How To | Curate Art with Heart
A gallery wall is the perfect way to proudly display your story, and your style. Don't just hang anything though. Curate a collection of art with heart. Collect things that are meaningful, and you'll never grow tired of your gallery wall. It will be a conversation piece and a comforting mantle in your home.
Swell Made Co. has partnered up with Becky Freeman, Interior Designer & Stylist, to guide you through curating an art collection. Becky knows how and where to find the perfect elements for any project. With a decade of professional interior design experience (including Gluckstein Design), Becky has refined the process of creating a successful space.
The first of our collaborative posts, we're excited to share these tips. Next, we'll share How To Create a Gallery Wall. Read on for simple, but thoughtful things to keep in mind while curating your own personal gallery wall or art collection.
1 - PERSONAL PHOTOS
An easy choice to make things personal is to crop and enlarge your favourite photos. They can be photos of your family (old or new) or from your travels and favourite places. Perhaps, you've dabbled with photography and you have some abstract pieces to showcase.
Art photography is available for purchase as well. Just check out minted.com for pieces like the one above. Paris anyone?
Creating a grid based gallery wall with simple Instagram photos is an easy way to create a meaningful collection. You can print a batch of photos quickly and reasonably using an app like Parabo Press.
2 - THE PRINTED WORD
Do you have a favourite song, book, quote, or poem? Frame the printed word. Letters are beautiful in the form of actual pages from a book, or typographical artwork featuring your lyrics or quotes.
Swell Made Co. is a great example of typographic artwork that elevates meaningful (and witty) words. Choose what "speaks" to you. Keeping with a subtle French theme for this example, we chose OUI OUI by Swell Made Co.
3 - UNEXPECTED THINGS
Your collection can have some unexpected dimensional elements as well. Perhaps a hat, a souvenir or something sculptural like the ones seen above by Umbra.
Depending on what it is, you can either hang it directly on the wall or frame it. Make the mundane extraordinary, simply by framing it. Do you have a sentimental plate or record? Frame it! Do you have a collection of shells from your family beach vacation? Mount a few in a simple grid layout and frame them.
Unexpected things can also introduce colour or texture. Does your decor call for a pop of neon, sleek gold or natural wood? Go for it.
4 - FROM YOUR TRAVELS
Memories transport us back to places we have travelled. Keep those moments close with photos and unexpected things as mentioned in tips 1 and 3. This can also come in the form of original artwork from exotic or local places.
Been too many place to count? Frame a beautiful map to remind you of places you've been or lived over the years.
It's fun to pick up small pieces of artwork when visiting a new country. Large pieces are great too, but small pieces pack easily. More importantly, they are easier to integrate into an existing gallery wall or collection. Just like the medallion above, Jon I Lit from Iceland.
5 - ORIGINAL ARTWORK
Original artwork by artists you admire, talented friends, or your own children is lovely to work into a space. Maybe you have some of your own.
Keep it simple and basic. It doesn't have to be a renaissance masterpiece. Simple line drawings and abstract colour studies are perfect. Framing will only elevate these pieces. The beautiful artwork seen above can be purchased and framed at minted.com.
6 - FILL IN THE GAPS
Finally, fill in the gaps. If you're incorporating a theme (Feminine French) or colour scheme (Pink Hues), this is the perfect opportunity to round out the collection. Don't go overboard with themes and colours though - keep it simple.
Perhaps you have a lot of dark pieces. Lighten it up with something with a softer tone, or an object with a delicate structure. If you're seeing a consistent hue in your collection, add something subtle in that same or complementary hue.
Now that you've collected your artwork the next step is to choose frames. I have a great guide on how to frame artwork, right here! Next, we'll be posting How To Create a Gallery Wall. Watch soon for great tips so you can get your collection on the wall.
Enjoy and good luck curating your collection!
Lesley, Swell Made Co. + Becky, Interior Designer & Stylist