Wow. I took a textiles class in college, and tried my hand at tapestry... which means I know just enough to know that this beautiful wall hanging took absolutely forever to weave. And the colors are wonderful!
Sadly I didn't take any closeup shots so you could see the talented tapestry-makers' skill. But maybe this zoomed-in view will help. Look how the duck on the left is "hiding" in the leaves. The more you look at it, the more charming it is.
This thing was pretty big - maybe five feet tall and seven feet wide. That meant it wouldn't fit on just any wall. Fortunately the homeowners did have a spot for it... about thirteen feet in the air.
We had to get out a couple of sturdy ladders for this, but the final effect was worth it. I really like the way the colors tie in with the sofa.
One of the challenges we had was deciding how to center this piece. As you can see, it hangs over a kitchen peninsula that's off center. The pendant lights are also off center. The best thing you can do in situations like this is have a couple of people hold it up while you step back and see where you like it.
We also installed this large blue piece in their dining room. This one was tricky as well, because they had ceramic tile which we had to drill through in order to add the hangers. If you have a situation like this, just let us know so we can bring the best bit for the job.
Over in their kitchen was a delightful row of still life paintings. Our clients mentioned that the artist who painted these had started his career in his seventies. His sense of color was incredible.
Wallpaper has been trending for a few years now, and one of our clients recently lucked into a house that came with the most wonderful horses-and-hounds wallcovering. Since it can be nearly impossible to patch holes in wallpaper if you make a mistake, they called us in to make sure the job was done right.
I was interested to see what they chose to install here. They continued the horsey theme but used a Western print which nevertheless included many of the same colors. What a story this image tells! It immediately brings to mind those vintage kids' adventure stories, like maybe a Western version of National Velvet.
They also had us hang three little prints in a row below it. Matted pieces like this can be a great choice to hang over wallpaper, because the white mats give the eye a little rest and set the artwork off from the background.
Across the room, the Western theme continued with a view of a wagon train. The homeowners had recently moved back east, making a jump from the Rockies to the Smokies so to speak, and they had a lot of Americana showing the early cowboy era.
The master bedroom also had a wonderful wallcovering which paired well with this print by Albert Bierstadt. It just goes to show that chinoiserie wallpaper doesn't require you to lean into a "grandmillenial" theme. These papers are so classic that they really work with almost any other traditional style.
Apparently this Bierstadt was a vintage print bought by the homeowner's family a long time ago. They had historic ties to the land pictured here, so they were proud to say that the original version of the painting hangs in the White House.
I love hearing stories like this. People sometimes think of prints as cheap throwaway art, but I've seen several examples of them getting reverently passed down in the family because of the history attached to them. And a good-quality print will hold its colors for many years.
The homeowners went with more of a globe-trotting theme in the den, with a grid-style gallery wall of vintage travel posters. These can be difficult to install on your own because they have to line up just right in order to look good. Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve to make everything look ship-shape.
Our clients definitely had a flair for working with patterns without tipping over into Maximalism. Notice how their diamond-pattern curtains work with their tufted sofa.
If you like that, you'll love this vignette in their guest bedroom. With a handmade bed and colorful throw pillows like these, who needs art?
But actually, this is an example of how a couple of small pieces of wall art can complete a space. These two little pictures tied in with the pillows and quilt to bring the room together. Plus they help make sense of that funny little closet door that's tucked under the eave.
If you're working with wallpaper and want to leave as few holes as possible, give us a call. We'll make sure each piece is installed correctly.
My favorite phone calls come when someone is unpacking after moving to Asheville and realizing that they are absolutely swamped with art and can't decide where to hang it. That was the case for one of our recent clients, who had just downsized to the Givens Estates, which is a local retirement home. She was now in a two-bedroom condo, and she needed to find homes for her upsized art collection.
What a charming lady she was! I was delighted by the pictures she had curated over the years.
Our largest project involved designing a salon-style layout that covered most of one wall. We laid it out on the floor first, and sort of liked the arrangement, but we weren't at 100%. So we let it sit while we attended to other pictures. In the meantime, her daughters dropped by and helped us shuffle them around until everyone was satisfied. Sometimes you have to let things percolate a bit before you hang everything up.
The final layout was really appealing. She had more than just classical and impressionist paintings; there were also several sculptures to arrange, including a very fragile ceramic chain which had to handled with the utmost care.
We left a little extra space on the left-hand side, where those brown boxes are, because she plans to have a custom bookcase installed. That's the only downside to helping people move in... we don't always get to see the final results.
On the right-hand side of the arrangement was a captivating little bust which I called The Professor. Our client said he was actually a waiter in Paris. She had spent many years there, and she had acquired some very charming paintings of that city.
Across the room was an arresting watercolor spotlighted by its own lamp. I didn't ask who painted it, but I have my suspicions...
We also installed this very heavy old mirror over a chest of drawers.
Actually, I should say that we re-installed it. The movers had hung it originally, but it was crooked. Even worse, when we took it down, we found that they had used inadequate hangers which probably would have failed someday and sent the mirror crashing to the ground.
I suppose I can't blame them... not everyone has personally tested the sturdiness of the picture hangers they use. They rely on the weight guidelines shown on the box, which is often a very optimistic number in our experience. When hanging heavy mirrors, we always overcompensate on the hanger. It doesn't cost much more, and it gives us peace of mind.
Here's another example of a "wall of stories." This gallery wall layout went into the client's office, and it includes several captivating wedding photos from her family. The prettiest bride was her daughter in the lower left. Look how her wedding dress resembles the opening bud of a flower. I felt sure that this must have been an expensive couture gown, but in fact, the bride designed and sewed the dress herself!
There were a few other amusing stories as well, but I'll save those for another day.
If you're relocating to Asheville and you need someone to help hang your pictures, we'll be happy to help! We can't wait to see the thrilling tales behind your collection.
9:00 am to 5:00 pm, M-F
Owner: Arthur Teel
113 Rector Branch Road
Marshall, NC 28753