Interiors: Don't own any art? Make your own. We explore a growing trend for framing beloved objects

Laura Ivill
Parahaliea by Johannes Albers ($1,200). Courtesy Other Criteria

Bringing our homes alive with personality and creativity isn’t just about hanging pictures on walls, especially if we don’t own a Warhol or a Hirst.

It’s now de rigeur to think inside the box and display meaningful physical objects in box-frames, or mount prized items, such as decorative scarfs, LP covers or birthday cards, so that they ‘float’.

“Artwork can either be very expensive or it’s mass produced,” says Giacomo Ribolla of the interior design duo Johnson Ribolla, “so framing unusual things is a creative way to use objects to decorate your house and bring a personal touch.”

For Ribolla’s showflat at the prestigious One Tower Bridge development, he mounted a graphic Alexander McQueen scarf in a large frame to stamp a sense of identity and a modern flourish onto the walls of the guest bedroom.

“It doesn’t need to be a piece of art to be something special and make you stop and look,” he says, citing the V&A as a world of inspiration for showcasing objects in interesting ways.

Framing scarves is a trend that Liz Stott, gallery manager at Nelly Duff, has been seeing a lot of lately. On Columbia Road, E2, Nelly Duffy is an influential gallery for street, tattoo and graphic art, and one of those fab finds, where art editions and original pieces don’t have to be pricey. It offers a framing service for the art on sale and also for anyone who wants to drop in with a piece they already own.

“For a scarf we use a box frame and stretch it out, ‘floating’ the scarf inside,” Stott says. “Occasionally we might sew it or dry mount it to get it flat. There’s definitely a trend for ‘floating’ artwork forwards. We have mounted album covers, too; the weirdest thing was a Babygro, signed all over.”

Framed cat mask by Rosie Broad

In the shop Other Criteria, founded by Damien Hirst, online but also at his Newport Street Gallery, SE11, you find a wealth of artistic objects, from a £4.95 Hirst kaleidoscope bag (entitled I am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds) to porcelain editions of his Myth and Legend sculptures (up to £67,000). Other Criteria sells work by the contemporary artist Misha Milovanovich, including her collection of silk scarves.

Pukki, in a limited-edition of three, comes with a certificate in a presentation box (£680). At 1.3m x 1.3m you get a lot of wallcovering for your money.

Read more: David Bowie's art collection is going under the hammer

Or how about making something yourself? This season, head down to Flat Iron Square, just opened on the new ‘low-line’ of SE1, where Tinct has a programme of workshops. Tonja Grung will show you butterfly mounting (17 Nov, 7-9pm, £50) and on 26 Nov the craft is ‘festive taxidermy mouse’ (£55). That’s sure to get your house guests talking.


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