Wall art is so important to bringing some life to your home. Whether you are minimal or maximal in styling your house, wall art is a crucial part of bringing the room together and creating the right vibe for you. Family photographs don’t have to be styled in old worn out cardboard frames on our bed side tables. There is a way to bring photographs of your loved ones on to your wall in a timeless and sleek way.
Here are some tips to help make your walls pop!
Style The first thing to consider when you are choosing art for your home is what style would best represent your family and work well for the aesthetics of your space. You may have a clear and direct style throughout your house in which case you can use that to direct you towards what style photograph makes the most sense. For example, you may have a deliberate modern and minimal style throughout your home and so the best style too compliment this would perhaps be a high key studio shoot or a bohemian inspired family beach shoot. If you don’t have a really clear aesthetic in your house, consider the specific needs of the piece of art you require. Do you want a large striking contrast piece that will be the focus of the room or are you looking for some smaller less imposing art? All of these considerations will ultimately help you pick the best wall art for you.
Space The next thing to consider is the space. Space refers to both the actual amount of space you have to work with, the room in which the work will be displayed, and also, the kind of space you are trying to create. In essence, space is so much more than a measurable spot, and the space in our home is so important. The space that we dwell in not only impacts things such as our mental health, but it is also a declaration of who we are. As Bachelard states in his book The Poetics of Space, “Inhabited space transcends geometrical space”. Different layouts, sizes and styles work better in different parts of the home. For the stairs opt for multiple smaller images. Singular portraits of family members work well for this as they can be positioned in a way that mimic the incline of the stairs. It also allows you to order your photographs from youngest to oldest for example and is almost like a walk-through photo-album that you get to experience as you navigate your home! One example of how different spaces require different treatment is above the fireplace. Above the fireplace is a focal point of the room, and so, often we will position an impactful feature above it such as a beautiful large mirror, or with art it will demand a larger piece. If you are considering a gallery wall of different sized pieces, good spaces for this include behind sofas or in hallways, this allows you to play around with layout as these kinds of spaces don’t demand anything in particular. If you are struggling with working out what would work in your space, try going for something that feels considered but is also neutral in that it would work anywhere. A safe bet for this is a triptych, which is a set of three photographs that complement each other and works well in almost any space! You can play about with sizes by having them all the same or perhaps making the centre image larger. Consider the space, and it will show!
The way you choose to present your wall art can be as impactful as the photographs themselves. There are methods of presentation that can work with your wall art, as well as ones that disappear and let your work speak for itself. The only issue is, this can work backwards, and you don’t want your framing choice to work against you!
Here is a quick overview of what presentation choices work well for different styles. Metallic frames are fun and a little different, but perhaps one of the options to be the most careful with. If you have a lot of gold or silver accents in your home, they will blend in just fine and carry the accent to your wall. They also work well in modern spaces as well as industrial styled homes.
Next up is the woods. Dark woods look great in classically decorated spaces whilst lighter woods work best in creative and minimal spaces. I would add that if in doubt, go with a wood, because there are not many scenarios where they will look out of place!
And finally, you have your painted woods and plastics which can be a more affordable option. The standard of this is a choice of black or white. Black and white are again quite unthreatening but there is a reason to choose one over the other. Black frames can bring some contrast to a neutral print and make it feel more dynamic. They literally “frame” the art, whereas, white is a great option for a less dominant frame. Alternatively, instead of a white frame you can could go for a canvas wrap. This is also a perfect presentation method for avoiding distraction from your photograph. With this option your photograph will go right to the edges of the canvas and have no border, blending seamlessly with the rest of the room. When picking out frames, matching them is a preference. The general advice I would give is that the simpler the layout, the more important matching would be. To expand on this, a gallery wall can be mismatched because it is already a fun and personal way to display images. Mismatching a gallery wall results in a fun bohemian vibe. But, if you have two large photographs in a hallway, which is a very simple layout, I would strongly advise that these frames matched. It’s all about balance but it is totally a personal preference!
Mix and Match Pairing posed family portraits and headshots with natural family photographs can be a great way to present your family in an authentic way whilst being able to invite you in and be introduced to each member. For example, this might look like a group shot of you and your partner playing with your children in a field presented large and next to it you could have a more posed portrait of each of your children. Another way to mix and match that works well in bedrooms and hallways is printing out meaningful words to showcase next to your family photographs. This could be anything from a family motto, a beautiful quote, a bible verse, the families’ surname or initials or even a line from a song! Finding the perfect words to put next to your family can really elevate the meaning of your photograph and add depth and personality to your walls. Mixing and matching can be as creative as you want it to be. You can mix in some landscapes of your favourite places or even just fun scenes and objects that match the colour scheme of your family portrait. The best thing about mixing and matching is that it can bring photographs into a space in a really natural and easy way, and it allows you to follow the aesthetic of the rest of your room!
Extra Tips: - If you have low ceilings hang your art slightly higher up. This gives the illusion that the ceiling is higher by drawing the eyes up towards the art. - When you’re creating a gallery wall start with your central piece and work outwards. This helps you keep the focal point central to the layout. - Acrylic frames are a more affordable alternative to glass. They also work well for walls where you may need a lighter option. For example, in a rented property they can be hung safely with command strips! - Glass frames are slightly more expensive, but they provide clearer protection for the artwork. They also seem to reduce glare in comparison to acrylic and do not scratch as easily. - If you are struggling with picking a style of wall art to suit your house try going for a certain filter like black and white. This will help keep all of your photographs uniform and will allow you to add to them easily over the years whilst ensuring that as your other décor changes your photographs will remain timeless!