So the moment’s come – it’s time to give your living space a makeover. You might not be ready for a major refurb quite yet, but there are still a lot of smaller-scale changes you can make that will have a real impact. One of the easiest and most effective changes you can make is to freshen up your wall decor with some photo prints – you’ll be surprised by how much just a couple of new pictures can liven up a room’s mood.
But if your experience with wall decor is limited to those three posters you had in your teenage bedroom, you might be wondering where to start with ringing the changes. No need to worry – in this article we’ll talk you through the process step by step…
1. Choose the Right Space on the Wall
Every house has a few bare stretches of wall or empty nooks that could use some decor TLC. You could always follow the traditional approach and hang prints above the couch, bed, or dining table, but if you’re looking for less conventional solutions you might want to try arranging your wall decor features around a clock or mirror, or hanging them in a sequence up the staircase. Don’t be afraid to take a quirky, playful approach and you can breathe life into even the most functional of spaces.
Tip: Whether you’re decorating a small space above the couch or creating an entire gallery wall, remember to give your pictures enough breathing space. The rule of thumb says that wall decor features should have at least 3-6 inches between them, depending on size.
2. Choose the Style You Want
Your new wall decor features should draw the eye – but they also need to integrate well into the room’s overall decor scheme and atmosphere. Do you want your wall art to create a tranquil mood, or do you want it to be bold and extravagant? Will your new pictures follow the same color palette as the other decor elements, or will they hit a note of contrast? These are all important questions to consider before you move on to the next step.
Tip: Note that the different print types available all have distinct characteristics – traditionally framed photos are best suited to classic interiors, while metal prints will work best in a sleek modern space. Looking for something in between the two? Canvas prints take the best of both modern and traditional style – they boast the same clean lines as any contemporary print format, but they’ll also give your photo reproduction a subtle vintage look.
3. Choose Your Images
Unless you already know exactly which photos you want to get printed, it’s time to choose. Go through your digital archives and think about which photo memories deserve to be given a second life in print. And if you can’t find anything that’s perfect, you can always arrange a professional shoot or look for images in copyright-free photo banks.
Tip: Take all the time you need to find the right shot. It’s worth creating a separate folder on your computer so that you can collect the top contenders there as a shortlist. Then at the end of the process you can return to your shortlist folder with fresh eyes to pick the ultimate winners.
4. Design a Wall Art Layout
Even if you’re a complete novice when it comes to interior design, you’ve probably heard of gallery walls – eclectic collections of photos, posters and miscellaneous decor elements united by a common theme. If you want to try one yourself, photo prints are a perfect versatile base for the unified statement you want to make. But of course, you don’t need to fill a whole wall with art features to make a big impact – a single bold statement print or a stylish pair of matching images can be wonderfully effective, especially in smaller spaces.
Tip: If you want to display more than just a handful of prints, you’ll need to plan the layout carefully. Design blogs, YouTube tutorials and Pinterest boards are all valuable sources of inspiration here. You can simply copy a layout you like or rework it to suit the needs of your living space.
5. Select a Printing Provider
We’re living in the digital age now, and you don’t have to go to the mall to get your photos printed anymore. You can simply find an online printing company, upload your photos, and place an order – it’ll take no more than a few minutes. And then you’re all set – your new wall decor will arrive right at your door within days.
Tip: Decorating with photo prints doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. These days, the best discount printing companies maintain quality standards just as high as some of their much pricier competitors. One example is CanvasDiscount.com, one of the best-known discount brands in the US, who offer canvas prints starting at just $5. The entry price for photo posters is even lower – $3.90 for the smallest size.
6. Hang Your Prints
Depending on the print types you’ve selected, you might need tools to get your prints on the wall. So you may have to dig out a hammer and some nails, and maybe a drill. But some print formats can be hung in place without the need for holes in the wall. So if you’re not confident with DIY projects, why not choose lightweight print products that can be attached with putty or double-sided tape – for example, photo posters or prints on hardened PVC foam.
Tip: Before you drill that first hole, make sure you’ve got the perfect print layout! It’s a good idea to check how it’ll look beforehand by cutting out some templates the same shape and size as your prints (just use any wastepaper) and sticking the templates to the wall using tape or putty. Then adjust the layout until it looks just right. Once you’re happy, mark the outlines with a pencil and then replace your templates with the real prints.
7. Consider Further Changes
We might as well warn you: once you’ve spruced up even a single wall of your home, you’ll want to make a new statement in every room. Our advice is: don’t hold back, follow your design instincts! You can expand on the existing print layout, create a new cluster, or start your wall decor adventure in another room with just a single statement print. There’s a whole world of options to choose from.
Tip: Although eclectic designs have been trending for years, it’s not a great idea to mix too many decor styles in a single space – so if you want to display more than one style of print, it’s best to separate them by style across multiple rooms. You should also think about how much wall art you’ve already got on display in a given room – you don’t want to overcrowd the space with too many prints.
And there we are – you’re now equipped for your next design adventure. Choosing new wall art is exciting and great fun, so let your creativity run wild and start expressing your personality with some new decor features!