Sunday, 24 May 2015

The art of displaying art II

Layering and leaning art
Image via home edit
Whatever your tastes, displaying art in your home is a great way to express your personality in your interiors! Big art, small art, it doesn’t matter, as long as it makes an interesting impact and puts a smile on your face.
In my last post I explored the way the traditional gallery wall is evolving into a fresh and modern way to display art....a little less structured and a little more unexpected than before...
Building on from this I want to talk about an even more relaxed way to display your favorite pieces today:
Leaning and layering Art!

Pablo Picasso in his studio, Image found on  Pinterest
This casual way to display art in your home is reminiscent of the artist studio, where works-in-progress are strewn across the space and leaned up against the walls...
It adds a bohemian feel to your home and the apparent chaotic randomness of the display will make your interior seem less conceived....and more confident!

Living with art is to make it part of the way we interact in our personal space.  Leaning art brings it close: We can study it, pick it up and touch it, live with it in ways we can’t do when it’s nailed to a wall.

Image via pinterest
An eclectic collection of art looks great leaned up against the walls, from the floor or from shelves and furniture...

Image via domestic bliss
And it's a great way to make your art part of the interior in a way that just hanging your art can't.

Image via Lonny
Of course, we are not all blessed with large curated collections of pieces of art, or big living spaces that lends themselves to that "artist-studio" look...

Image via The pursuit aesthetic
But there are ways to incorporate some of this casual-ness into your interior without the need for easels and paint-splattered floor...or spending copious amounts on expensive artwork.

Image from Apartment therapy

Leaning art casually against the wall from sideboards and credenzas, is a great way to achieve this look...
Image via Design sponge
...And of course, if you are renting and hanging art is not an option.or maybe you suffer from "hole-in-the-wall phobia".....this is an ideal way to add some personality into your home with art without getting the power tools out!

Image via Apartment therapy
Family photo's , posters , postcards , children's drawings or DIY artwork are inexpensive and will all look amazing , framed or unframed, when coupled with a few great pieces in this apparently random manner, and mixing medias and types of art will add an eclectic flair to the display. 

And because you are free to move your art around as you please, it will also be easier to change out your art whenever you feel like it, meaning you can add and take away from the collection over time. This in turn means that you can curate art you love as your tastes and budgets change, without spending ages contemplating where to hang it!

Image via style-files
A big part of getting this look right is getting to grips with layering your artwork:

Much in the same way as when creating a gallery wall, considering the size , shape and colors of your artwork is important to create a successful composition...
 Cluster art in different frames, canvases and colors you want a bohemian look or in similar frames with a limited color palette if you want a more sleek look....Mix sizes and layer different heights.

Image via Nordic Bliss,Styling by Pella Hedeby

In the above image, one of my favorite stylists, Pella Hedeby , has artfully layered posters, photos and framed art on the wall ....all in a monochrome color palette, and accompanied by leaning a framed print xx against the wall on the floor next to the bed, and again in front of it...

This makes the art part of the simple furnishings and the overall expression of the interiors....she has also used books to further layer the decor and emphasize the casual feel of this room...

Image from Home life
By combining leaning artwork against wall hung artwork, you can create an interesting display, adding a touch of mystery, as you're partially obscuring the piece behind...

Image via Coco Kelly
Obscuring a beautiful piece of art may seem wasteful, but it will add a sense of intrigue, and make your guests curious to explore more of your interior...

Creating artfully leaning vignettes as a backdrop to displaying items of interest , collections , curiosity's and home accessories lets the artwork connect to the other objects in your vignette,sitting on the same surface in a more meaningful way.

Image from The Nordic Bliss
Create intriguing spots of interest by layering art and objects together.

Leaning art together on shelves is visually appealing.... especially if the artwork is similarly  sized and styled, it will give the same visual expression as an artfully created gallery wall, with the benefit of enabling you to rearrange the art display on the shelves, interspersed with accessories to fit your mood or the seasons. This will help create a casual, but sophisticated look.

Image via Analog/Dialog
Of course I cannot talk about leaning art in the home without mentioning the IKEA Ribba picture ledge...

Image via At dusk
As much as I am sure that there was people leaning and layering art in their homes before the Ribba picture ledge became available, there is no doubt that their existence has aided the popularity of this way of displaying art in our homes...

Image via The design chaser
It has enabled us all to embrace the interchangeable art display in a way that most people would not have considered before...

