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Out of the box: Wall art that’s not a framed picture


Here’s a thought, wall art doesn’t always have to be framed print. Say what?

Pretty much any object you can think of can be mounted onto a wall – you just need the right screws and hooks. Then there are murals, mirrors, signs and collages… the list goes on.

Here are 11 wow-factor alternatives to conventional wall art.

1. Murals

For an all-encompassing effect, you can’t go past an artist-commissioned mural. Just make sure it fits with your home’s style and space.

When the director of vintage furniture directory That Retro Piece, Stan Savellis, discovered the Austin Powers-esque, time-warp wall mural in his yet-to-be-purchased Sydney home, he couldn’t believe his luck.

A match made in mid-century heaven. Picture: Julie Crespel

2. Hangings

A fabric wall hanging, or even a rug (traditional Moroccan and Peruvian style, for example) can make a stunning statement on gaping wall space.

Owner of furniture hire business Good Day Rentals, Kate Forsyth, loves her Charlotte Swiden hanging.

This beautiful wall hanging is by Melbourne-based, Swedish-born artist Charlotte Swiden. Picture: Erinna Giblin

3. Macrame

After finding its footing in the 1970s, macrame came back onto the interiors scene a few years ago.

The hangings add a dash of bohemian beauty to the starkest modern spaces, working beautifully with plants or clustered with other artworks.

Bring neon wool into your macrame design, or stick with untreated wool for a more raw feeling. Picture: Tamara Graham

4. 3D objects

Have you ever attempted layering 3D objects on your walls? The Designory’s Head Designer Margo Reed swears by this trick: One of her favourite wall decals is actually a hanging Christmas decoration.

Far left: Christmas decoration from The Designory’s homewares store, The Design Hunter. Picture: Jeremy Simons

In the home of Sydney illustrator Carmen Hui, you’ll find plenty of found objects adorning the walls. This giant Pepsi-Cola lid was a market find from Japan and takes pride of place below the stairs.

Almost anything can be a wall decal – you just need the right hook. Picture: Tamara Graham

5. Sculpture

A wall-mounted sculpture can really bring your walls to life – literally! Go for a glitzy, Miami-mansion look with brass giraffe heads, or tribal with wood-carved elephants, as in the home of artist Lara Scolari, below.

Wood-carved sculpture can bring a sense of worldliness to your walls . Picture: Tamara Graham

6. Antlers

Antlers are having a moment right now – and we’re loving the sense of true Nordic style they bring to clean, minimalist spaces.

The Designory’s head designer Margo Reed found her pair on eBay.

Try hanging crystals or ornaments off your antlers to add another layer. Picture: Jeremy Simons

7. Feathers

Feathers are about to be big – just ask Jessica Ormsby, a former buyer for Temple and Webster and founder of La Abode.

This giant, purple feather wall feature sits in the hero spot above her fireplace mantle.

Purple feathers above the fireplace? Why not. Picture: Tamara Graham

8. Clocks

Just because it’s a functional item, doesn’t mean a clock can’t be beautiful and make a statement, too. These vintage wall clocks do exactly that – and adorn the bedroom walls of vintage furniture lover and second-hand store owner, Stan Savellis.

If you’re a light sleeper, just beware of the ticking from your beautiful clock. Picture: Julie Crespel

9. Signs

If you’ve never been one to shy away from colour, then neon signs may be your perfect form of wall art.

Still-life stylist Adam Powell has an obsession with neon – and his home is a veritable shrine to the stuff.

Flash: Lighting and art in one. Picture: Tamara Graham

10. Mirrors

For small houses and apartments, mirrors make a great alternative to art because they give the illusion of more space – covering your walls without cramping you in.

It’s basic style trickery 101.

Keep mirror frames the same colour as your walls to strengthen the illusion of additional space. Picture: Tamara Graham

11. A collage

Go one better than your teen bedroom corkboard – yep, you know the one with the netball premiership flag and numerous pictures of your friends – and create a collage inspiration board, with style.

Think Polaroids of people and places you love, important everyday reminders – and even some of your fave jewellery.

When home organisation actually looks good. Picture: Tamara Graham

Read more: First-home décor mistakes you’re probably guilty of

This article was originally published as Out of the box: Wall art that’s not a framed picture by and is written by Alice Bradley.

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