Decorating walls with baskets has become quite the trend for wall decor that goes beyond the usual gallery wall. Used in a minimalist scheme and tastefully hung in a groupings, basket decor can add be used to add an eclectic warmth and texture, as well as pattern and color to a space.
'Using unusual items on the wall can be a fun and playful way to bring texture but also personality,' says Celine Erlam, director of Indie & Co. ' 'It's a way to showcase the things you love, and it's very tactile and interactive.'
The basket look is a simple substitution for framed wall art, and also works to add a bit of texture with three-dimensional depth and natural material. The ties with nature can help the scheme feel calming too, so is perfect for the modern home. Here, we talk to the designers to find out exactly how to create a living room wall decor idea that you'll love.
Oonagh is an homes editor and writer with a penchant for all things decorative in the home. She has used her interest in decorative trends to get to the crux of this particular style, and has used her contacts to find out why the basket decor craze is having a moment in the spotlight.
How do you decorate walls with baskets?
Picking the perfect baskets is the first step to getting your living room wall art right. Make sure they work together and exhibit similar colors - three different colors at most, any more will simply look busy. 'I would keep things asymmetrical and or varied sizes, shapes, and patterns,' says Celine of Indie & Co. 'I would find some uniformity in the colors. Keeping to the same tones can be fun too.'
When it comes to material, look to natural fibres. 'We love the idea of wicker or rattan baskets,' says Pablo López Navarro from Madrid-based interior design house, Casa Josephine. 'Straw is also a yes from us. It is a 100 percent Mediterranean tradition and we love its summery, casual low-key look.'
When it comes to planning your decorative basket look, play around with placement and don't hammer any nails into the wall until you are sure of the exact place you'd like your basket to go. Lay them out on the floor so you can freely move the baskets around and see what shapes you like. Take into account the circumference and width of the baskets and get a feel for whether you want the style overlapping or spaced far apart. You might want to keep the baskets in a line, as shown above with baskets from House of Nomad, or in a zig-zag to add interest.
When placing them on the wall, consider small nails, picture hangers, or Command strips or hooks that are inexpensive and won't damage the wall. Make sure you choose an option that is flat so as to avoid bulk behind the basket which will only make them protrude from the wall. You also want to be careful to avoid damage to the basket. Consider looping a fine piece of thread into the back of the basket and hang from your wall - this also means you can mix them around throughout the year. 'The result is a statement look for any home as they are so versatile,' says designer, Birdie Fortescue.
Hand-woven by artisans in Rwanda, this basket exhibits a thicker coil and pattern, with strands of sisal fiber wrapped around bundles of sweetgrass. The result is durable and impressive all at once.
What is the heritage of these baskets?
If you're hanging a handcrafted basket in the home, do your research so you have a thorough understanding of where it has come from, how it was once used, and what the heritage is. Traditionally, these baskets hail from Africa, where countries across the continent have been creating them for generations, weaved as part of agricultural practices such as the collecting and carrying of crops and sifting. Basketry is an ancient skill that has evolved to become a contemporary art form and reflect African culture in modern interiors.
Nowadays, the material used include natural materials but also plastic and wire, but historically, these baskets are hand-crafted from natural fibers. Pattern and shapes vary greatly, meaning that each basket is different and at the hand of its creator, who might take weeks to complete plaiting just one basket.
Ashanti Design is a South African-based design company with a long-term commitment to its African weavers in Malawi. 'We have built these relationships with our weaving communities over the last 15 years and have had the privilege of seeing new generations of weavers becoming part of this ongoing project,' explains Abigail Snyman at Ashanti Design.
'Every handwoven basket purchased comes from a very special place and a very special weaver. No basket will be identical, each one unique just like the person who made itch is an invasive water reed, our weavers have been using traditional weaving techniques to create products for their homes; palm leaf mats cover the floors in their huts and are used for seating and sleeping, as well as roofing.
'Every handwoven basket purchased comes from a very special place and a very special weaver. No basket will be identical, each one unique just like the person who made it.'
How to group baskets on the wall
Sometimes, one simple standalone basket can look dramatic, but you want to make sure it is large enough to stand its ground as a work of art in its own right. 'Having one odd one out can be fun too but a little risky,' points out Celine.
More often, the basket design technique works in small groupings. Threes or fives are good numbers, and you can play around with angles, but other odd numbers work best, with the asymmetry creating a visually pleasing aesthetic.
If you don't have time to curate your basket collection one by one, buy six at once for a quick turnaround. These six have distinct patterns and a complementary color scheme of orange, black and cream.
Which rooms should I use baskets to decorate the walls?
When it comes to where in the home works for the basket-on-the-wall trend, think about the rooms where you want to inject a bit of personality and break up a bit of empty wall space. The look works well above a bed, acting like a headboard and piece of wall art all at once. It also comes with calming natural connotations which works well for this sleeping space.
Elsewhere, think about other architectural features you might like to highlight. Above the fireplace on the mantel decor gives the chimney breast a nice feature, or alternatively, a shelf in the kitchen might be a nice place for the baskets - serving as decoration and practically for serving platters or fruit bowl. Another idea is to take the baskets up the stairs to lead the visitor upwards, as seen in this design by House of Nomad.
Think carefully before hanging in your bathroom. The natural material might not work well in a humid environment, so stick to drier rooms in the home where the baskets won't get damaged by moisture in the air.
Finally, get creative with your display and mix and match to add your personality to the finished piece. 'As well as baskets, the look could be done with many other items, such as chopping boards, hats, pans, and plates,' says Celine. You might want to add your living room mirror, and circular ceramic bowls that might sit nicely together with the baskets, and decorate further with pieces like cascading plants to add a further touch of nature.
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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