Step inside the Simon Breitbard Fine Arts Gallery (opens in new tab) and you'd be forgiven for thinking you entered someone's home.
Styled as a residential space, the gallery cleverly showcases artwork the way someone could hang it in their own home.
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Designed by interior designer Elizabeth Cooper (opens in new tab), the space exhibits the work of numerous artists simultaneously (rather than showing one artist at a time), and the constantly moving mix of pieces – from both established and emerging modern artists – gives us fresh ideas and inspiration on how to showcase them to their full potential.
Set in the historic Jackson Square neighbourhood of San Fransisco, the red brick exterior may look like your typical showroom space, but inside it's a different story and you're bound to find fresh ideas at every turn...
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1. WALL LIGHTS
In the landing living room, brass wall lights can be moved in different directions and angled to illuminate the art above the sofa. The brass is also a beautiful contrast against the blue, textured wall covering.
Get the look: The custom Regency style sofa and brass sconces are both from Coup d'Etat in San Francisco. The cocktail table and Oushak rug are both vintage. Both the sofa and chairs have decorative pillows in Jennifer Shorto fabrics. The gallery owner initially saw the pair of wood chairs in Minneapolis and Elizabeth Cooper helped track them down for the gallery.
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2. WALL PANEL
A wall panel preserves the original brick wall, and enables there to be a constantly evolving mix of art on display here. This idea would also work well in rented properties, or in Grade-Listed homes. A row of ceiling spot lights are angled down to illuminate the wall of art, turning it into more of a feature.
Get the look: The custom sofa in this space is also from Coup d'Etat and is upholstered in a rich navy velvet. The gallery owners found the pair of mid-century style chairs from a European gallery. The brass coffee table and little brass bench are both vintage.
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3. OVER SIZED
We also love how a single sculpture can create a focal point with attitude. The oversized blue sculpture feels braver, more modern and more eye catching than smaller sculptural items which, although decorative, make less of a statement.
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This room also illustrates how to play with scale; the smaller walls between the mirrored French doors are small, while the large wall on the right is the perfect backdrop for this oversized piece. If it was the sole piece in this space, it would demand a lot of attention, but it works well here where it is balanced with other styles and artworks. Although there is a lot on display here, it feels stylish rather than messy.
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5. DINING TABLE
Usually dining tables are used to display a vase of flowers, or candlesticks, but a sculpture is a more 'evergreen' piece that adds form and beauty – without wilting or needing replacing every week.
Get the look: The white metal chairs are Bertoia.
Sculptural pieces like these can also make striking displays on a plinth or console table.
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In spaces where the surfaces need to remain clear, for example desks like in the conference room below, consider striking sculptural lighting pieces for adding interest.
Here the Neverending Glory Pendants, bought from Bright on Presidio in San Francisco, add sculptural beauty and play with the tall ceiling height.
Get the look: The amazing, metal conference table was discovered by the gallery owner who commissioned it from a South African metal worker. The chairs are Eames Executive chairs.
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7. BATHROOM DISPLAY
Who says you can't display art in the bathroom? Considering that bathrooms, powder rooms or cloakrooms are often visited by guests, we think they deserve a little bit of art too.
Here an art piece is overlaid on top of the decorative wallpaper, and it works.
Get the look: classic brass LeFroy Brooks. plumbing fixtures. The copper chair is from BluDot .
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8. PEEP SHOW
If you have one large, double height space, we love this idea of having a glass window looking down into that space from another room.
Photography: Virginia Mae Rolinson
Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.
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