An art gallery at home
The home of banker, Simone Janssen, is more than just a beautiful place to live. It is also an unconventional gallery. Six times a year, Simone organises unique exhibitions, displaying more than a hundred works of art by different international artists. She uses the Artiteq Click Rail Pro to hang these pieces on the walls of her own home. A unique concept dreamt up by Simone whilst on a walk.
An art gallery at home
“I remember the moment clearly,” says Simone. “I was outdoors and was thinking that I’d like to do something a little different in my house. It is a beautiful property on a magnificent estate surrounded by woodland. I have so much space, but live here alone. I wanted to share my space, do something extraordinary with my house. Not by renting out rooms, I tried that for a year and didn’t enjoy it. I considered other options.”
Helping artists to sell their work
At the same time, Simone wondered how to make the most of the beautiful white walls in her home. “I had been looking for art for a while, but didn’t have the courage to wander into a gallery. What if I asked stupid questions? And online doesn’t allow you to feel or experience the art.”
All of a sudden, that frustration and the possibilities presented by the space in her house ‘clicked’. “What if I were to use my beautiful white walls to help artists sell their work?” Simone wondered. “I literally ran home and called a friend to talk through my idea. In the weeks that followed, I spoke with a few gallery owners and decided quite quickly that I was going to turn my own house into a gallery.”
The difference between art and embellishing an interior
Simone started, of course, by looking for suitable artworks to exhibit: “I select artists based on two things: First of all, I find the craft itself very important. I like artists who have spent years developing their skills. The work must also be something that the artist has spent hours, days or even weeks creating. In my view, this craft is the difference between art and embellishing an interior. I also avoid conceptual art. In my gallery you will find art that is perfect for your home, artwork that can enrich your interior.”
A professional hanging system
Another important element in transforming her house into a gallery, was hanging the lighting and mounting a solid and beautiful system, enabling the artwork to be hung on the walls. Simone: “I Googled professional hanging systems and came across Artiteq. I found good brochures with attractive visuals and clear explanations.”
“I could see at a glance what options were available and the materials I needed. Just a couple of weeks later, the Artiteq fitter and I had mounted 183 linear metres of rails in just a couple of days! Once these had been mounted, I could immediately start hanging the pieces and haven’t regretted my choice for a second.”
The system is almost invisible
Simone chose the Click Rail Pro because it blends in beautifully with the wall. “I wanted something inconspicuous,” she explains. “The bottom of the rail is almost closed, meaning you can’t see into it. I painted the rails in the same colour as my walls. This system doesn’t require any connectors. You can create lengths of 7 to 8 metres, without visible breaks. This means that the system is almost totally invisible.”
Simone’s favourite accessory is the flat canvas hook with a 10-kg carrying capacity. “I mostly use that hook. You have to tighten the hook with a screwdriver, so it’s not quite as convenient as, say, the twister hook. But the grip is fantastic. These hooks allow aluminium frames to hang flush against the wall in a stable manner. As the hook is a little shorter, it is completely invisible when used to hang most frames.”
Simone is very pleased with the appearance and use of the system. “The rail has a lovely minimalistic look and its 50-kg carrying weight is more than enough,” she says. “The perlon hanging wires can barely be seen. In my view, this is therefore the best solution on the market, both professionally and aesthetically.”
A gallery where you feel at home
Within a year, what started as a hobby has evolved into a successful company with 6 team members. Every two months, Simone and her team organise a new exhibition. “In one year, around 700 artworks by about 50 different, international artists, are displayed in my home,” says Simone.
When curating her collections, she mainly focuses on what she personally finds beautiful. “I try not to think about the commercial aspect and my choices aren’t based on what I think will sell,” Simone explains. “I choose paintings and sculptures that I find beautiful, by different artists. And I create beautiful combinations with those pieces, which I present in eleven different rooms in my house.”
“Combining fashion is commonplace,” Simone says. “But when it comes to art, works by different artists are often presented separately. When people start building their own art collection, they also combine the works of different artists. That is why I present the artists as a team. My living room may sometimes contain 10 pieces of art created by 10 different people, which complement each other perfectly.”
During an exhibition, Simone and her colleagues give guided tours to around 250 – 300 people, all of whom have reserved a one and a half-hour timeslot via the website. And on average, about a third of the exhibited artworks find a new owner during an exhibition. “I want people to feel at home. That is why, during their visit, they are allowed to walk around my home alone. We offer snacks and drinks and visitors can view the artwork at their own pace in the setting of a stylish private house. And, well, people sometimes fall in love,” Simone concludes with a laugh.
Rosa Peters, Yvonne Broeren, Quinda Verheul, Sophie de Vos, Sander Reijgers, Jochem Essen, Anders Below, Van der Camp & Heesterbeek, Paula Pääkkönen, Hetty Blankesteijn, Marianne Kemp, Vivian Ammerlaan, Bibi Smit.
With special thanks to ‘Art Gallery Simone Jansen’.