When walls have odd shapes, the trick is filling in the gaps.
When faced with a space that isn’t strictly square or rectangular due to a staircase or a diagonal ceiling line, hanging pictures gets tricky. So it’s helpful to see how others handle similar display issues. A clapboard barn/work studio in the California wine country [top] was furnished as an inviting living space by designer Patrick Printy, a former Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma art director. The mostly triangular window wall, hung with 33 separate pieces of art (many with a nautical theme), is an artful juggling act with so many pieces of different sizes. In general, the grouping works on a diagonal axis (imagine a big X over the window from the floor to the ceiling). Placing the nickel Curtis Jere sculpture right at the peak of the roof line is a bit like putting your best ornament on the top of the Christmas tree. One corner almost reaches the peak of the roof and everything else flows from there.
Vintage military and class photos often come in a panorama format and with newer cell phone cameras now panorama-capable, no doubt we will be seeing more of this old-fashioned shape in the future. These five old photos are large and skillfully arranged on the wall of a cottage bedroom. Since they nearly fit some spaces it might have been tempting not to fill in awkward spots with small rectangular photos — but to my eye those are little bits of genius. And to help reinforce the overall pattern, all the frames but one are black.
This is one hot mess of a stairwell space hung with shadow boxed collections, random objects, pictures, and what-nots so intensely that even what appears to be an electrical outlet becomes just another fragment in the visual assemblage. Someone did a gravity-defying job of hanging pictures opposite the window wall. But I really love the organic and boho look here that seems to say ‘nobody measured this’ we just hung up our stuff in a way that looked good to us. So original — though aren’t they all?