ArtThatFits Blog » Better Homes and Gardens, Picture Show

If walls could talk…what’s your story? Get inspired with Better Homes and Gardens  July edition featuring style made simple in a Picture Show produced by designer John Loecke. As he says, “Good taste need not be expensive, but it should be expressive!” Many question how to add some personality to living rooms with above-the-sofa-art arrangements. Here, 3 stylishly creative arrangements make quite a statement. Thanks to Kelly Ryan Kegans for this advice!

scan0002-1529962Collectively Displayed:  Think outside the frame for art ideas. A vase and plates become art in this salon style arrangement. Framed botanical motifs [such as the New York Botanical Garden bird image], unite with color, anchored by striped wallpaper. Start by defining the dimensions of your display. Here, the groupings lower edge is 8” above the sofa. Position the most prominent piece at eye level in the center and work outward. This display’s borders are just beyond the sofa’s arms on either side.

scan0003-1413055On the Grid: A symmetrical arrangement creates a striking and simple focal point. All white frames and mats in two colors unify this grouping. Determine the space needed, then line up the frames on the bottom row along a single baseline. Personal B&W photos and art can add great contrast with your own favorite colors.

scan0005-7849058The Big Picture: Turn a wall into a rotating art gallery with magnetic paint (available at home centers). Strips of moulding nailed directly to the wall beyond the sofa become the “oversized” frame around the display. Three fixed pictures in orange mats remain stationary while a child’s colorings can move around them, seasonally. With thousands of frame styles to choose from, you can certainly vary this design theme any way you like!

How to Hang a Grouping: So how can you tap the designer in you and create fabulously creative groupings?


Design Tip: Trace framed pictures on kraft paper, label, and cut out. Use painter’s tape [love it!] to try out your arrangements. [Or, you can lay them out on the floor and work them like a puzzle until the right design “clicks” into place. Believe me – you’ll know it when you see it!] Install picture-hanging hardware through the paper, then pull it away and hang your art.

I used these principals to create a salon gallery of framed miniature watercolors depicting my European travels. With neutral mats of varying sizes and slim, aged frames, they’re arranged with 3-D mementos from Italy, France, and Austria. It’s become quite a conversation starter, and if that wall could talk…

We’d love to hear from you about how you’ve also produced creative wall groupings and stylish design statements with art and framing…please share!


Ginger (14)

Filed under: Arrangements, Art, Artaissance, How To, Publications on July 24th, 2009