This stunning open glass pavilion house is nestled on the shore of Lake Washington in Bellevue, designed by Olson Kundig Architects along with interior designer Garret Cord Werner, lighting designer Brian Hood and landscape architect Charles Anderson. This 6,800 square foot home was designed for entertaining and displaying the clients extensive northwest art collection. The home merges the exterior and interior spaces to provide a seamless environment with the northwest landscape. Running down the length of the great room, is a dramatic center pavilion of 3,060 square feet, the focus of the architecture by Jim Olson that displays a grand thirty-five foot long dining table that floats on two pedestals, comprised of mahogany and nickel and ready to seat up to 40 for dinner. Underneath lowered ceilings on either end are two living-room areas: one as light as outdoors itself, surrounded by glass, next to a reflecting pool; the other darker, intimate, a fireplace, concrete walls, a bar. Outside spaces mimic the interior in function: living area with fireplace, kitchen, dining area, expansive lawn, long terrace.
The entire house has been designed for art and to display it, as well as to help the groups that support it: “We got involved with the arts organizations and McCaw Hall and the expansion of the Seattle Art Museum and PNB. And we lend our property for things like this,” states the homeowner.
The dramatic center pavilion is the focus of the architecture displaying a grand thirty-five foot long dining table that floats on two pedestals. The table was engineered and constructed out of reclaimed mahogany wood and nickel plated steel sections and may be disassembled to provide a flexible party space.
Natural materials were purposely left slightly raw – translating to an elegant but not overly refined space.
Custom made furnishing by Seattle interior designer, Garret Cord Werner.
Center console before the media room. Projector comes up from table to project across into media room.
Custom lighting and countertop by Seattle interior designer, architect, Garret Cord Werner.
Master bath featuring custom made traditonal Japanese sunken bath.
Japanese sunken bath in master bath.
Custom built vanity and mirror by Seattle interior designer, architect, Garret Cord Werner.
Photos: Benjamin Benschneider
This striking modern designed residence in Ancram, Upstate New York has been designed by HHF Architects and interior design firm Kathryn Scott Design Studio Ltd. The home is comprised of 4,000 square feet of living space, designed as a country house for two young art collectors as a retreat from life in the city. The architectural design reflects their desire for a simple, sculptural residence standing in contrast to its natural surrounding landscape. The four equal sized boxes covered with corrugated metal panels on the outside create a striking and unexpected home. The interior was kept minimally furnished with the focus remaining on the owners’ contemporary Chinese art collection. Access to the view of the countryside is carefully orchestrated and subtly present without dominating the interior, creating an introspective intimacy and highlighting the art within. Natural light pours though the openings in between the outer boxes creating a changing sculptural display of its own inside each room. The simplicity and careful selection of the furnishings are a reflection of the owners clear vision of their personal style.
Photos: Ellen McDermott
Creating an art gallery wall in your home to transform it into a stylish place to live is an ambitious and achievable design project, all you need to know is where to start. Surround your home with large collections of art and photographs that will add style and color to your walls. It always makes a big impact visually and can be accomplished even on a small budget, if you’re creative. If you don’t have any art collections for a gallery wall, try picking up some unique finds at flea markets, auctions, yard sales, craigslist and mix them with a few key pieces that you have purchased from a store or from travels. You can also use old calendars and magazine photos and frame them, or pictures that you have taken and increase their size and have them framed. If you don’t want to pay for expensive framing, there are plenty of inexpensive options such as using an old window to frame objects, check out one of our articles on Creative Decorating Ideas for Old Windows for some ideas. Have a look through our extensive collection of images for inspiration and tips on different ways that you can create your own art gallery wall. Don’t forget to let us know which one most inspires you and tell us why!
In the above picture, the art grouping helps to balance the tall photograph and help bridge the distance between the furniture and the ceiling in what is obviously a tall space.
