This stunningly dressed apartment in a period conversion is the work of Pandora Taylor. It’s part of a group of buildings, focused around the 18th Century Kidderpore Hall (most recently used by King’s College), which has resulted in a set of unique spaces. Including this double height living room with huge, high-level windows.
“It was important to me that the interiors felt connected to the historical past of the site, so we used antiques from a variety of era’s throughout the property, from Georgian cabinets to Jacobean dining chairs. My absolute favourite piece is the beautiful verdure tapestry sourced from Retrouvius. It not only brings needed warmth and texture to the room, but also emphasises the 4 metre high ceilings and creates a dramatic focal point.” Pandora Taylor.
Whilst each room has its own distinct feel, what is consistent throughout is the use of contemporary art. Pandora spent a lot of time researching and finding new and up-coming artists, and this project can teach us a lot about displaying art in general.
Art Collections Take Time
You may have moved into a new house with a daunting amount of blank walls to fill, but take your time. Or perhaps you’ve been meaning to give that staircase wall some love for a while now. But remember, art collections from different eras and different sources will always look more curated and rounded than a gallery wall sourced from the same online store. Anyone can do that. But if you want your own personality and interests to shine through, it’s worth waiting for the right piece. And it will mean shopping around. Not just in art shops, but in second hand shops (or try eBay and car boot sales), craft shops (also try Etsy for independent artists) and at local art exhibitions.
Consider Size and Position When Buying and Hanging Art
There’s no doubt that over-sized artworks create more impact in a room. Especially if your ceilings are as high as they are here. Lots of conversions result in disproportionately tall walls and instead of trying to fill them with lots of different pieces, one huge canvas, tapestry or poster will look more considered. It will also balance out the effect of furniture that is made for more conventional sized rooms. As illustrated by the large tapestry over the sideboard in Pandora’s room. And by the flamingo artwork that successfully deceives the eye into not noticing the change of ceiling height from kitchen to dining room.
Smaller Pieces of Art Work Best When Hung in Groups
Since the popularity of the gallery wall I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t know this. But groups of paintings don’t necessarily have to be hung central to the wall or the furniture either. Pandora has hung art above the sofa in the living room but it isn’t in the centre of the sofa, or indeed centred between the sofa and the windows above. And it is a casual grouping with frames and corners that are not at all lined up. This would make it much easier to add to the collection at a later date, but it also breaks up the symmetry in an otherwise quite formal room. It is balanced however. By the tall plant at one end and the floor lamp at the other (see the first image above).
Use Picture Shelves to Create a Fluid Display
The picture shelves in this workspace corner not only emphasise its function but also create an opportunity to have an ever-changing display. They are also handy for displaying book covers, record albums, small mementos and other things that would be more difficult to frame and hang on the wall.
Hang Art in Relation to Other Things
This is especially true when smaller artworks are hung. Consider the relationship between the art and the furniture and ignore any rules about hanging art at eye level. The bedrooms in this apartment demonstrate this beautifully. Create small vignettes with bedside tables, lamps, plants and art. Imagine you are taking a photograph for Instagram and have to keep the composition tight. Or if the artwork is horizontal in shape instead of portrait, hang it closer to the headboard than you would normally hang art.
Mix Things Up
Finally, not all art has to be framed and hung on the wall. A home should be a constantly evolving project and nothing says this more than a hint that there are changes afoot. A mixture of hung art and art leaning against a wall looks more casual and lived in. But not only that, adding artwork to vertical surfaces also gives height to collections and fills in blank spaces that is pleasing to the eye.
The studio, Pandora Taylor, was set up by its namesake in June 2018. Prior to that, Pandora worked as Senior Interior Designer at Kitesgrove, a quietly assured design practice specialising in high-end, private residential work. It was here she developed a taste for designing her own furniture as well as honing an informal, playful design style.