decorating outside the "box"

Most things we put on our walls have right angles — square or rectangular art, picture frames, shadow boxes — all with hard lines. Combine that with our square door ways, wall corners and most windows and that makes for a pretty square pad.

(This is the light that hangs in my foyer, it's from an antique shop in Fells Point,
it was blue so I spray painted it bronze. When its lit the scroll shapes project all over the walls—it's lovely)

There's nothing wrong with square, but as always, I encourage you to mix things up a bit and add in architectural elements that have curves and texture and add another shape to your decor. A first choice may be a metal scroll piece from a local retailer, and that's a great place to start.

(Anchors, as shown in the January House Beautiful issue,
"the wooden anchors are probably old signage or theatrical props")

But I want to encourage you to take it one step further. Visit a local second hand store, antique store, consignment shop or architectural salvage shop (if you are in the Baltimore area, Second Chance is a wonderful resource) and look for pieces with unique qualities and shapes.

The picture above, from House Beautiful (great decor mag BTW), shows two amazing anchors hung above a bed. Their texture, shape and scale add a great element to the otherwise pristine room. I'm sure hanging them proved to be a challenge, but as I always say, "if there's a will there's a way." I love that they are unexpected and not in their neighbor's home.

(This "G" is made out of craft paper. I bought it at JoAnn Fabrics and faux painted it to look like metal and hung it on a client's wall to break up the right angles of the surrounding art ("G" is the first letter in her last name, so it's not a random letter, although it is a great looking letter if you happen to be so lucky to have it in your name!)

In my shopping travels I love to find pieces that will stand out, initiate a conversation (I once bought an old exterior house light and took off the metal scroll inserts and hung them on my bathroom wall...(I need to find a picture for posting, huh?). Strange, maybe? Unique and interesting? Definitely!

So the next time you need "just the right thing" for your wall, skip the local retailers and try visiting a new shop, go in with your mind open and see what you are drawn to. It doesn't have to be something be made to hang on a wall, you just need to find a way to make it hang! If you love it you will find a spot for it in your home. And, if you don't know where to put it send me an email, I'd love to help!

What are your favorite places to shop for unique pieces? Click on the "comments" button and let me know. Need a few ideas? Leave a comment on that too.


Kathleen Ellis said...

"G" reat post! I love shopping at resale shops, thrift shops and even yard sales for unique things to hang and set out on "display". Once you get those creative juices flowing it's hard to restrain yourself!
Have a fabulous weekend, April!

Maureen said...

Very Helpful and inspiring. I really enjoy picking up things when you travel, especially local handmade pieces, which can transport you to that time and place. I do sometimes run into problems with hanging or displaying atypical objects. I will have to adopt the "where there is a will there is a way" philosophy.
Thanks April

Maureen said...

Very helpful and inspiring. I really like picking up things when I travel, especially local handmade items. They can transport you to that time and place. I do find difficulty sometimes hanging or displaying atypical items. I need to adopt your "where there is a will there is a way" philosophy.
Thanks April