Photographs are a cost effective way to personalise any space as it’s often cheaper to print photos, especially a decent amount at once, then it is to purchase artwork. By using photographs you can truly personalise your home to reflect the character of your family.
Really special or intimate scenes are appropriate for a bedroom or study as they most likely have a lot of meaning and emotion connected with them that you may not want to share with every house guest. Personal photos of family members, like a beloved grandmother, can be made extra special by framing them in a vintage or elaborate frame.
Altering photos to suit your Space
The fun thing about photographs is that you truly can customise them to suit your interior. With apps like Instagram, editing photos has never been so easy! If you’re going to display a large amount of photos in one area you may opt to print them all in a black and white tone. This won’t take away from your existing colour scheme and will create a cohesive story between the photos, even if they’re of a varied mix of events and people. To bring a vintage vibe into your room, try printing them in a sepia tone which will bring an aged look, even if the photo is of a recent event.
Design Tricks with Photos
Scale – With any form of design, scale is always an important factor. Photographs can be resized to be smaller or larger than the original standard 4” x 6” size which will have a different impact on the room. For instance, re-scaling your favourite wedding photo up to 12” x 14 “ and hanging it above your bed can make a beautiful, intimate statement for the bedroom. While shrinking some holiday snaps down to a 3” x 5” size may mean you can display them in a small space that needs some jazzing up.
Frames – The traditional way to display photographs is to frame them, separately or in a multi-frame, and then either hang them on a wall or stand them up on a table or mantel piece. This is a great way to display your photos to last for a long time as most frames will have a glass or thin layer of plastic that sits over the photo, protecting it from dust and moisture in the air. If you decide to frame your photos, make sure you choose an appropriate frame for the type of photograph. A lot of frames come with mounting card inside which creates a white or black border around the photo, while other frames don’t include this, meaning the entire image will be seen. If the photograph has a lot of detail you may not want to loose, opt for a frame without mount card or simply take the mount card out. The style of your interior will reflect the type of frames you choose. For example, if you are trying to create a modern look, pick simple frames in a neutral colour that don’t have any elaborate decoration. Mount all your photos in the same type of frames to create a unified feel throughout your modern interior. A decorative frame in cream or timber or even a Venetian glass frame will look right at home in a feminine, French provincial or vintage home design.
Loose Prints – A more contemporary way to display photographs is to simply use the loose prints in various combinations. You can blue tack a big selection of prints above a mantel piece or displayed up a staircase wall, arrange a strip above a bedside table or peg them to a piece of string for an interesting feature piece. The design approach of loose prints usually works better with multiple photos and by printing them in the same colour way, creates a united display. Avoid hanging loose prints in humid areas like the kitchen, laundry and bathroom as the photos are exposed to the elements and more likely to curl or be damaged.
Arranging Photos on a Wall
How you arrange photographs can have as much of an impact as the actual content of the photo. The height of where you arrange them should reflect the furniture in the room. The obvious height is within easy range of your eye level however this doesn't always have to be done. Hanging them at waist height means they’ll be seen from when you are sitting, say on a sofa, while hanging them up higher may draw your eye up to an interesting architectural element in the room that you wish to highlight. If you are hanging/sticking up a range of photos, the formation you arrange them in needs to be considered as well as the amount of space between each photo.
Horizontal or Vertical lines creates a simple and modern look. This can work to make a room look wider or a ceiling look higher and works fantastically in spaces like hallways and stairways as they create the direction you want somebody to go in.
By arranging your photographs in a grid formation, you can get a lot of various prints into one space. This often has quite a modern look, especially if all the photos are of the same size and colour, and works very well for both framed and unframed prints.
The hardest formation to work with is to display them in an organic array, often done when working with a wide range of different sized prints. The key to making this work is to make sure you get the balance right. The organic approach won’t be symmetrical, however it will be balanced if you are careful with proportioning the size, colour and depth of the photos. You can group similar colours or sizes together or have them spread out throughout the display. Try sticking paper that is the same size as each photo to the walls first to play around with different arrangements.