Finding art for curved walls, large, difficult or unusual interior spaces

Feb 9, 2023

People often come to me when they need artwork to fill challenging walls and spaces. No two places are alike, so making art that is flexible enough to respond to these challenges has always been a focus in my practice. I aim to create modular artwork that is elegant yet adaptable to any interior, whether that be private homes, commercial or hospitality interior settings. Here in the studio we’ve seen some really interesting spaces over the years, so I thought I’d share a selection of the trickier ones we have come across and how we met these challenges.

Art for large or long walls

Long rectangular walls can be trickier to style than you might think. In large spaces a single artwork often looks a bit lost and with art, scale is everything. Sometimes, you really do need an extra large art piece! Too small it can look cheap, but too large can overwhelm. Used well, art can do a lot: create moods, feelings and zones, emphasise the scale, lead the eye through the space or break up large walls. In the next images, my work helps to emphasise the generous scale of the space, whilst creating a sense of movement through a long large dynamic connecting space. large wall with ceramic wall art image showing a modern staircase and butterfly ceramic wall sculptures Image credit: Steffan Tollgard Interiors

The butterflies are arranged there to lead from a kitchen area into a connecting hallway with a staircase. I think the designer used them beautifully to create a sense of movement and draw the eye through the space. It is as though they are inviting you to follow their path through the space, and they have a rhythmical almost musical feel.

Artwork for curved walls and staircases

Styling a curved wall or staircase is a common issue that many home owners and stylists struggle to find appropriate artwork solutions for. These can be very tricky spaces, especially if they are large. When choosing art for a large curved wall, traditional large rectangular format artworks are not a good choice. Conventional canvasses and framed pieces just don’t work, because they can look a bit odd with the curve of the wall continuing behind the straight, flat artwork. Using modular work can really help here. Our pieces can adapt to the shape and size of the wall so that there are no shape clashes!

Titled “Flutter of one thousand wings” commissioned by Grantley Hall for their interior curved stairwell.

We worked with this client directly to create a plan that would suit this space whilst working with and emphasising the gorgeous curve of the wall and I love how it turned out! The three dimensional nature of the wall sculpture creates interesting texture and shadow too. You may not have considered installation art as an option, but in a lot of spaces it can work really well.

Choosing art for an stairwell, entryway or hallway

Hallways, stairs and entryways are by definition spaces that connect other spaces. They often have walls that increase in height due to stairways, multiple doors, narrow points and windows, so their walls may not simply fit one artwork. Using flexible modular pieces allows the work to flow with the space and emphasise it, often creating a sense of movement which is appropriate in a place that we travel through. Often it is the first area that guests will see in a home so a degree of wow factor might be what you’re looking for! Barbara Westbrook Interiors certainly achieved that here, with her choice of furniture and sculpture creating a sumptuous gallery feel to welcome guests:

Porcelain ceramic handcrafted butterfly wall art created by Elizabeth Prince Ceramics. Image by Barbara Westbrook Interiors.

I also love how designer Kyra Orr used my ceramic wall art flowers “Grace” in a tall hallway area over some stairs. They flow down the wall from the first floor to the ground floor, again creating a sense of curiosity as to where they lead and adding visual interest and a luxurious feel to the space.

Floral porcelain wall art Grace flowers by Elizabeth Prince Ceramics. Image by Kyra Orr Interiors.

In the next image, the porcelain butterflies take full advantage of the height in the stairwell and appear to float up the wall.

Custom white and gold porcelain butterfly ceramic artwork by Elizabeth Prince Ceramics. Image credit  – Lorna Leedy Interiors.

Art for hospitality and commercial interiors

Businesses have a lot going on! Any art they choose should first and foremost be appropriate for the brand. There are a lot of functions that can apply to art for commercial spaces, from creating photogenic areas for selfies to subtly signposting and leading people through a space.

Luxury hotel Grantley Hall commissioned the artwork below for a curved staircase connecting spaces with differing uses. At the top of the space is the fabulous Grantley Suite, often used for weddings and functions, leading down to the Valeria’s night club below, and behind the camera is a pan Asian restaurant, so quite a diverse range of uses. Each space needed the artwork to lead you to the next in an appropriate manner. Named “The flutter of a thousand wings” the ceramic artwork flows down the curved staircase and creates a sense of theatre and movement, leading you through the space and inviting you to explore it. At the beginning of the piece the butterflies cross over; a little nod to the newly weds that will be celebrating here having just “tied the knot” and there are lots of places for photographers and guests to take photos of themselves and their parties so that the business is organically promoted on social media.

Me having a little selfie spot photo!

Grantley Hall curved staircase with ceramic butterfly sculptures.

Because this hotel has incredible and historically significant gardens, I added foliage from them to the surface of some of the porcelain butterflies, to firmly root the work in this special place. I used lace in others to reference the many weddings that take place there, and shiny gold to link to the glamorous nightclub below. In addition, we designed a new secure screw fitting that works for these and some of our other artwork which makes them a better choice for a public area where guests may occasionally have had one too many! And of course, we designed the plan for this so that the work is largely out of reach. Before I made artwork, I was an interior designer for nearly a decade, so I am always happy to use this experience to create an appropriate artwork plan for a home or business to take the uncertainty out of a large purchase and make the most of the space.

“Flutter” – Ceramic butterfly wall art by Elizabeth Prince Ceramics

“Flutter” – Porcelain 3D butterfly wall artwork by Elizabeth Prince Ceramics in white and gold

A note on colour 

Artwork is a great way to to add colour, pattern and 3 dimensional interest to an interior. With my adaptable ceramic wall sculptures, we can not only tailor artwork to your space, but also finish it in your preferred colour palette to match!

For this customer we sourced several shades of blue to match her interior colour palette and applied this finish to our ceramic bird wall art sculptures. If you would like a colour to be matched, ask about out bespoke colour service! We are used to working with complicated and unusual spaces and are happy to advise.

Have a tricky space you would like some help with? Get in touch to discuss your space or find out more about our design service here. Or head to my shop here.

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