Mobiles and hanging sculptures

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There are so many different ways to incorporate art into your home, but one of the most often – and most unjustly – overlooked is the mobile. We may often tend to think of mobiles as a furniture item limited to the nursery, but in reality there are lots of totally sophisticated, totally grown-up and totally beautiful sculptures and art pieces out there that just happen to dangle instead of stand. The main appeal of this type of decoration probably lies largely in its dynamism; mobiles turn and sway in response to movements in the room and changes in the direction of the air. The result is continual, subtle movements and change that can be quite mesmerising and soothing to behold. Using mobiles to break up expanses of wall in your house also provides an unexpected alternative to more traditional space-fillers such as pictures, and makes your decor more artistically diverse. There is sometimes a very festive side to mobiles; their hanging nature means that some designs are a little reminiscent of Christmas baubles. If you celebrate Christmas, a mobile is a low-key way to keep a little of that festive cheer in your house all year round. And apart from anything else, there are some beautifully crafted mobiles out there. These are just a few.

​At the circus

The delicate form of this abstract piece seems a little like something from a circus performance: airborne acrobats caught in the moment of swinging from one trapeze to the next, frozen as they tumble high above the ground.

​Under the sea

These floating fish and their matching lamp bring a little marine tranquillity to the room. Fish are a very natural choice of subject for a piece of hanging art such as this, not only because of their peaceful associations but also because a shoal is very easily recreated through this particular form. The decision to place two similarly-themed pieces so close to each other works well in this case because no colours are used, meaning that the overall effect is still subtle rather than being overbearingly matchy-matchy.

​Shadow play

As well as being beautiful in themselves many mobiles cast lovely shadows that add an additional layer of aesthetic interest to their design. This one is a very good example; because it utilises nn-uniform shapes, the shadows it casts are mysterious and varied.

​Gold leaf

 Artwork by Maryse Dugois
Maryse Dugois

Branche de corail or

Maryse Dugois

The intricate details of this beautifully fragile sculpture bring a piece of nature into the home. Again, the shadows cast by this piece would be likely to be quite beautiful, highlighting its lace-like texture.

​The obvious choice

An aeroplane might be a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to selecting a subject for a hanging sculpture. But just because it’s not the most original option doesn't mean it has to be boring. The muted tones and abundance of unpainted wood used in this room keep prevent the look from slipping too far into childishness. It is a room for a child, certainly; but where many designers of children’s rooms may automatically opt for garish colours, this one has instead created appeal through unique and interesting wall decorations. The result is a quirky space that offers plenty of appeal for adult tastes, too.

​Origami family

This collection of little and large origami baubles would make a gorgeous alternative to traditional Christmas decorations, but would also work brilliantly as an all-year-round installation in the home. The contrast between the crisp edges of the origami shapes and the soft colours is simply perfect. Suspended in the air, the shapes seem to form an origami rain shower.

Do you feel inspired to make your own mobile? What would yours look like?
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