Children’s Artwork – Gallery Worthy!

The lines are our friends!

Ok, so let’s be honest with ourselves here, the lines never were my friends.  I hated the lines.  I could barely stand to stay inside the lines let alone use the standard 12 pack of Crayola crayons.

I had the 64 pack.  With the built in sharpener.  Suck it.

Anyway, if there is one thing that makes my job as a designer difficult, it is the selection of artwork. Artwork is subjective.  It’s personal.  It needs to speak to the occupant in some way shape or form.  To elicit a reaction, good or bad.  It’s a pain in the you know what.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love art.  I have a fair share of it hanging in my own house.  So much so that I ran out of walls in the principal rooms and Steve gives me that weird cock eyed stare anytime I even think about going to another fair or gallery or…. Apparently I’m just not allowed to have nice things. Or so I’m told.

The whole point is that the right artwork can not only make or break a space but should also have a connection to the homeowner.

Which is why I love children’s artwork.  Finger painted canvases.  Construction paper collages.  Books of feathers and crayon.  It’s personal.  It’s usually creative.  And by golly, what kid, young or old, doesn’t like to see his or her handiwork proudly displayed.

“I still have a book my nephew made where he was in preschool.  It’s a hot mess of feathers and crayons about the chicken and egg but I love it and will never throw it away.”

Angel Robinson, @writerobinson

But in this world of designer goodness where Architectural Digest rules the roost, just how do you get away with its display?  Personally, I’m all for treating it no different than any other piece of art.  Frame it, hang it amongst the Picassos (or is it Picassi?) and make ’em proud.

I’m not alone….

“I like to integrate my daughter’s artwork with real artwork and little vintage finds.”

Susyel dePedro Cunningham, @Tiltonfenwick

“We use the kiddo art as modern art for our home.”

Seth Fritz, @ToReplyAll

“I was going to collect as many refrigerator doors as possible, fill up an entire museum room with them and attach children’s artwork to the fridges.  With magnets of course!”

Jessica Gordon Ryan, @gimletstyle

“Even though my child artist isn’t young any longer, color blocking a wall is another way to highlight wee artist’s works of art.”

Maureen Break Coates, @MaureenCDecor

“I have a wire stretched out on a wall in the office and I decorated clothes pins with each kids name on them, and they hang their art there.  It’s great because they can reach it and they can see everyone’s art as well.”

Stacy Mendes Hargrove

Inspired yet?  Someone pass the finger paint will ya?

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9 thoughts on “Children’s Artwork – Gallery Worthy!

  1. My oldest son is now 22 and I have his artwork displayed from when he was 6 years old.

    • dcoopsd says:

      My mother still has clay sculptures of very weird shaped animals with lots of garlic press hair displayed in the family room. I made those in kindergarten.

  2. I love that you did this post. So inspiring! So many great ideas. The truth is the more sentimental an item is the more we adore it & see it as a masterpiece.

    • dcoopsd says:

      I think that one of the quickest ways to take an interior from “designed” to “home” is to include items of sentiment. There is nothing more sentimental than something a child made for you either many moons ago or last week.

  3. stitchfork says:

    Our house has quite a few framed pieces of my sons’ artwork from over the years .Recently some college friends of one son were visiting, and I overheard one say – wow, your mom cared enough to frame these and hang them.

    • I love your story @stitchfork! It makes me feel like all the years of saving, displaying and protecting pieces of my children’s past is worth it. I feel a bout of sadness for your son’s friend. Once a mom…

  4. Laura says:

    Reblogged this on Home Chi Home and commented:
    This is a great post. I have done this a bunch of times with my clients as well. Getting children’s art professionally framed, creating a wall in different sizes and styles gives it presence. It makes a room special.

    • dcoopsd says:

      I think, and not that kids don’t feel already, but it makes the children feel special too – “my *insert guardian here* thought my work was great enough to make part of their decor”. Warm and fuzzies all around!

  5. michelle says:

    I have an entire gallery wall for my son’s work. Here is a piece in the making… http://madlovefor.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/painting-in-pjs/

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