One of the things I notice when looking at postings of rooms on mid century modern Facebook groups is displayed artwork that seems off. Well who am I to say what is off, well, in addition to being a design snob I also have 40 years as a professional designer. I will take the opportunity to instruct.
3 often made mistakes of displaying artwork.
- Objects too small for the size of the wall and / or too spread out.
- The desire to be so much in the period that it gets boring, Interiors need contrasts.
- Lack of art altogether.
So, let me take this opportunity to show some examples of interior situations where art and collections are displayed beautifully.
One large piece as focal point.
This interior of Claes Schalling’s apartment is a masterpiece of the arrangement of beautiful objects. The painting by Nils Nixon creates a bold statement and a focal point among the beautiful mid century furniture. In fact everything in this room is a piece of art.
Grouping of mixed size objects.
An examples of mixed sized art and prints on the wall arranged to make the grouping very successful.
Another grouping idea is this photo of the fireplace with what I would call clusters of wonderful art objects of various scales. A careful balance is created by the sensitive color relationships. It’s a bold, colorful and fun arrangement.
I often hear about people having a hard time finding art
Often they have collections of things that deserve to be featured and displayed creatively. I love this interior with the glass bottles lined across the room. They make a colorful and beautiful addition to the room with this unique presentation.
I spent my lifetime collecting art- my problem is not having enough walls. But when I was starting out with my first apartments, I often had large posters from shows and museums that I liked. I also found an old beauty shop sign on the street one day that I dragged home and hung on the wall.
I love to hang textiles and Kalim rugs on the wall. They create a wonderful focal point. And if you don’t have a lot of money to spend you can take a piece of fabric that you love and create a banner to hang or stretch over a wooden canvas stretcher that you can buy at the art supply store. Children’s drawings and enlarged family photos also can be hung and enjoyed in your interior.
Warning– Specific to over enthusiastic mid mod collectors is the tendency to want everything to be in the period. Every thing the same is boring to me. The idea of modernism is to be modern. So mix it up. I love the star clocks and tchotchkes but more doesn’t make it better in this case. Choose your statements carefully. Edit, edit, edit and rotate. You can always use shelves to make grouping of art objects and books. We are not so good at the editing part, so we have lots of shelves filled with lots of wonderful things we love.
Develop an eye for arrangements, look and see how other people arrange things that you like. Be willing to take some chances, you can always move something if you don’t like it where it is.
Mostly have fun- it’s your stuff and you have it because you like it. Do it your own way, work at developing your visual and spatial sensibilities and it will be perfect.