DDH Decorating Ideas


Arranging Objects by marygilliatt
September 16, 2010, 1:53 pm
Filed under: Decorating, Interior Design, Living Room, Mary Gilliatt | Tags: , ,

Actually, there are two quite different schools of thought on the possession and display of objects: the school of simplicity and the school for comfortable clutter.  The offering up of one or two exquisite and interesting pieces; or an accretion of possessions and collections that is often called, rather aptly, memorabilia.

"...possessions must also be organized to display it to its best advantage." Photo: Mary Gilliatt's Home Comforts with Style

The trouble about the first school is that a few beautiful or singularly interesting objects really must be beautiful or singularly interesting. Or at least made to appear so by the way they are displayed or mounted. The difficulty about the second is that the ‘clutter’ or enthusiastic accretion of possessions must also be organized to display it to its best advantage. This involves a careful assemblage of texture and shape and color not to mention placement.  For after all, what you are creating still lives in just the same way as that of a painter or a photographer.

"Very small things like decorative shells or stones or marbles can be put into large glass goblets or specimen jars and displayed on windowsills or on shelves." Photo: Mary Gilliatt's Home Comforts with Style

Collections of small objects should always be grouped together rather than scattered sparsely around a house or an apartment.  Very small things like decorative shells or stones or marbles can be put into large glass goblets or specimen jars and displayed on windowsills or on shelves.  Slightly larger objects, however different, should be grouped so that they have something in common such as color, national origin or period, or, alternatively, contrasted with larger, quite different things for the interest of the juxtaposition.  Add a plant for example, or a simple arrangement of flowers, or dried grasses, or a big bowl of dried lavender, or a pile of books.   If arrangements are grouped on tables that are also used for the practical dumping of drinks, food, or whatever, leave appropriate space so that the composition will not be ruined.

"Something sculptural will always add to the interest of a room." Photo: Bedrooms by Mary Gilliatt

If arrangements are on a glass shelf or table, lighting them from underneath with a small up light is effective.  If they are not on a transparent surface try lighting them from above with a table lamp or down light recessed into the ceiling, or a miniature spot to give extra brilliance. Interestingly, serious or at least energetic collections of quite commonplace or ordinary but unexpected objects often make for more memorable rooms than much rarer items.  Perhaps this is because one is less impressed by the effect of something one knows to be good, rare or expensive, than by something one had not much thought about before.  (For example, old irons, shoe lasts, small boxes of every sort, snuff boxes, card cases, china toast racks or tea pots or jugs, old commemoration plates, old bottles and pill boxes or jars, baskets, eighteenth and nineteenth century eye glass cases, old locks and keys and small tools, etc.)

Something sculptural, (whether it is from a young contemporary sculptor, or African or Oceanic, pre-Columbian or Oriental, classical figurative or abstract bronze, kinetic or a two-colored construction) will always add to the interest of a room. Mount small pieces on Lucite blocks. Almost all sculpture except standing pieces looks better on some sort of plinth made to scale, whether it is lacquered, painted or natural wood, marble, plaster, fiber or Plexiglass.

How do you arrange your collectibles?

Cheers,
Mary

Mary Gilliat Decor Dream Home

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How to Display Art by marygilliatt
June 17, 2010, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Decorating, Interior Design, Mary Gilliatt, Rooms | Tags: , , , ,
Mary Gilliatt: How to Display Art

Photo: Bedrooms by Mary Gilliatt

There are varied schools on hanging art just as there are on displaying objects

On the whole they are divided into those who want to make room for their serious collections, and those who want to use their wall space to its most decorative advantage. Those of the first school are always thinking of a wall as a means to an end – a support, a background – and moving paintings around as their collections expand or contract and their interests digress.  But the second group, who are thinking more of their walls, need to find some unifying factor for their different and often less distinguished possessions.

Mary Gilliatt: How to Display Art

Photo: Bedrooms by Mary Gilliatt

A miscellaneous set of nondescript prints for example, can be given a unity they would otherwise lack if each one is matted with the same distinctive color – buff, or deep green, or crimson or terracotta – whatever fits in with the room – and edged with a thin strip of chrome or brass or wood. Again, an oddly assorted group of works of various subjects and sizes will have a unity of their own if they share a predominant color – all sepia tints, perhaps, or all black and white.   In any case try not to hang things too high, or too far apart.  When there is a large grouping, keep at least the central pieces at eye-level.  Vertical arrangements will make a room seem taller, just as horizontal arrangements will make them seem wider or longer.  If a wall is strongly patterned, it is best to mount prints or drawings on very deep mattes so that the subject is becalmed in an area of its own and does not get lost in the surrounding background.

Mary Gilliatt: How to Display Art

Photo: Bedrooms by Mary Gilliatt

Juggle different sizes of pictures around on the floor beneath the chosen wall to find an arrangement that works best with other arrangements in the room, or with the space available, and mark out the area on the wall with an impermanent marker before banging in hooks.

What are some of your favorite art-hanging tricks?

Cheers,
Mary

International Designer Mary Gilliatt