When Janie Molster of Janie Molster Designs rearranged the art and mirrors on my walls as part of a larger project in my home, I had no idea what a transformational impact it would have on my house and how it would improve my appreciation of our modest art collection.
As she worked, Janie explained the rationale behind her changes. The process made so much sense I thought everyone could benefit from her design wisdom. Follow Janie’s style tips below and you’ll be zhushed in no time.
Get Ready: Remove all of your art and mirrors to begin with a fresh canvas
Put everything on the table for evaluation.
Group Thoughtfully: refrain from hanging one-piece-here, one-piece-there
Instead, says Janie, leave some walls blank to give your eyes a rest and group or stack pieces. Below are two works I thought certainly wouldn’t make the cut, but stacked on top of each other and united by the green in each, their whole is better than the sum of the parts.
Create a gallery wall
With our one-here, one-there collection, Janie repositioned several of my pieces on one wall in my den to achieve a pleasing effect.
Janie’s thoughts about the grouping on my wall:
Having a continuum of color or theme is nice as in your grouping in the den where we have combined landscapes and vivid green as the unifying elements. Frames do not need to match, they just need to be balanced. I love the pop of red frame in your grouping.
To create the grouping, follow Janie’s steps:
Think of the wall as a unit. Measure the width and height of the wall space to hold the grouping. In my case she measured between the lamps for the width and above the couch for height.
On a large open floor, tape off the corners of the dimensions and begin playing with the arrangement, as Janie is shown doing below.
Janie advises taking a picture from above, standing on a chair or bench to get a different and useful perspective, studying the composition for balance in color and proportion.
- She also reminds that you are not forever married to the spot where a piece is first placed. She encourages rearranging your art from time to time and moving pieces in and out of storage like museums do for a fresh perspective.
Janie provided other thoughts on creating gallery walls from photos in her portfolio.
“Many mediums and styles are used here but a color palette of warm caramels and apricots unite the collection.”
“Landscapes were a theme here as well as greens and blues. Don’t worry about disparate frames…balance is the key. Note: it’s fine to hang around lamps and lampshades.”
“Another good example of using a collection en masse for effect. With these botanicals, I also started in the center with the larger pieces.”
“This is a good example of the use of objects as artwork. Also the pleasure that symmetry brings to the eye…here I started with bigger pieces in the center and worked out from there.”
Use the power of a grid for visual impact
The nine pieces you see above are samples from a vintage wallpaper book that Janie bought and framed. With such a large wall, I wasn’t sure what she would create for the new color scheme, but it’s fun: colorful yet not overwhelming. Don’t you love the budget-friendly alternative to original art as well?
Hang portraits together
It never occurred to me to group my children’s portraits on one wall. I thought each deserved a special place, and finding an equal-yet-appropriate spot was challenging. But after Janie repositioned them on my dining room wall, I am delighted to see them compared to each other at similar ages.
Go Vertical: Hang mirrors vertically to give more height to the room
How simple is this tip? ALL of my mirrors were hung horizontally, so that was an easy fix. One of the best changes Janie made was to move a large mirror in my dining room that had previously hung horizontally over a couch in my den. The old dining room mirror (also horizontal)
was far too small for the space.
The result has much greater impact and the bare wall in the den is now an eye-rester.
Janie’s honed eye elevated our collection beyond my imagination. You can deck your walls Janie Molster-style if you start with a blank canvas, make thoughtful groupings and hang mirrors vertically.
Many thanks to Janie and her project manager Robin Framme for their assistance with this post.