Image from Emma's design blog

...making full use of the wall space available to us!
Add a few pieces leaning casually on the floor as well,like above, and you've nailed it!!
Image via SF girl by bay
Leaning art in unexpected places adds to the appealing intrigue of the interior.....And making use of the floor-space along a wall lets you play with the relationship between the art and the furniture...

Image via Pinterest
As well as helping you create some of that essential negative space in relation to your display..

Image from Refinery
Again, playing with the sizes and layering the art in an artfully casual arrangement defines this look.

Image via A merry mishap

And of course it will save you the job of working out how to hang a particularly big and heavy piece of art on the wall... 
Image via Sarah Sarna

In fact, by leaning particularly big pieces of art from the floor against the wall, lets the artwork play peek-aboo in an intriguing way from behind, say a sofa or an armchair, like in the image above...
Image via Vosges Paris
Of course leaning just one huge piece of art on its own , from the floor makes a huge statement....but I will explore the power of One in my next more on that later!

Maybe the leaning and layering artwork display is not for you, but it cannot be denied that there is a certain appeal about this casual way to personalize your home...
I think the trick to pull this off is to strike a balance between the unexpected casualness of it and not making it look like you're just too lazy to hang up your artwork!
There are no rules, but do try to keep in mind the relationship between the layers of art, your home accessories and your furniture and the space it all sits in!

What do you think?
Are you ready to give leaning and layering your artwork a go??

I can tell you that as my collection of art is growing, this seems to me the most practical solution, without retorting to a selling frenzy on e-bay!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

the Art of displaying art:

The Modern Gallery wall

Image found on Flickr
There is an inextricable link between art and interiors...
There is no doubt Art is is what speaks to you, a visual expression of your tastes and personality . And choosing to display art in your home adds a feeling of confidence in your interiors and in who you are!

There are art to suit all tastes and budgets, the introvert and the extrovert, the subtle and the bold...Art can be detailed, figurative, expressive, abstract or, paintings, textiles, graphics and typography...Old or new....Small or large, displayed in groups on a gallery wall ,or a single piece on a blank wall...It is not just the art itself that adds to the personal expression in your home, but also how you display it: Do you like to structure your home and display art in an orderly and synchronized  manner? Or do you casually lean your paintings against the wall, dotted around in a seemingly chaotic fashion? Maybe a bit of both??

So over the next couple of weeks I am exploring Art in the interiors, and how they are displayed as part of the interiors...
today I will be focusing on the modern GALLERY WALL.

Image from Purple area

My very talented, interior blogger friend, Kimberley Duran of Swoon worthy argued in her latest post that she fears it is the beginning of the end for the Gallery wall, and that the trend has had it's day...
...I can kind of see her point,as I too are longing for a fresh take on displaying art.
 But I am here to tell you that the gallery wall is evolving: It is no longer the old fashioned black and white family photo wall...
The old rules of the gallery wall has been thrown out, and it's reincarnation is here to stay....and change, again and again!

The gallery wall has some great benefits, and is a fantastic way to showcase your tastes and display your favorite pieces.
 Displaying a collection of art together in groups will maximize the impact of your art in the room as well as filling your empty walls can easily be changed up, by replacing or adding/taking away it is a great way to refresh your interiors on a regular basis.

But this is old news....
...what's new is the mix of the art we display and the way that we do it!

Mixing up pieces with different medias: Oil paintings and drawings, photography with abstract graphics, posters and canvas...even magazine clippings or postcards taped directly onto the wall will help create a more fresh, modern and eclectic feel to the gallery wall.

But I feel the tried and tested ways of creating traditionally successful gallery walls still is just a matter of putting them together in a fresh new way:
Image via Engelta
Grouping together similar pieces...

Image via House of pictures
Or using the same color frames to tie the look together...

Image via A merry mishap
Or grouping pieces with a limited colour palette....

All of these still have their merit.

The number one thing to consider when you want to create a successful gallery wall , is the composition

The old rule of the gallery wall was that when hanging your art, you should work from the center outwards: Imagine an axis going vertical and horizontal and try to balance the pieces equally on each side.

Forget that!!
As long as there is balance throughout with size and color and you also consider the negative space within and around your display, the "New" gallery wall will be fresh and modern:
Image via Trende
 And do consider the surroundings: The buildings architecture ....even the furniture....Make your display go all the way to the floor or it around a sofa or armchair...

Image via Design or breakfast
Simply by following the lines of the  building or furnishings, your art display become part of the interior in a more meaningful way. Like the way the lower line of the art displayed in the image below hints to the shape of the stairs in front.

