Taking the Plunge - Page 5

Original art makes the house look great—but it’s oh so easy to get hooked along the way

Modern Homes Make Great Galleries

Taking the Plunge
An art-filled corner of Gary and Bob Sanders’ Eichler, where rich mahogany paneling is in abundance.

When Christianna and Michael Cohen set out to turn their Walnut Creek Eichler into their own private art space, they had a few worries.

They loved all the glass—but you can't hang photographs on glass. Would there be enough wall space?

And how about that hard sunlight?

As it turns out, "There's plenty of room" to hang art, Christianna says. And, she adds, "with all the glass, we rarely get sun on the art."

Eichler overhangs tend to keep out much direct light, if artwork is well positioned.

"Being in an Eichler makes it easier to show art," says Gary Sanders, who lives in a Palo Alto Eichler. "Mahogany looks better than white walls."

Gary and Bob Sanders do have a light problem during some times of the day—not with light hitting their art directly, but with reflections on the protective glass. Their solution? Non-reflective glass, which is frowned on by many for reducing clarity.

Another challenge faces Eichler owners—how to hang art without damaging the mahogany paneling. And consider the difficulties of drilling holes into concrete block walls. Clips and special adhesives can work with smaller works, some collectors find.

The Cohens added several niches in their home to handle their art. They also provided spot lighting for several pieces, and track lighting throughout.

"That was big in my mind," Michael Cohen says, "knowing that the art has to present well."

The Cohens do think about how the artwork they are displaying fits the home's overall look. "The muted browns, taupes, and grays will serve as an excellent background to a color photograph by Christopher Burkett," Christianna says.

But art, the Cohens say, is not mere décor. "It's not a piece of furniture, for me," Christianna says.