Art drives up the wall

Design

Art drives up the wall

Our walls and the way they are done say a lot about our state of mind and our choices. Different people do up their walls differently – some inspire and some stand out while some simply evoke a feeling of peace and calm. All it takes is some creative energy and time, writes Swati Kapur

Botanical, coastal, Zen, foodie, seascapes, maps, organic, solid colours — whichever idea stream you relate to, it’s just a matter of infusing it with a bit of creativity till it imprints your walls and your very environment. However, if inspiration is what you’re looking for, it calls for some serious mental exercise. For the next few days observe your surroundings and focus your mind on the subtle aspects that pull you. It could be a flower, a colour, a fruit, a painting, a dance, food, certain aromas or just how you feel at any given moment — focus on just about anything. Now pick your top two or three inspirations and associate colours, objects or feelings with them.

For example you associate with peach the fruit. Now look for what other colours and textures merge well with the colour. Turquoise can add a dimension to the natural peach. So you have your two colours and all you need to do is think of ways to get them on the wall. Go for a broad striped wall in peach and turquoise or create a mural with objects in turquoise and peach in ceramic, clay or even exotic shells for that matter.  Let your imagination run in all directions and let there be no stopping. Look for artefacts, sculptures in metal, clay and wood, ceramic art work or antique objects safely tucked in some attic.

Art speaks

People’s take on art is evolving. What they see outside, they want it indoors too. So from the Statue of Liberty to a tropical forest – it can all come alive on your walls. It’s difficult to find good artists who can revive your walls and create magic. The good news is they are not difficult to find. Raje Chauhan from Delhi has worked wonders on many walls. “I first try to understand the client’s art need and available space and then suggest ideas to match,” says Raje. It takes weeks to develop the final product but the wait is worthwhile. Bhajju Shyam, a leading practitioner of Gond art from Madhya Pradesh, has created a tree mural at Chennai’s Tara Books, a publishing house. “It’s an ongoing process and I will keep working on it on each of my future visits to Chennai,” says Shyam. If traditional is your calling, look for Bhil and Magahi artists from tribal Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Children can be encouraged to create their own wall graffiti. You may like to invest in some erasable paints though.

Green walls

Vases on the walls are an amazing way to bring some green inside. They look great, and you can try putting in different flowers like button roses in vibrant colours. Mix and match the vase and flower shades to either go with the wall paint or strike a contrast with it. So to a yellow wall, add red button roses. On a burnt orange wall, bunch clay pots with real flowering plants or perhaps fabric lookalikes if maintenance is such a big issue. Live moss can be an interesting rendering to an exterior wall. Grow moss in pre-designed patterns. Keep it alive by sprinkling water. Monsoon season supports this kind of creation.

Got some old china that you don’t want to use anymore? Take them up the wall. Don’t bother to create a set with similar plates and bowls. Strikingly different sets would also do. Add a dash of gold to a rusty wall for a perfect oriental effect. Or keep it  elegantly Victorian on a white wall. Steel too could find its right place if placed creatively. And then there are the gifted etched ones that need to find some corner in the house. Here’s your new found place for items that were once homeless.

Have parts of the wall painted with abstract designs, or landscapes. Now position a mirror on the opposite wall. The effect will echo across the space. Canvas paintings have the ability to break the monotony of any wall and add colour and warmth. Abstract wall art goes well with contemporary and minimalist styles of modern home decor, while warm canvasses gel well with country-style home set ups. Old silk sarees and printed fabrics can also form a piece of art. All you need are some Kanjeevaram borders and patch them up with Chikankari work or art prints. Old baby frocks and booties too can go up the wall and make for a cute memorabilia.

Other options

An expansive floating shelf adds character to a blank wall. Add life to it with books and pictures. For a larger wall, position shelves in an arrangement. Mirrors are always a safe bet. Try an oversize mirror to cover a large wall. This once-dull corner will instantly come alive with the mirror in a bright blue or yellow frame. Metallic or rusted look frames are best if you want to create an old world charm.

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