Rules of Thumb for Hanging Art Work
- For a single piece of art, the center of the image should be at 56″ – 60″ from the floor, which places it at eye level. The larger the piece of art, the closer to 56″ it should be.
- When hanging two pieces of artwork, one above another, treat them as one large picture – find the center point between them and use the 56″ – 60″ rule.
- For larger pieces of art hung on the same wall, use a spacing of about 2″ between them. Smaller pieces can be hung a little closer together.
- When hanging art pieces above a sofa or other piece of furniture, the grouping should ideally be about 2/3 the width of the furniture below it. (For example, if an art grouping is being hung over a 60″ sofa, the ideal grouping would about 40″ in length.)
- When hanging artwork over a sofa or other piece of furniture, leave 4″- 8″ of space between the top of the sofa/furniture and the bottom of the art. No higher!
This art gallery wall was designed by Emma from the blog “A Beautiful Mess“. Her tip for designing an art gallery wall is the following:
Choose Art You Love. If you are planning to hang a gallery wall in your home, don’t feel like you have to make it look like anyone else’s. You can include original art, art prints, kiddo art, family photos, personal photo projects or even found objects that get framed in shadow boxes (if needed). Hang what you love and what has meaning to you. If it helps you to get choosing with your color scheme then pick your color story before you start purchasing art or printing photos. You can use the color of the photo frames to help tie everything together if needed (like how I used all black frames).
Here is another clever idea that Emma had to plan out her art gallery wall. She cut out the shapes out of each frame with poster board and taped them to the wall. This way they can be moved around for placement to get the arrangement that you are looking for before hanging your art and creating unnecessary holes in your wall. Here is her sources for where she found her artwork with the excepting of personal photos and Polaroids: a pug portrait made by Hope (Katie’s sweet daughter), prints from UO, Pretty Little Thieves, Clare Elsaesser, Lisa Congdon, Vivienne Strauss, Hands Workshop, Ashley Goldberg and United Thread.
Create a Theme. Themed walls can be appropriate in certain contexts. A nautical inspired art wall in a beach house incorporates found objects such as oars and decorative fish hangings in a blue and white color scheme.
Create an Eclectic Mix. Most gallery walls feature an eclectic mix of modern art, old photographs, small prints and random items. Our personalities are so multi-faceted that the gallery wall becomes a reflection of everything we like and want to share with our visitors. Anything and everything can make the cut in a colorful and mixed collection of interesting images and objects.
This photo grouping works well with high ceilings, bringing down the ceiling height as well as adding visual interest. When choosing a mat for photographs, go with a wider mat (more than three inches wide) in white or off-white for a crisp look. It will look sleek and contemporary in a gallery-like grouping.
Picture Rail Displays. Picture rails are a great way to display collections of small images or photos. You get the effect of the gallery wall without committing to one composition and many nail holes. You can easily rotate images by swapping out the frames only.
Create a Personal Space. A combination of picture rails, mirrors, and typography make for a nice arrangement that feels very personal to this family.
The living room is a great space for a wall art gallery. It’s usually the largest room in the house so it has big walls. So you can even cover an entire wall if you have enough materials. You can combine frames portraits with painted artwork.
A gallery wall looks great above a sofa. The horizontal furniture piece begs for large horizontal art above. A gallery wall allows you to create a large display out of smaller images for a fraction of the cost of one giant and expensive piece. Note the clean horizontal edge along the bottom that unifies and contains the collection.
You could also use more than just one wall. You can two adjacent walls from the living room for example. Create a cozy sitting corner and delineate the space with the help of wall art. It’s a nice idea especially if you also have a sectional that goes along those walls.
Draw Inspiration from your Gallery Wall. Gallery walls do inspire. You can start one above a desk/work area and center it around a framed memo board. The memo board becomes a constantly changing mini-gallery that fits in with the larger composition.
Have a Showcase Wall. A good gallery wall should be able to grow and grow without anyone being able to tell where it started. If you are keen on starting one, make sure you picked a large wall so you aren’t limited in your search for small and beautiful framed images.
