Some look at a big, empty wall and see opportunity. Others, who are less optimistic, think: Oh, no. When faced with a blank canvas, you usually have two options: Embrace it as is and profess yourself a minimalist or fill the void with artwork. The latter is definitely the most popular choice; unless you’re a natural at spatial planning and have amassed a substantial collection, mapping out a gallery is a daunting task. If only it were as easy as 1, 2, 3…
Angela Chrusciaki Blehm’s vivacious Georgia home got us thinking it just might be. Where most would stagger framed photos or prints, the artist hung a few of her jumbo ribbon sculptures going up the stairs. The dynamic pieces instill a sense of movement and dimension—and it only took three to get the job done.
The trick to mastering your own 3-D display is cohesion: Choose items that are similar in color, shape, and material. (Hint: Sticking to one artist’s work is the simplest way to achieve uniformity.) Then follow the rule of three. A few of our favorite combinations for covering a bare wall:
The Neon Collective
Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao’s Wooden Wall Works series uses intersecting planes to bounce light and reflect color around a space. Their names (one is called Fruit Basket and another Sun Slice) are as fun as the stuff you can leave out on the shelves. In their Brooklyn home, the artist couple topped the ledges with painted rocks.
The Otherworldly Threesome
MYFAWNWY’s cosmo-inspired collection for Urban Outfitters is all about fluidity. Whatever object or image is being reflected by the asymmetrical blobs of glass becomes a work of art in its own right. Ranging from a 26-inch-tall floor mirror to an 11-inch flower-shaped frame, the hand-marbled pieces also offer an opportunity to play around with scale.
The Purple Party
Nashville-based creative Brett Douglas Hunter crafts his wonderfully weird sculptures to be a little ambiguous. (Is that a bug or a human? The sun or a flower?) This plum-colored threesome, crafted from a fibrous cement mixture, is just as beguiling as a whole cabinet of curiosities.
The Chunky Trio
There are plenty of subtle ways to introduce texture (woven baskets, velvet upholstery), but Amelia Briggs’s exaggerated Poly-fil panels are not one of them. The puffy pieces were inspired by toys she played with as a child, giving them an air of nostalgia.
The Geo Melody
West Elm’s set of five individual iron-and-wood cutouts can be arranged in an infinite amount of ways. Layer them to look like three stand-alone installations; keep them separate and spread them out to soak up space; or keep them close together to create the illusion of one giant (and expensive-looking) work of art.