Image via Sf girl by bay
A gallery wall of art can be as full or as bare as you'd like, and the power of negative space on your wall should not be underestimated, and in it's modern reincarnation less is more:

Image via My Scandinavian home
By displaying just a few, similar pieces together on a big blank wall, the expression is modern and clean, and the attention of the viewer is more focused.
But it doesn't need to look too structured, you can still add an element of surprise in the arrangement of the display, or by mixing in a totally different piece...

Image via coco Lapine
Or by adding another unusual twist, like they've done in the image below:

Image found on woon schrift

Another way to make your gallery wall more current, is to hang your art off center.
Hanging a collage of artwork, so that it travels across the wall at different heights has the advantage of using negative space as well as adding an element of surprise, helping creating a fresh take on the gallery wall.

Image from Anya adores

Or just a minimal gallery wall to the side of furniture, ie a sofa or a bed, like below. This will help balanse out the visual interest in the room in a way that centralising the art above the furniture won't.

Image via My Scandinavian home
If you want to create a minimal art collage in your home, choose to display an odd number of pieces, to avoid it looking too synchronized and structured...although it can do, as seen below:
Image via cocola pine design

Unless , of course, that is the look you're going for...

Image via the aestate

If you are a fan of the more structured look, Displaying similar art in odd numbers will form a more syncronised art gallery...keep it fresh and modern by positioning the collage in a surprising spot on the wall...Maybe off center to your sofa, or low on a large wall, as seen above.

Image via nordic days
Or by leaning a collection on a picture ledge....

....which brings me nicely on to Leaning and layering art:

This is a more relaxed and modern version of the old gallery wall...
...but that's a subject for another post! ;)

I think the gallery wall is a very useful tool to decorating a home and using art to display your personality, and I hope that this post will convince you to not quite give up on it yet... (Kimberley;))
I think that this minimalist evolution of the gallery wall will give it longevity and that it will co-exist with some more modern ways of displaying art...

In my next post I will talk about a slightly more relaxed approach to displaying art, namely leaning and layering....before finally delving into the trend of huge one off pieces for maximum impact!!

Friday, 15 May 2015

A design lovers travel guide to Bergen, Norway

Bergen, Bryggen, all dressed up for national day, Image by Reidar Tomte on Instagram
For those of you who doesn't already know...I am Norwegian!
But more than that: I am from Bergen....the most beautiful town in the world!
And May is a pretty special month there....
You see : The 17th of May is the Norwegian National day, and the city and all its people get dressed in their best, and have a huge Party....flags and national costumes, parades and good food, beer and is truly the epitome of nationalistic pride (In the best way possible!!).
So this time of year I get a bit extra nostalgic, and homesick!
So I've put together this little guide to my beautiful hometown, from a design lover perspective, as a homage to Bergen on its national day!

Norwegians, as most Scandinavians, take pride in their beautiful country, and their surroundings....and good design is at the forefront of the peoples consciousness, along with a quality of life unlike no other place in the world...So today I am sharing where to stay, where to eat, what to see and where to shop should you ever be so lucky as to visit Bergen!

Where to stay

Bergen is a small city, and you can easily walk from one place to another, so pretty much any central accommodation is ideal...If you are on a tight budget try the quaint, but chic klosterhagen hotell, situated in the historic and picturesque area of Nordnes.
Or if you'd prefer, you can rent a real Bergen apartment, with all the Scandinavian style you could want by searching airbnb, for a truly authentic experience!

Clarion hotel Admiral
If you are treating yourself to a luxury stay, I can recommend the stylish Clarion Hotel Admiral that's situated right on the Bergen Marina with stunning views of the fjord.
Or the Clarion Hotel no13 ,a unique gem of a hotel in the heart of the city where breakfast, mid afternoon snack and evening meal is included in the room rate!!
Hotel no 13
Which brings us nicely on to:

Where to eat and play

I'm not going to lie: Eating out in Norway is expensive, but definitely worth it!
Being a coastal city, yet close to local farms, fresh produce, like fish and meat is premium, and Bergen center is full of gorgeous restaurants and cafes with beautiful food...

Bare pa 13, which is a self proclaimed avant garde Norwegian street food restaurant, is actually situated on the ground floor of Hotel no 13, and describes itself like this:
 "We serve the best we can cook, from the best we can get, from day to day. No menu, no choice. Simple, quick and delicious!!"
Intriguing, no??

Bare Vestland is slightly less avant garde, but non the less unusual: With focus on local, organic ingredients of high quality, they offer you exciting dishes in tapas format, Western Norwegian style Tapas...Served in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, with good drinks!

