I have always wanted to do this. Something about the mixing of related but unique works of art, collected over time, on one common wall says home to me. Seeing these two photographs on dominomag.com, along with the feature on Drew Barrymore's film studio offices the April issue, has inspired me. Although I am not quite ready to undertake it, I have decided to dedicate a wall in my office to this salon style art hanging.
If you don't have enough pieces to create a cohesive collection, scour antique and second-hand stores,keeping an open mind. Look for works whose subject matter are related, such as landscapes or portraits, or for pieces that simply have a pleasing color palette. No need to worry about the varying frames; either go with the eclectic look or paint them all the same color to unify the group. Consider old postcards and photographs, which can usally be found for a buck or two a piece. I found a small art history book at the RAGS sale for $2. It contains nice color prints, for which I'll purchase used frames to put my favorites in.
Properly hanging them might seem like a daunting task, however, there are ways to simplify and reduce the number of mistakes. Trace the outline of each piece on craft or butcher paper. Tape the shapes to the wall with painter's tape until you get the right configuration. For a more formal arrangement, create a grid pattern with the templates. If you want a more casual cozy feel, be random with your spacing. While doing this, don't forget to consider the furniture that will be below it, be sure to hang items at least 10" above the top of the piece.
Displaying art work in numbers is a sure way to provide visual impact. Doing it on the cheap makes it painless to rotate pieces out when the seasons change or the mood strikes you. I'll let you know when I've get mine done!
Shops to try in the Puget Sound area:
The Anne Bonny in Seattle
Simply Renewed in downtown Bremerton
Olde Central Antique Mall in Port Orchard