The Internet is bursting with tips on how to decorate your home. But after you’ve navigated through all the information, ideas, color suggestions and DIY guidelines, there’s the last act of hanging art on your walls. And finding the perfect wall art décor can be nerve-racking.
That’s where a new Israeli art app and website called Artfully Walls comes in.
The online curated art marketplace is the brainchild of Cathy Glazer, a serial entrepreneur and former CEO/founder of StarNet Interactive/GirlSense (acquired by InterActiveCorp in 2008). She came up with the idea of having a site that could help people choose the right artwork after she tried to do the same, at the end of a redecoration.
Though many online art sites offer framed posters and artwork, Glazer couldn’t find what she was looking for to complement original paintings by her late mother, Sybil Wigdor.
“When I was decorating my home, I did a lot of my shopping online, and when I reached the art part … I felt there were two extremes: there were real galleries and that was somewhat intimidating, and then there was the lower-end [option] of posters, which is great, but I was looking for something in the middle,” she tells ISRAEL21c over coffee at a Tel Aviv café.
So she started her own company. And because she had just fallen into the maze of other sites teeming with options, styles, colors and whatnot, she decided Artfully Walls would keep it simple.
“The concept here is a place that is highly curated; we hand-pick every single artist because we want it to feel like a place that people don’t just go and get lost,” says the mother of a married son and a daughter in the army. “In addition to that, we decided to give it a special twist: gallery walls, a Wall Designer Tool and an app that lets you see how the art looks on your wall.”
Gallery walls: all the rage
Gallery walls are all the rage in the world of interior design. A gallery wall is like an open photo album of family portraits, trips, children’s drawings or collected art pieces. But achieving a balance in color, sizes and frames is tricky.
“People love them, they see them in all the décor magazines, but they don’t know how to create them,” says Glazer.
Understanding the potential for curated gallery walls in the marketplace, she hired an “algorithm genius” programmer to build a mobile augmented-reality application that is already changing the way interior designers work with their clients and is helping individuals decorate on their own.
Here’s how it works: Customers can either go directly to the gallery walls suggestions and buy from there or they can select the art they want on the website, arrange it with the Wall Designer Tool, pick one of the recommended paint colors or wallpaper suggestions, and then use the app to take a photo of their real wall to see how their choices will look on it.
“Our goal is to inspire users to browse, shop and fill their walls with art they love. Our collection of beautifully styled walls showcases the art sold on our site, and provides looks that can be easily recreated by users on their own walls,” reads the site’s mission statement.
Customers may buy individual prints, but Artfully Walls has garnered major press coverage in US décor magazines – and is ahead of the pack of other online art sites — because of its gallery walls suggestions.
The gallery walls are divided into theme categories like Bohemian Chic, Eclectic, Mediterranean and Hollywood Glam. There’s also a kids’ section. And some of the walls are curated by in-house designers or by guests from art galleries or magazines like Better Homes and Gardens.
“We made the gallery wall aspect into a whole concept. The mobile app is definitely unique,” says Glazer, noting that some customers buy the styled walls in their entirety while others buy specific works featured on the wall. “We’re a trusted place that gives you solutions for how to group art. Each and every piece is handpicked; the quality is really outstanding.”
The self-funded site launched in 2013 with some 20 artists and today counts the work of more than 90 handpicked artists – for now, Israeli and American — arranged on gallery walls.
Being based in Israel gives Glazer’s team the opportunity to give exposure to contemporary Israeli artists. Painters Tali Yalonetzki and Itzu Rimmer, and photographer Sivan Askayo, for example, have become bestsellers for a global audience.
“I grew up here and I feel very connected to Israel and I’m always looking for ways to do good for this place,” says Glazer, “but I don’t like to take the Israeli content and make it the focus because the focus is to have the right product.”
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