You can mix and combine all sorts of various artwork. For example, you can display painting along with framed photos, DIY pieces and even posters. This is an example of an eclectic wall art gallery with a casual look and a mix of colors, textures, styles and designs.
The homeowner filled a gallery wall on the second floor by the staircase landing with vintage prints, Etsy finds and a skull.
Symmetrical Art. Achieve a controlled look with horizontal rows of identically sized frames. This approach is less organic and more architecturally minded.
Black and white family photos makes for a beautiful art gallery collection in the hallway and keeps memories alive.
By displaying artwork on a white wall you allow the elements showcased to stand out more. There are no distractions of any kind and the eye only focuses on what’s displayed on the wall. If you want you can also accessorize that part of the room with matching white furniture.
Larger Art Mixed with Smaller Prints. It turns out you actually do have one large-format piece of art to display above your sofa, but you still yearn for a gallery wall for some of your smaller images. Here is a nice example of how that can be achieved with a balanced and symmetrical arrangement.
The use of crisp white mats unifies a colorful gallery of framed pieces of art. The consistent band of color will also add height and width to each piece, allowing your eye to focus on each individual piece of art.
We saved this eclectic media room for last; it’s an impressive gallery wall that showcases memories of the family who lives here. What do you think, do you love the idea or do you find it cluttered and chaotic?
Photo Sources: 1. Jeffers Design Group, 2. Jute Interior Design, 3. Bosworth Hoedemaker, 4. A Beautiful Mess, 5. Courtney Giles Interiors, 6. The Vault Files, 7. ILevel, 8. Caccoma Interiors, 9. Marcelo Brito & Pedro Potaris, 10. Lonny, 11. Incorporated, 12. MHouse Inc., 13. Alykhan Velji Design, 14. Maria Killam, 15. Boutique la Boheme, 16. moment design + productions, 17. Carter Kay Interiors, 18. Angella Eisman Design, 19. Focal Point Styling, 20. Inhabit Design, 21. Cindi Carter Home Style, 22. Stanton Home Furnishings, 23. Stacy Weiss, 24. Pinterest, 25. A Few Things From My Life, 26. Tim Barber Architecture, 27. Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, 28. Rugo Raff Architects, 29. Designs by Shoshana, 30. SF Girl By Bay, 31. Traci Zeller, 32. Alan Mascord Design Associates, 33. Jute Interior Design, 34. Landing Design & Development, 35. Hufft Projects, 36. Nest Pretty Things, 37. Laura U, Inc., 38. Mary Prince Photography, 39. Pinterest, 40. Spinnaker Development, 41. Nautical Cottage, 42. Patrick Sutton Associates, 43. Phoebe Howard, 44. Jamie Laubhan-Oliver, 45. Pottery Barn, 46. Nautical Cottage, 47. Miller Design Co., 48. ML Interiors, 49. Pinterest, 50. Two Thirty Five Designs, 51. Tobi Fairley Interior Design, 52-53. The Every Girl, 54. Urban Rustic Living, 55. Elizabeth Metcalfe Interiors & Design, 56. Domicile Interior Design, 57. Nina van de Goor, 58. Swanky Couch
This century-old Pacific Heights, California property is the home of David Fraze and Gary Loeb, who hired Sutro Architects to transform it back to its glory. The historic home built in 1897 had excellent craftsmanship and once contained servants quarters, passageways (to ensure the owners and servants never crossed paths) and workspaces both upstairs and in the basement level, which was all given a new identity, transformed into additional living spaces while keeping the historic character of the building still intact. The kitchen was once a prep space for the servants, but was too small for two men who enjoyed cooking. The owners wanted a space that was more casual and comfortable where they could relax and entertain friends as well as display their significant modern art collection. The home features traditional woodwork and details, the couple used inspiration from old Parisian apartments that have traditional spaces and have been renovated and decorated with modern art. Interior design firm John K. Anderson Design was brought on board to coordinate the 6,982 square foot home’s colors and furnishings. “What drove my part of the project was getting the right neutral backdrops for the artwork,” says Anderson. “We spent at least four months on the wall colors alone.” The vibrant artwork is electric against a palette comprised of mostly grays. Via
Windows were inserted to open spaces up to the jaw-dropping bay views.
