One of the goals of small space living is to shift emphasis away from belongings, and redirect time and energy towards experiences instead. One of the ways we practice this philosophy and further simplify our lives at the Cottage is by finding alternatives to traditional wall art.
I feel the need to preface this by sharing that I'm a fervent lover of the Arts. My mother has been a champion of arts education, and she made sure that her own children were immersed in the arts. I've worked professionally and enthusiastically with galleries, museums, and libraries for over a decade. I am an avid believer that art experiences and appreciation are vitally important for people of every age and background.
But now, with finite walls and very limited storage options in general, we have to get creative in devising places to store our essentials for daily life. As such, I no longer regard our walls as being reserved strictly for 2-d art. Luckily, hanging a basket, guitar, plate, or scarf can be beautiful, AND save storage space. Plus you can change up your look with ease by swapping out pieces, while allotting spots here and there for more traditional works of art that speak to you.
So grab a scarf off your wall and step out! Let’s go to galleries, become museum members, support street artists, and visit art fairs with the folks we love. And when you're back home, take a quick moment to consider these easy, inexpensive, and practical ways to liven up lil' walls:
USE THEM FOR STORAGE
Create functional, decorative walls by artfully hanging select everyday items. This will free up valuable space in your drawers and cabinets.
OPEN THEM UP WITH MIRRORS
No new news here-- we all know that mirrors can help make a small space feel larger. Reflect light and open up a room by using an oversized mirror, or give your walls more depth by using multiple smaller sizes.
BRING THEM TO LIFE WITH PLANTS
Plants will immediately make a home feel more inviting, while adding color and pattern, and even improving the air quality. I place most of our plants on invisible floating bookshelves. It's a quick and easy way to create a dynamic and easily updatable look at a very low cost. I don't even buy pots for the plants, and opt instead to continue using the containers in which the plants came. This makes everything even more affordable, while also ensuring that there's nothing to shatter if the plants tumble down during an earthquake.
GIVE THEM TEXTURE WITH CLIPPINGS
If you don't have the patience for plants but you still want the look, try dried items or clipped greenery. There are a myriad of ways to display lightweight bundles or branches from your walls.
TURN THEM INTO A LIBRARY
Put your books on double-duty by storing them in a decorative way.
COVER THEM WITH TEXTILES
You can decorate your walls with textiles without feeling like you're tossing up a tapestry from college. Repurpose beautiful rugs, blankets and scarves by bringing them up onto your walls.