Corner picture walls are like visual libraries that say a lot about their owners.
Perhaps more than any other type of arrangement, corner picture walls are highly individual expressions of taste and style. Each time I see a photo of a wall composed of images or objects it’s like putting one more piece of a life-long décor jig-saw puzzle into place. I always learn something (even if it’s what not to do).
For me, display walls, and especially wrap-around corner picture walls, are as tell-tale as libraries. Their character speaks volumes about the interests and eye of the person who assembled them. My previous post on Understanding Picture Walls established some basic points to consider when dealing with a single area. Here, I’m turning the corner. I think of every room as having six walls: four vertical and two horizontal (ceiling and floor). For argument sake, assume that all are equal in area. Covering two adjacent walls – at least 33 percent of the space — with objects magnifies the effect, as these three rooms show.
In a dining room with a corner banquette, [top] some 26 European drawings from the 17th through the 19th centuries were grouped on adjoining walls around a trio of modestly proportioned wall sconces. New York designer Philip Gorrivan collected the artworks over 20 years and kept the mat and frame colors consistent with each other. Table and upholstery hues follow suit. Careful consideration of the walls reveals that the pictures are grouped vertically in threes, with a sconce becoming the third object in between two frames. Those sightlines are reinforced by the banquette’s pavilion stripe Molina linen fabric (romo.com). Additionally, the “antique and modern” theme is expressed through the mix of new limed-oak tables of Gorrivan’s design and a trio of 18th century chairs.
Walls in this corner of costume jeweler Kenneth Jay Lane’s elegant New York apartment living room were upholstered in chocolate brown velvet with multicolor cording that finishes the fabric edges and helps create adjoining wall panels hung with Orientalist paintings, large and small. A pair of swing-arm sconces with pleated, corded and fringed silk shades, bracket the corner as well. European artists traveled to the Middle East and North Africa and painted local scenes — including rug markets which are the subject of the two largest pieces here – throughout the 19th century. (Jane T’s rugs in Art post has more info). Adding smaller pictures and drawings, even on the woodwork, helps ground the picture walls and draw the focus down to the Ottoman-style corner sofa piled with Indian textiles collected by the costume jewelry designer on his travels.
In the New York social circles, the height of living-room-chic during the early 1970’s included brown fabric-upholstered walls and plush sofas bedecked with fringe and tassels. Orientalist paintings enjoyed their last brief vogue at the same time. My guess? While Mr. Lane may have added to this room, its style is timeless and classic.
Mirrors provide pictures of what’s in a room plus they reflect light and space. The artist who lives in this Brooklyn dining room, Judith van Amringe, collects found and altered objects. The character of her wood-frame mirrors suggests a possible story behind each acquisition. Grouping different shapes and sizes on adjacent walls actually helps de-emphasize the corner and create a kind of panoramic effect. None is very small and a consequence of hanging them in vertical pairs, instead of the usual odd number, is the regularity of wall covering.
(Source: Elle Decor, Domino, NY Mag)
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