Accessories add personality to a room, helping to make the room a reflection of its owner, and photographs are the perfect accessory to create that personal touch. Family photos are one option, but photographs can also be used to produce drama in a space.
Matt and I recently saw black and white photos used to create a wall montage above a staircase. Since the staircase was visible from the main entryway, the montage became a dramatic focal point, welcoming visitors in a bold, but inviting, manner.
When creating a wall grouping with photos, it’s important that each piece be part of the whole. There are several ways to achieve a unified look.
One way to maintain consistency is to group the photographs by color as in these sepia-toned photos which work well with traditional and country decor. Black and white photos used together can create a modern gallery look. Full-color pictures can be used in a variety of different situations depending on their subject matter.
Another interesting way to group photos is by theme. Themes might include a collection of photos depicting vacations, family or special occasions. These photos of tropical flowers look great used together because they feel like they belong.
Picture frames and matting techniques also can be used to create a unified look. One possibility is to use the same frame and mat for every picture in the display as with these florals. Or, for a bit of variety, you might choose different frames in the same color and similar style.
Once you have chosen your photos and frames, the next step in creating a wall montage is to determine the best layout for the grouping. Keep in mind that photo arrangements do not need to be symmetrical. To give added interest to a wall montage, put an odd number of photos on the wall. This is not as difficult as it seems. To avoid mistakes (and lots of unnecessary nail holes in the wall), it’s a great idea to try out different arrangements. When you have decided on the exact arrangement, here’s how to get it to the wall!
1. First, make a template out of brown craft paper for each of the photographs you are planning to use.
2. Cut the templates out, being sure to mark the placement of the saw tooth hanger or the center of the picture wire.
3. Tape the templates to the wall using painter’s blue tape so that the tape will not mar the wall’s surface.
4. Once the paper is on the wall, if you aren’t happy with the arrangement, you still have time to adjust. Move the templates around until you are happy with the arrangement.
5. Then using a pencil, punch a small hole through the brown paper to mark the placement of the picture hanger.
In order to mount your framed photos to the wall securely, be sure to use the correct hanger. If your framed print weighs less than five pounds, a simple saw tooth hanger is appropriate. If the photograph weighs more than five pounds, consider attaching two screw eyes to the outer edges of the frame and then string braided wire between the two.
Tip: All photographs will fade with exposure to light, heat or humidity. If you want to display old family photographs, consider displaying a photocopy instead and storing the original in an archival box. This will prevent any deterioration to the original print. Multiple prints can also be made and shared with other family members very inexpensively. Through photocopying, sizes can also be adjusted to fit existing frames.
So keep in mind that photographs are a great way to accessorize any room. Family photos can bring back wonderful memories and feelings of nostalgia. Today’s digital cameras make it a breeze to take wonderful pictures, which is great because today’s photos are tomorrow’s memories.