Last week, featured collector Nelly Anderson talked about “consider(ing) the tiny shrine” which got us thinking about our more diminutive pieces in the Gallery and how to best incorporate them into our home and workspaces. When thinking about our own collections, we tend to get caught up in the idea of the square/rectangle-framed-traditional-wall-hanging. But what about smaller pieces where do they fit in our spaces?
Here’s a great thing about art and personal collections: mixing scale, tone, media, and shape can be more eye-catching and individualistic than homogenous collections— depending on your personal aesthetic.
So here are five tips for incorporating smaller pieces into your space…
Consider the tiny shrine...Consider the tiny shrine. As Nelly put it, “Whether you live in a huge house or a tiny flat, create small pockets of beauty.” You can do this by making space for collections of similarly-sized pieces or leave room around individual pieces so the eye is drawn in and to the moment. These masks by Stacey Johnson would look great propped up on a small table by themselves or in a collection of other organic objects.
Make a statement... Smaller pieces can sometimes get swallowed by the bigger objects in a room. So make a special place for your more compact objects. This can be a bold statement like a smaller painting in the middle of a gallery wall of larger pieces or a singular, minimalist cleared-off surface. An Ed Willford sculpture makes a statement on its own or in the midst of a room.
Never underestimate the collage… If your tastes tend toward the eclectic (our’s definitely do!), then it can be super fun to mix and match size, color, placement, shape, and more. Collages don’t necessarily have to be in the form of a gallery wall. Create depth by layering pieces on tables in front of walls larger paintings can serve as pseudo-frames for smaller sculptures in front of them. Just make sure you’re not eclipsing anything! We’ve had our eye on David Rawlinson’s watercolor paintings (our favorite is Clarksdale). These paintings would look lovely in a collection of other themed objects.
Small art doesn’t overwhelm… Real talk— I (Shannon) moved from a huge, airy apartment with white(ish) walls and wood floors to a small duplex with brightly colored walls that doesn’t always match my collection of art. So we had to really rethink how we displayed what we have. Our smaller pieces have a better chance to shine in our new place. Many of Benny Melton’s paintings are less than a 12 inches— perfect for a smaller wall or shelf.
Think off the wall… You can find space for smaller art almost anywhere. You don’t have to hang everything on the wall at eye-level. Sometimes you can make a bigger impact by leaning smaller pieces against walls or placing them on bedside tables, dressers, counter space, and more. Andrew McIntyre creates beautiful ceramic pieces for use and for aesthetic.These pieces look great sitting in front of a gallery wall on a table or themselves on a dining room table.