and you will enjoy a variety of sweet and savory chutney from Virginia Chutney Company.

This special book & wine event is part of the 
FLAVOR Magazine's Benefit for the Rappahannock Food Pantry and a portion of the proceeds will go to the RFP.

Come out and support the Rappahannock Food Pantry!