Posts Tagged ‘art’

Create an Art Wall

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Creating an art wall in your home is a great way to display multiple pieces in a group…and it’s not as hard as you might think.  Here are some step-by-step tips and photos to get you started.

Step 1:

Pick a wall for displaying your art and look through layout ideas on Pintrest.

Step 2:

Select a theme and stick with it.  Art walls work best when you decide on a central theme.  Here are some examples:

  • travel photos (see above photo)
  • kids art
  • family photos

Once you’ve selected the theme, pull out all options for the wall and narrow down to what’s important.  Select your favorites and make them larger if possible.  I prefer art/photos in different sizes because it moves the eye around the entire wall.  However, they could all be the same size if you are running them down a hallway and want it uniform.


Step 3:

Pick your frame style.  There are a few ways of doing this.  They could all be black or white if the art is all different or use different frames if the art relates to one another well.  Just keep something uniform throughout the wall.  So if you have all black and white photos, you could easily have many styles of frames or just use one color.  Here’s a beautiful shot from Christiane Lemieux (photo from Dwell Studio)…. showing different frames.  This works well because the art relates to each other.  The two pieces on the right both have red in them and all have some element of black and white.  Beautiful!


Step 4:

Print and layout all photos in their frames on the floor first.  This will allow you to easily arrange them many times before poking holes in your lovely walls.  If you can’t complete the hanging in one day or can’t decide on layout, take a picture of the layout options and see if you like it over the next hour or day.  Don’t worry too much about spacing.  In fact, if you don’t make it uniform, it will be much easier to hang!  Or you can fill the larger gaps with found objects (old keys, metal letters, etc).


Step 5:

Start hanging.  This can be tricky but I’ve found a few things that make it easier.  Purchase the sticky putty (you know, that stuff you used to hang posters as a kid).  Put it on the frame hook and press the frame onto the wall where you want it.  Then pull lightly, leaving the putty and the frame hook mark on the wall.  Now just position your nail where the hook mark is on the putty and nail through the putty.  Once nail is in, simply remove the putty and repeat.  I’ve also tried the Velcro strips.  These work well for smaller, lighter projects.  I personally wouldn’t use them above a bed on a heavy piece of art though.

Here are some other good resources:

Advice and pictures from Apartment Therapy.

No art?  Check out this site for ideas!


Small, Impersonal Space? No Problem!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

NYC has inspired me to find creative solutions using every last square inch.   When people think NY, they conjure up images of shoe-box sized apartments.  Those who live in them likely despise them but I LOVE them.  They present challenges yes, but I enjoy a good design challenge so, bring it on.    Oh and did I mention that having a small space can be good because you can do nicer things as opposed to trying to fill a whole house.  Two of the biggest questions I get are 1. How do I find more room/make it feel larger and 2. How do I personalize it if it’s not mine?  Here comes some creative answers…

Not enough space:  You rarely have too little space; just too many favorite things.

  • First, get organized.  This means everything needs a place.  If it doesn’t have a home, we all know it will likely lay out making the space cluttered and feeling all too small.  Hit the Container Store and find storage solutions for all those homeless items.  File away any paper goods or scan them to your computer for future reference.  Buy boxes and label them…because the insides don’t have to be pretty, just the outside.  Oh and don’t forget my new favorite gadget – the P-Touch for labeling everything.
  • If you can afford it, build-in custom shelving and storage.  This is the ideal solution because you can design it to fit your space and special items.  It will free up so much space you’ll be surprised.
  • If you think you are going to be in your apartment for awhile paint all the walls in a lacquer or high gloss.  This reflects and bounces the light around the room making it instantly feel larger. 
  • Or if you don’t want to paint, add mirrors to reflect light. 
  • Consider custom made furniture pieces that fit the room better than store bought ones.  Also if you customize it, you can make it multifunctional (think coffee table becomes dining table when you have guests). 


My space looks like a rental:  Only because it needs a little love and creative solutions.

  • Use removable wallpaper or decal patterns to create an overall pattern.  I’ve even heard of people using masking tape to create patterns. 
  • Paint the small rooms like a bathroom or entry.  These are less work to repaint when moving out. 
  • While you rent is definitely the time to start acquiring your ”forever furniture.”  Begin buying items that you can keep forever even if you have to save up for a year…it will be worth it in the long run.  These pieces should have character to liven up the room.
  • Add color or texture with a new area rug.
  • Art – start collecting pieces that inspire you.  Check out the local art league for shows.  You can pick up some great works from up-and-coming artists at reasonable prices.
  • Consider drapery because it finishes a space and adds that additional pop of color or pattern.  Even if you have to custom make it remember it can always be re-purposed into something else later if it doesn’t fit a new window.  Think:  pillows, duvet, window seat cover or even a shower curtain. 
  • The best places to bring in your personality is in fabrics, art and accessories while renting.  Plus they all move with you when you’re ready. 

We’ve Been Awarded!

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

On May 14, 2010 Paradigm Interior Design and Nest Architectural Design were awarded first place for Primary Residence Under 3,500 SF by ASID.

Natural light floods this ranch style home located in Denver’s historic Bonnie Brae neighborhood.  The soft, neutral palette provide the perfect backdrop to the client’s extensive art collection while providing a relaxing atmosphere.

Paradigm assisted the client with paint selection, granite and tile selection, draperies, art and furniture placement and decorative lighting fixtures throughout the home. 

All pictures will be posted to the Paradigm’s ”Work” tab soon but here are some of the highlights.


Living Room

Dining Room-Web