“The existing woodwork was beautiful but very oppressive,” says the designer. “In the living room, the baseboard was tall, and it made the room seem low-ceilinged.” Anderson solved the problem by painting the walls, ceiling and upper and lower moldings all the same color—Benjamin Moore’s Smoke Embers—in order to elongate the room. Painting the never-before-covered woodwork took some panache, but as Anderson puts it, “You have to respect the past, but also make the home work for the clients and their needs now.”
The redwood paneling in the media room is original to the 1897 home. A contemporary chromogenic print by Dale Yudelman takes the room into the 21st century.
Although the rest of the house has references to the past, the powder room on the first floor is overtly modern. “We added this bath, and because it was a new element and not visible to the rest of the space, we felt we could go a little crazy,” says Loeb. The couple was drawn to Trove’s Auva wallpaper, which was recently selected as a permanent addition to the Brooklyn Museum’s decorative arts collection.
“This was once a very small, closed-off room,” says architect Stephen Sutro. “It was likely a nursery. By removing the wall that separated it from the stairs, we allowed light to pour into the hall and stairway.” The new open space gives the owners a place to enjoy a book and the view.
In the master bedroom, a picture rail molding gives Fraze the ability to display his art collection and the flexibility to change it easily and often.
The unique Xline tub by Agape features display shelves and is positioned to allow bathers to soak and enjoy the view.
Fraze’s upstairs study gives him a place to contemplate and build his art collection. Behind the desk is a piece by British artist Ian Davenport. The black-and-white artwork, made by puddling paint painstakingly on an oversize canvas, illustrates the unifying factor in Fraze’s collection: All the works are created using interesting processes.
Photos: Aaron Leitz Photography
FORMA Design was commissioned to re-design this corner Penthouse apartment at The Metropole Condominium, in the bustling Logan Circle area of Washington, DC. Their task was to improve the functionality throughout, update the finishes, custom design extensive cabinetry in the Living areas, Kitchen and Study, open up the space to the abundant natural light of the two-story atrium and bring the apartment up to par, in order to act as the backdrop for the clients’ extensive Art and Furniture collections. The textured stone walls are the backdrop to the custom quartersawn light oak cabinetry that houses the AV equipment and provides ample storage. The owners’ eclectic art collection and the modernist furniture are bathed in the natural light streaming from the two-story atrium windows.
The two-story atrium windows bathe the space in natural light. The upper balconies to the sleeping areas and the study are open so they could share the atrium light.
The open plan allows the views and light throughout to be shared. The kitchen and dining areas open up to the living room.
The open plan allows the views and light throughout to be shared. The modern furniture allows for different sitting configurations that are flexible depending on the number of people and activities in the space.
The open plan allows the views and light throughout to be shared. The kitchen and dining areas open up to the living room.
The bedroom area is open to the atrium, sharing the light and allowing for views out in all directions. The stone backdrop to the bed unites the finishes with the other stone accents throughout the apartment.
The study area opens up to the atrium, sharing the light and allowing for views out in all directions. The stone backdrop to the cabinetry unites the finishes with the other stone accents throughout the apartment. The pendant glass sculpture was commissioned by the client for that location.
The living room atrium allows for abundant light and views in all directions, as well as views to the bustling intersection below.
The open railings at both the bedroom and the study areas allow for uninterrupted views to every part of the apartment and the skyline beyond.
The master bedroom suite on the upper level was opened up to a large sleeping area and a study area beyond, both opening onto the atrium that floods the area with light. Daytime and night-time blackout shades are electronically operated to turn the whole area dark for sleeping.