Bien Bar
Bien Bar, is a "must visit destination" for an atmospheric dining experience: with its french/Italian inspired menu served in the unusual interior of a former 1930's Art Deco pharmacy, often with musical entertainment come night time.

Lysverket (photography: Cecilie Bannow)
Another great culinary experience can be found at Lysverket, highly acclaimed for their neo-fjordic cuisine....and do stick around for an amazing party atmosphere at night with superstar dj's , like Bjorn Torske (pictured above) and a comprehensive cocktail menu!

Daytime is also playtime

Lysverket (above) is situated smack bang in the center of Bergen , in the multi-building KODE art museum, which houses a comprehensive Edward Munch collection, as well as more modern exhibitions worth checking out...So this is also a "must visit" part of Bergen during the day time. 

This is also a great place to visit with kids, whilst keeping the design interested parents amused as well.... and the belonging Cafe Smakverket is a great place to stop for lunch and picking up some great art prints in the adjoining Art shop!

If you want some more art and culture, in a child friendly environment, why not visit Urdihuset for exhibitions and a spot of lunch in the cafe....

...or for a more grown up experience, visit USF verftet , the home of cultural Bergen...
 with artists studios as well as a Cinema, a concert venue, an art gallery and regular jazz clubs this is the place to be.... And the 
Kafe Kippers is the rallying point of artists and the public, located on the pier accommodating Bergen's largest outdoor restaurant in the summertime, where 500 quests can enjoy the most beautiful fjord views as well as the sunset. Set in an old Cannery factory , it's another must visit, come day or come night!

Kafe Kippers
Of course, you must not visit Bergen without taking the The Fløibanen Funicular to the top of  Mount Fløyen  for the best view of Bergen town and beautiful woodland for kids and adults alike there are often events held here and there is also a very good (but a little over priced ) restaurant.

view from mount Floyen

And just taking a couple of hours strolling around the gorgeously quaint cobbled back streets of Bergen is another thing I'd recommend:

The slightly bohemian and lively Area Skostrædet must also be visited both in terms of shops, galleries and  nightlife:

Another great , child friendly lunchtime spot for interior lovers, is the KANEL coffee and home decor shop. where you can feed the kids a cake whilst indulging in a spot of home ware shopping from brands like housedoctor and bloomingville

Kanel Cafe and interior shop
And that brings us to....


In the fashionable Galleriet shopping center  in the heart of Bergen, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to interior shopping: Galleriet boasts no less than 6 interior/homeware shops: Christiania Glasmagasin, herskap og tjenere, hjerteholm, Kitch'n, Kremmerhuset and Tilbords.
And the toy shop on the 5th floor is heaven for kids!

And I always make a point out of popping into  BOLIA whenever I'm "back home".
Bolia is a design company with an ever-growing stable of young award-winning designers that puts their heart and soul into creating unique collections, brimming with originality, personality and innovation.from Furniture to home accessories, Bolia is a budget friendly dream shop for anyone as interior obsessed as me!!

But in terms of Design heaven, the Illums Bolighus Bergen is a MUST!!!
A HUGE interior design shop with a selection of the greatest design classics as well as new innovative brands in design, lighting, gastronomy, bathrooms, wellness and fashion.
 Illums Bolighus is one of Scandinavia's leading locations for design and home furnishings. A business that has an inspiring environment and a wide range of appropriate quality products in a great design that inspires customers.

There are of course also lots of little gems, when it comes to shopping for design and interiors in's a few worth mentioning:

Nordiske Rom (situated in OS, outside Bergen, but oh so stylish!!) Sostrene Grene , Kremmerhuset ,Mondur, Mogs , Drommehuset, hjem kjaere hjem and ROST....I could go on and on, but I will leave it there....

Lastly I want to mention The Interior and housing fair that takes place in the stylish music hall Grieghallen, Bergen 16th-18th October, where this years theme is HANDMADE IS THE NEW BLACK...promoting traditional and modern craftmanship.....a topic I can truly resonate with....
This years inspirator is the fabulously creative AnoukB Studio so I am definitely hoping to personally attend this fair and it's design talks!

I hope you find my guide to Bergen useful should you ever decide to go there....which you SO should!
I am lucky enough to be heading back to Bergen the last week of this month, and hope to be visiting many of the places I've just told you about!

And if you've ever been yourself, and feel like I've missed out your favorite spot, please feel free to mention it by commenting below!

Now all that's left for me to say is:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY NORWAY (which is customary on National day)
and I'll see you soon Bergen!!