Choosing artwork for a large wall

I had the pleasure recently of playing interior decorator in a house other than mine.

An old journalist friend stumbled upon my blog and she was quite surprised when she discovered the blog was mine.

My friend had already done a great job with the basic pieces but wanted to rev up the style

After she e-mailed me, I invited her to my home and, a few days later, I was at her house, helping her decorate hers. First off, let me start by saying that my friend's house was a joy to help decorate. She and her husband have great taste, and already have many wonderful pieces. But they say they would like their home to have a more cohesive style and warmth about it.

This corner shows an extra-high wall that is one of the first seen by visitors to my friend's house

My friend was gracious enough to allow me to take some "before" photos, which I thought I would post here along with some recommendations I made for her.

We discussed sprucing up several rooms, but my friend was most anxious for tips on how to rev up the style factor in her formal living room. For today's post, I thought I would focus on this room.

This is a room that already has great pieces to build upon, including a gorgeous chocolate brown leather ottoman that serves as their coffee table, a perfect child-friendly touch, since my friend has a two-year-old daughter.

The main living room wall is rather large, posing a challenge

As it is, the room is quite nice, but could be a show stopper with just a few more touches and tweaks. For starters, adding just a few more accessories like one or two showy vases and perhaps a side table or two will add more layers of interest to this room.

I would also consider changing the rug to another design and color that stands out yet still complements the decor. This one here seems to almost blend into the couch since the couch and rug are so similar in color.

Perhaps the first step, however, would be finding eye-catching artwork above the main sofa that will do much to make the room feel more complete and personal.

I am a bit hesitant to suggest specific pieces of artwork for my friend since I do believe that the artwork we choose to put in our homes makes such a personal statement. At the same time, I know it helps to have an opinion from someone who's a little more detached.

I have three different "artwork" suggestions for my friend's large living room wall, with a strong recommendation for something with a punch of color for visual interest and added style. My friend leans toward greens and blues so I have chosen a few pieces in those tones to illustrate my suggestions.

My first suggestion would be for an eye-catching painting, such as this one from Etsy, titled "Daydreams."

The painting costs $700, which I think is a fair amount for an original piece of artwork, but those more budget-minded might want to check out prints and other more affordable art from Etsy seller tastes orangey in Bodega Bay in California. Her evocative artwork is beautiful and would work well elsewhere in the home.

Or, how about this one below? It is lovely, though perhaps a bit less dramatic. It is on sale right now from Etsy seller DreamGallery in British Columbia, Canada.

Other affordable artwork can also be found at Urban Outfitters, which teamed up with an international community of artists from more than 70 countries. The partnership with Society6 includes a wide range of styles with plenty of appeal for varied tastes.

The following is part of the collection:

My top choice to add a bit of whimsy is the one shown above, by Yorkshire artist Rachel Wilson, titled "Cinquecento."

The above piece by artist squirrell is titled "Paris Blues," which might appeal to my friend since I know she has a fondness for French things.

My second suggestions would be for my friend to find one extra-large textile to hang from the wall, such as a suzani. The image below shows a suzani hanging above a bed, adding tons of style to the room.

Image from Uzbek Suzani, which sells suzanis online here

Perhaps either of the suzanis below could work. Suzanis can be found for fairly reasonable prices on Ebay or other online retail shops. I found many recommendations for online retailers on the Apartment Therapy site.

Image on the left: Uzbek Suzani, Image on the right: Apartment Therapy.

My friend could also choose two or three Mexican textiles, like this Otomi hand-embroidered piece and this other textile art on Ebay, and group them as shown in the frame on the left in the photo below.

My final "artwork" suggestion would be to consider putting wallpaper on this wall, something along the lines of this:

Or how about this wallpaper from the Nama Rococo Wallpaper Studio?

But let's be real. I can't really see anyone going to the trouble of putting wallpaper all over that ultra-high wall, so how about my friend instead chooses a wallpaper with a stunning design and wraps it around wooden stretchers, canvas-style, or simply frames it, like in the image below?

My friend's husband is an avid musician, a self-taught piano and guitar player, so I also suggested framing a few sheets of music to place above the piano. The selected pieces shouldn't be something to impress visitors, but rather music that holds personal meaning for him and makes him happy.

The photo below shows the piano the way it looked when I visited. (Yes, I did suggest a bookcase or nice cabinet to organize and nicely store all the music books spilling out of that bin next to the piano.)

Honestly, my biggest challenge as "decorator" was warming up to colors (greens/blues) I wouldn't normally use in my own home, but my friend and her husband seemed happy with the suggestions I made for them. I can't wait to see their house again once they have decorated some more.

Meanwhile, do you have any suggestions for other ways my friend can add more style to this room? What are your thoughts on this room?



Razmataz said...

Hi Minnie. I think all of your suggestions were great ones. And you know how to choose and hang art! Your own home looks so great. I am with you, I think bookshelves to add warmth and interest and a larger rug and art.

Thrifted Treasure said...

That's so flattering to be asked to help design somebody else's space, they obviously love your style (don't we all), your ideas sounds great :-)

Kristin said...

Ooh how fun! what a great project for you! I think you're right to suggest side tables. I mismatched pair on either end of the sofa and a small drum table or something would by nice next to the chair.

I LOVE that "daydreams" artwork. It's my favorite of all the things you found, followed closely behind by the Paris Blues work.

I think a bigger rug would probably work in the space. As is, it looks too small for all the floor space that is there.

Good luck and be sure to post "After" pics!

Tina said...

Minnie, your friends are so lucky to have you to suggest ideas for them! I love your suggestions:) I love the wallpaper suggestion, although I love the 'Paris Blues' artwork too! I wish we lived closer as I would love you to come over and give me some much needed advice with our living room. I hope we get to see the changes that your friends make to their gorgeous home.

I would also like to thank you as always for the lovely comments you leave me and for passing on that conversation between you and your regular reader, that truly just made my day. Wishing you and your gorgeous family a wonderful week my lovely friend. Hugs ~ Tina xx

Anonymous said...

I really think your friends room is clean and not fussy looking and only needs a little life. I would add a couple of large plants and then continue with that color in the form of a soft blanket thrown across the ottoman or couch (a light, light green would be so pretty) and then I would put a collection of aged mirrors on the wall above the couch to reflect light and add another dimension to a room that could appear predictable without some life in it. It is a very pretty and I think calm room.

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