The study area has custom millwork in quartered oak and lacquered counters that match the details downstairs. The glass pendant sculpture was commissioned by the clients for this location and playfully reflects the light.
The custom cabinetry was specifically designed for the space, and is set against the rough stone wall beyond. The clients’ eclectic artwork animates the space throughout.
The expansive living space is open to the study room above.
The foyer leads towards the atrium, and the stairs lead to the private areas above.
The living room sofa adds eclectic style to the modern space.
Photos: Courtesy of FORMA Design
Situated on a sloping corner lot across from an elementary school in Beverly Hills California, Boxenbaum Residence was designed by Ehrlich Architects. This modern 9,000 square foot house orients itself away from perimeter streets toward rear and side outdoor gardens for privacy. A key requirement of this primary residence for a couple with grown children was ample studio and display space for its resident artist, Kharlene Boxenbaum. The design creates large wall expanses bathed in ambient light, ideal for showcasing paintings. The 2,500-square-foot second floor serves as her studio.
The composition of the house is a dance of cubic volumes, vertical stucco masses, and floating roof planes that reinforce the open floor plan. The largest volumes are wood construction clad in stucco, while the horizontal roof planes become steel fascias that cantilever past the window line and protect the glass from direct sun and rain. Elements of the vertical stucco masses enter into the house to form sculptural backdrops for the fireplaces, playing off wood and stone floors.
Because of the sloping site, the garage, housekeeper’s quarters, and storage are accessed from the lower secondary street and are partially embedded in the earth. The main living level is raised above the basement, allowing the entire floor to open into the landscape. A series of floating planes of stone extend into the front and rear gardens as stairs and transitional platforms, terminating at the back in a reflecting pool.
Photos: Juergen Nogai
La Casa Del Tempo (The House of Time) is situated in Venice, Italy on the Grand Canal. This colorful apartment interior was designed in 2010 by Claudia Pelizzari Interior Design for a couple of collectors of contemporary art, which has been installed by a unique picture hanging system. With high ceilings, exposed beams and a wonderful open plan design, this light-filled home features spectacular views over the canal.
Photos: Giorgio Baroni
This sensational home is a modern weekend getaway for a modern family of four, located in Sag Harbor, New York. The owners were looking for a designer who could fuse their love of art and elegant furnishings with the practicality that would fit their lifestyle. They owned the land and wanted to build their new home from the ground up. Betty Wasserman Art & Interiors, Ltd. was a natural fit to make their vision a reality.
Upon entering the 7,000 square foot house, you are immediately drawn to the clean, contemporary space that greets your eye. A curtain wall of glass with sliding doors, along the back of the house, allows everyone to enjoy the harbor views and a calming connection to the outdoors from any vantage point, simultaneously allowing watchful parents to keep an eye on the children in the pool while relaxing indoors. Here, as in all her projects, Betty focused on the interaction between pattern and texture, industrial and organic.
Photos: Courtesy of Betty Wasserman
DeForest Architects transformed this existing lakeside residence in Seattle, Washington from a house full of heavy stone and beams into a light-filled place for enjoying art, food and family. The clients, Mark and Mattie, are an entrepreneur and artist, mom and dad, this creative couple asked the architects to transform their home on Lake Washington into an elegant, family-friendly house filled with light and art. The staircase design received a Grand Award from Residential Architect and a Citation from the Washington AIA Honor Awards.
In this cosmopolitan Russian Hill home, floor to ceiling windows frame a quintessential San Francisco view. The new owners wanted a clean, modern canvas that would showcase their art collection, so Jeffers Design Group collaborated with Sutro Architects and Black Mountain Construction to take the space back to the studs, and opened it up by taking down all of the interior walls. Against a canvas of greys and whites, the bold, sculptural forms of the furnishings pop, giving the space real wow factor.
Photos: Courtesy of Jeffers Design Group