Salon Style Art Hanging

Salon Style Art hanging has become quite the rage in interior design.  It helps one portray lots of information and memories on one wall. The key to this art installation is setting up your composition and THEN swinging the hammer. Not the other way around.

How to do this, is by taking the size of the wall space, and measuring off another area so that one can lay down all of the objects. You can use the floor or a large table, and move them around in groupings until a balanced pattern emerges. To keep it simple you can use your largest piece as the center piece and build a pattern around that with medium sized frames and objects, working your way to the smallest pieces, which will be on the outside of the pattern you have created.

Savvy retailers like West Elm have created a Salon Style Art wall with frames one can purchase in all different sizes and then install like the image of the layout which is provided. They are calling them Gallery Frames

Lighting: the Good, Bad, and the Fabulous.

Selecting lighting can be quite a daunting task. First step to accomplishing this well, and not blow your budget, is to ask yourself, what types of lights do I really need and use? A well lit space uses lots of lighting options.

Here is a quick and easy guide to what certain type of lighting is for. Let's start from the top of a space and build down.

Option 1: Overhead/ceiling mount, chandeliers, and pendant lights fill a space with down light that is directional or bleeds. 

Chandeliers and pendant lighting tend to have more directional lighting and are usually an attractive light fixture, which enhances your interior furnishings as well as give off a type of light which could be soft or strong.  Overhead lights tend to be functional and can be various types of lighting like recessed, track, and finally, the single light fixture with cover. 

One of the issues when shopping overhead lighting is how to navigate “Hard Wire” vs. “Plug In”.  Most chandeliers are sold as hardwire, which means you need an electrical box in the ceiling to which the pendant attaches to for the electricity and the support. If you don’t have this in your ceiling, or if it is not in the location you need it to be, purchase the plug in option.  All this is, is a socket attached to an electrical cord, which is long enough to reach your wall socket, where it will be plugged in.  And to suspend the chandelier from the ceiling, you would need a ceiling screw. Try to get a cord cover or a color of cord, which is not unsightly. Your local lighting store can prepare a cord for you at your desired length. In San Francisco, I go to Yury's on Divisadero Street. Tell him I say hi.

 Task, and task lamps, provide ambient light that might warm up a dreary corner and side table, or give off intense and direct light to a tasking area. Here is a nice and affordable table lamp that you can use from West Elm

Wall sconces, floor lights, and cove lighting can display a type of pattern and or "highlight" an architectural detail or object.

The best-designed rooms have all of this type of lighting. As a rule of thumb, I like to use around 5 of the above lighting options when illuminating a space with electricity. 

Decorating in small spaces

Being an interior designer in a booming city like San Francisco, means tackling a lot of smaller spaces and getting the best use and look out of them. It's essentially a study in ergonomics and balancing out the natural light, if any in a space.  

A current client needed to maximize her heavily used living room where lots of people gather and play games, eat, and drink. Most of you think, dark leather, dark floors and small coffee table so you can have as much seating as possible. I did the exact opposite for her and it turned out to be a beautiful and fresh space. 

We shopped for the majority of her products at the Los Angeles based, HD Buttercup which recently had opened up their second store in San Francisco's SOMA district.

Here are some basic rules that will help you get what you deserve and need out of your living room:

Rule number one: only two people will sit on a sofa....it does not matter how long it is. Try to maximize the seating availability by adding sitting chairs and smaller sofas. I found this lovely settee for her on Overstock.


Rule number two: if natural light is available, maximize it. If there is a glare and it's, too bright, soften the walls with a color or wallcovering, so the light in the room is balanced. 

Rule number three: make sure the carpet grounds the space and goes underneath the main seating arrangement.  There might be multiple seating areas, but use your rug to set the area of space that will be the focus. A carpet or rug that is too small kills a design every time.

Rule number four: Go for lighter colors in the upholstery to help with the light feeling in the room and contact a reputable stain treatment company like Fiber Seal who warrantees all stain removal.

Rule number five: Don't be afraid of color, use it where you can, and make sure it harmonizes with all of the spaces.  Cohesiveness it the key to a good design. We punched up the neutral space with these panels and matching rug from Pottery Barn.