The French Salon marked a democratic revolution, it was a time when artists began responding to their public observers as opposed to the royal order, painted subjects and styles changed, as did the accessibility of art to the lower classes. Originally invented in 1670s Paris, the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture) hung their exhibition of recent graduates in one hall, and in doing so, to fit them all into such a tight space, pieces were displayed cosily above and next to each other. By 1737, the exhibitions were open to the general public. Salons were held in the Salon Carré, or square room of the Louvre and occurred annually or bi-annually. These days the salon-style wall is more of an aesthetically pleasing and timeless trend than political statement, but one that even nowadays manages to draw us in with its ability to artfully decorate a great expanse of wall, or wow us with immense character and charm.
Perhaps it is time to overhaul your sprawling walls and inject some atmosphere and charisma with a series of interesting and stimulating salon-themed hangings—check out the following examples below and get creative redecorating your plain or uninspired space.
The most traditional look takes its cues from the original Parisian salons by ensuring that maximum wall space is utilised and each individual picture is perfectly placed with minimal gaps to create a sense of intrigue and excitement. Make a feature of your wall by sticking to the basics—white walls, timber herringbone parquet flooring and deep cobalt blue rug. Add to this a statement light fitting and warehouse style industrial shelving to mirror the imagery on the opposite wall and give a serious sense of style, class and charm.
Who says a salon wall needs to be full of priceless artworks? Make your space super useful by hanging a blank wall space with notes, to-do lists, photographs, lists and little pieces of inspiration. This example uses bulldog clips placed in several lines to allow an area that can be changed and altered with simply by removing one thing and replacing it with something new.
Not exactly a salon wall, but a salon style wall covering that evokes a sense of tribal art along with a rich ethnicity that is blended seamlessly with the leather lounge chair and timber drum. Choose this style of wall for real ‘wow-factor’ and an impressive space that incorporates the old with the new, and infuses a sense of worldliness into the space.
If hanging multiple pictures upon your walls seems too time consuming, or if in fact you don’t have any art to hang, then never fear, the salon inspired wallpaper will ensure you have a space reminiscent of something cross between an old newspaper and a Parisian bar. Deck your space out with rustic timber furnishings, oversised wall clock and contemporary dining table for a space that illustrates diverse style, depth and a sense of luxury.
If you have various types of art in your home, forget about putting them on an individual wall each—hang them where they will create a combined feature in your home and turn your domestic space into something creative and distinct.
Creating a salon wall in your home does not necessarily mean owning a pile of interesting artwork to trawl through and hang upon the wall, in fact, you can create one with simple bits and pieces to infuse a sense of organised chaos upon your wall, and inject your room with a individual sense of imagination. Choose a selection of images that you already own, they might include postcards, photos, found objects or old vintage book pages—simply purchase some inexpensive frames (or hunt some down in the second-hand store) and arrange them above the bed, for a space that is eclectic, orderly, and impromptu.