Thursday, May 24, 2012

Unexpected and Interesting Large Scale Art, or, No More Ugly Prints!

The last post about choosing appropriate art and hanging it in the right place generated some questions. Here, I'll address the first: Art is expensive. How do you find art big enough to fill the wall over the sofa that doesn't cost more than the sofa? Please don't hang overpriced prints of Van Gogh paintings and vintage absinthe ads on your walls! Think beyond the tired art selection at Bed Bath & Beyond and consider these options. That crap costs between $50 and $100, and most of these options do too--but they're so much more special! And many of these have a DIY element, so no one else will have a piece quite like yours.
A large piece of framed fabric functions as art. From Inspire Bohemia
I'm so crazy about the bold black and white textiles with mint green walls and red accents!
Use a mirror instead of art. You can always spray paint the frame to make it match your room.
From House Beautiful
Easy DIY for music lovers... Your favorite song lyrics + wood stain and paint = art! From MeOhMy
Aww, look at the little birdcage! Wall decals make a huge statement.
They're cost effective, too. This big one is only $42!
Tree Decal with Birds by annaandnana on etsy
DIY Abstract Art - This blogger spent $70 on this project, and I think it looks soooooo high end.
. From Oh Happy Day
I LOVE metal wall art. Jonathan Adler's Curtis Jere reproduction sculptures like this aren't cheap.
But if you lurk eBay, you can find a vintage Curtis Jere for under $100. I promise. From Freshome
Rasterize! Rasturbate! Whatever you want to call it, enlarge an image and hang the pieces individually.
I used to think of this as an amateurish college technique, but it can look good if you hang the individual pieces nicely.
Joe's tutorial explains exactly how to pull it off.
If DIY is for you what plants are for me (I kill aloe plants!), and you absolutely must avoid a do it yourself project, frame a few of your favorite band's posters or travel prints from a place that is special to you, and call it a day. At least it's more personal than one of those tacky vintage liquor ads! Just be sure to hang more than one if you're trying to fill a large space on the wall. Check this out...

Six Italian travel prints fill the space nicely and mean something special to this couple.
Hopefully you'll have an easier time hanging your art than they did! From Young People In Love
You might notice that I don't jump to recommend hanging a collage of photos, art, and assorted bric-a-brac over the sofa. It's trendy, but when it's done on a huge scale, it's not a look that's for me. I think it's too busy and not very calm. It looks good in a smaller space, and I really like it in a hallway, but I don't like it over a sofa or bed. You need to get close to appreciate such small art, and the furniture prevents you from getting close enough to get a proper look at it. Can you say counter-intuitive?

I love the sofa and the Nelson bubble light fixture, but not the art collage.
I found the image here, but I don't think it's hers. Do you know the source?
Done in a smaller scale, in a hallway, this looks awesome.
Look--that shallow console table lets you actually get close enough to see all the art!
Kevin O'Shea's Wall of Curiosities
Okay, that's enough from me. I'm feeling nosy!
What's hanging over your sofa? 
Up next: The fine art of creating vignettes and tablescapes that mingle prettily with your art. 


  1. I love the song lyric idea!
    And to answer your question, my sofa's float in the room, so no space to fill :(.

  2. LOVE your living room! i'm working on painting ours now,gallery walls are my favorite!
    bottle- it's milk glass and has a little sprayer that seems like a plant mister? i do collect old perfume bottles too :)

    1. Thank you! Oooh, what color are you using in the living room?

      I really love that unusual bottle; I've never seen painted milk glass.


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