March 13, 2017
Plan your large space with easy access to specific tasks in mind.

My partner and I admit to being intimidated by art, what’s supposed to be good, and how to hang it. We have eclectic tastes and simply fill our walls any way that fits. Have you any tips? Thank you.

Dear Jane;

Our collections reflect our journey through life; they change and grow as we do; they are special and worthy of celebration. Favourite pictures make any space your home the minute you hang them up. It may be an object that you discovered long ago that connects you with happy thoughts., a concert poster, a series of seasonal sketches, a breathtaking photograph, or all of the above

I am often asked how to hang these collections, what goes with what, do they have to match, do they need frames? It can be daunting to face a bare wall and envision how to exhibit your treasures. I was particularly intrigued by Salon style art exhibits, and how so many pictures could hang together and not overwhelm each other. I visited with Tammy Yiu, co-founder of Partial Gallery, to learn more about this skill, and her advice was encouraging. “There are no rules,” she admitted, “or if there are, they are meant to be broken. You are putting together a large puzzle, a mega-picture. And the intrigue and fun is how you braid unexpected pieces together.”

Helpful hints ... pick a theme and make a statement. It could be seasonal, sports related, a particular colour, a specific subject, or as Yiu has done here, a collection of what interests you or things that you love at the moment. Hint #2: incorporate family heirlooms, photos or artwork into the grouping. Hint #3: pay attention to framing, it shows respect for the picture. It can be expensive, but it is worth it.

The dining room wall shown here illustrates the many-layered appeal of the Salon style. Each of these elements could stand (or hang) on their own, but there is a special magic in the mix. To the left are a series of three works by Anahita Azahimi from her series collagediet, collage and ink on paper. They are float mounted. Drift, a bold oil on canvas by Emal J. De Lanerolle, is the centerpiece, albeit not centered. We are seeing many large canvas paintings gallery wrapped, where the canvas wraps around a wood frame rather than adding a frame outside the picture. An archival print on fine art paper by Adria Mirabelli gives way to abstract shapes and mono shades, strong enough to balance with Drift. And then, a very personal note, Yiu has mounted and framed a Chinese “Poem to Granddaughter” she received from her grandfather. Her sense of style and whimsy continues with the final piece in her mega-picture, a steel sculpture, which is in fact a laundry hanger.

The art on your wall tells a story about who you are. If you are looking for a special piece of art, but are reticent to buy, Partial Gallery is an art rental and sales service. Their online catalogue found at is filled with wonderful art by contemporary artists. Rental gives you the chance to live with the art for 3, 6 or 9 months, and then decide. Wherever you live, check your local art store for rental services such as this. Show off your personality, celebrate your passions.

Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to You can follow Debbie on Twitter at, and visit Debbie’s new website,