Sunday, September 21, 2014

Walls that Wow

     We all display art on our walls.  Paintings and photographs add color and beauty to any room, but to add character and punch, here are twenty ideas for other objects to grace your space.
  •  Maps add color to large spaces, and vintage cartography can be embellished with artistic borders.  Flags can be used by themselves or layered with the maps for added interest.

  • License plates.
  • Sporting equipment.  Vintage tennis rackets, for example, can be displayed with alternating handles up and handles down to form an eye catching visual.

  • Architectural salvage.  Gingerbread trim, metal grates, a collage of old windows, and barn doors can all make a wall livelier.
  • Bring the outdoors in and hang a vintage garden gate or part of a fence on the wall.

  • Go industrial and arrange a collage of gears in your space.  Just be sure to locate studs to anchor the pieces as the metal can be quite heavy.

  • Vehicle parts such as truck tailgates or vintage grills.

  • Advertising or road signs.
  • Vintage bed or seat springs.  Not only are these interesting by themselves, but you can use clothes pins to attach postcards, pictures, or notes to the springs.

  • Film reels.
  • A collage of clock faces.
  • Textiles.  Hang a quilt or large, colorful rug to make a big impact with color.  Use a quilt hanger to secure the textile instead of pinning the cloth directly to the wall to avoid damaging the piece.

  • One large statement mirror or a group of small mirrors add sparkle and the illusion of size to a room.
  • An arrangement of empty frames can be visually arresting.  You can add small pages such as botany prints interspersed throughout the frames in a collage style.
  • Frame a collection of non-art ephemera such as menus, sheet music, theatre posters, or vintage letters.

  • Metal and wood letters.
  • Paint the entire wall with blackboard paint and use chalk pens to add menus, quotes, and pictures of your own.

  • String a piece of jute between two nails and use clothes pins to add cards, cut out shapes, or small pictures in clothes-line style.
  • Shutters give the illusion of a window or open space.

  • Hang the backs of small wooden crates or metal baskets toward the wall to create instant architecturally pleasing displays that hold everything from knick knacks to towels.

Almost anything can become art on your walls, and you might be surprised at how many objects in your attic or garage can be repurposed into a creative display. To get a feel for how to arrange several pieces without filling your wall with nail holes, cut out pieces of newsprint or paper in the shapes of your objects and use painter’s tape to arrange them to your satisfaction.  Once you get the perfect balance, you can commit the pieces to their permanent spots.  With a little imagination, you can transform an entire room in an hour or two.