They say a picture paints a thousand words – so how many words would a whole wall of pictures say!?
They are the latest trend in DIY interior design and as the price of printing comes down picture walls are soaring in popularity. You can create a photo wall for a few dollars. Most dollar stores will have photo frames, and im sure you can find access to someone that owns a normal printer – This is literally all you need! Although you can obviously go a little more crazy with it if you want to!
Regardless of how much money you throw at the wall – they can be a little tricky to get right, and photo walls can often look more like a kids art project than a perfectly designed home gallery if not crafted with love and care.
In this article we will cover all the little hints and tips that you need to know to create a photowall that will brighten up any boring old wall. So, lets get started!
What pictures should I use on my picture wall?
This is probably the most important part! What do you want to display?
The most obvious choice is probably family photos. They can be used to remind you of all of best points in your life – almost like a personal highlight reel. They are great because they are obviously a very personal thing that will warm the cockles of your heart every day.
However you may want to mix it up a bit – and family photos are certainly not the only option you have available. If your photo wall is going to be in a place that gets quite a few visitors, then perhaps you will want to provide something that may be a little more interesting for them?
You can create a themed photo wall – is there a large part of your life that you want to make a feature? Perhaps you lived abroad for a few years? Perhaps you have dedicated your life to a hobby or passion? Any of these things can be used effectively.
Search around online for images that are related to whatever your theme is and use them. Make sure you click large images when using google image search. We must point out here that many of the photos you will find online from a simple image search will probably be copyrighted – but to be completely honest, unless you are planning on creating your picture wall in a public place, the owner will probably not mind / find out. If it is something you are concerned about – use flikr to get some images. You can ask the owner’s permission.
(This also applies to family album photo walls – you can get quotes online in image format that can look lovely in a frame – which can break up the photos a little bit adding another layer of interest to the wall.)
It sounds a little silly – but don’t limit yourself to just pictures on a photo wall! You can use all manner of bits and bobs that can add a very interesting effect to the wall. Think about things like mirrors, clocks, plates, trophies, certificates, blackboards (with chalk!), pin boards, and even flags.
You can go nuts with this and use as many trinkets as you have pictures (or more than you have pictures!). Instead of a looking like a gallery wall it becomes almost like a scrapbook or collage wall, which is a great effect – but not to everyone’s tastes. You don’t have to go nuts with the trinkets however – a large mirror or clock can make an awesome centrepiece to the photo wall which will really add interest to the wall without going too far in the collage direction!
Some other great ideas we have seen if you don’t really have a theme in mind are things like using album art. Think about all those old CD’s you have lying around – I am guessing most of you have them stashed in the attic and use your ipods to listen to your music now? Why not dust off the cd’s and use the front covers and album art in frames? The effect is certainly striking!
On a budget and don’t have a theme? Then perhaps you can pick up a set of watercolour paints and make your own pictures for the wall! It is much easier to make interesting abstract patterns with watercolours than you would think. When framed they can look beautiful.
Do you have kids? Why not give them a bunch of paints for the day and let them go wild. When framed in nice frames a picture wall that consists of purely children’s paintings can create an amusing yet endearing focal point to any room.
What Colors Should My Photos Be?
The frames will be the main thing that tie the color scheme of the wall together (if you decide to have a color theme at all). We will discuss this in more detail later on in the article
The main options you have with regards to the color of the actual photos are limited. You can pick monochrome or sepia tones for your photos which will create a very uniform look to the wall. Uniform does not mean boring – but is is certainly more subtle than using color photos.
Color photos will obviously be a whole range of colors (unless you specifically choose otherwise). There is nothing wrong with this and it creates an awesome effect. However if you are worried that it may look a little too haphazard and disorderly – try using photos that have a predominant color in all of them – it will really tie them together. This being said, the frames are really much more important than the pictures when it comes to the conformity of the pictures on the wall.
How Should I Arrange My Pictures On The Wall?
There are two main ways of arranging your photos and pictures on the wall, while there are many variations – they essentially boil down to two methods. You can either go for a random sprinkling with no definite shape. Or you can be very precise with your positioning and create a uniform square, circle, or any other shape you desire.
The random placement method is a lot easier in practice to do, and creates a very homely scrapbook feel to your picture wall. The actual hanging of the frames on the wall is also much easier as you do not need to be anywhere near as precise as when you are going for a geometric shape.
However the shaped approach does create a much more purposeful feel to the photo wall, and looks much more “professional” than the random approach. This does not mean the random approach is any worse than the shaped approach – it is just a different look that is a lot less “polished” in appearance.
The random placement method does also not have to be totally random – you can arrange your pictures in a “kinda” circle shape for example. A great middle ground between the two main types or arrangement.
As a rule of thumb In contemporary homes shaped picture wall usually look the best – whereas in vintage or traditional homes you can get away with being a bit more random. This however is certainly not a hard steadfast rule – and both methods of picture placement can work with any type of décor.
The placement of the frames within the overall shape is something that also needs to be considered. This is not so much of an issue when you are going for the random shape method as you just put the images where you think is best. However with a defined shape you need to plan which pictures are going to go where, and get the sizes of the frames correct. This will take a little effort and planning but the end results can be great.
Which Room Should I Put A Picture Wall In?
If you are reading this you probably already have an idea of where you want your photo wall to go. The truth is a photo wall can go just about anywhere. One of our favourites however – are stairway picture walls. Go for a random shape that follows the stairs up, don’t put the pictures too close the stairs – and you cannot really go wrong. A great way to add interest to an otherwise boring part of the house. You can even combined a staircase picture wall with some staircase lighting to create a very dramatic gallery like effect.
What Frames Should I Use For My Photo Wall?
This is what will make or break your photowall – the choice of frames is arguably more important than the pictures. The frames are what people will notice when they look at the wall from afar, they will create the overall feel of the wall, and are something you should give considerable amounts of attention to. It all depends on what kind of overall effect you want to produce with your wall.
The most modern and contemporary type of photo wall will have frames that are all the same size, color, shape, and design. It creates a very uniform look that will fit in with the most contemporary of homes.
If you want to keep it contemporary but not go over the top – then pick frames of the same color, but choose different sizes. Some can be deep frames, some shallow, some thick, some thin. This creates a uniform appearance without looking too clinical. A kind of organized collage effect.
If you wish you can look into getting frames of the same base color but in different shades – for example – light brown, dark brown, tan brown. It creates an effect that is a great middle ground between random and contemporary.
You can also play around with the mount of your pictures. Make your frames mounts different thicknesses to increase the randomness – keep them all the same to stay contemporary.
If you want to go very chic or vintage, then choose all kinds of different frames – this is where you can go wild if you want and make the wall very personal. But be warned – doing it this way will certainly produce a very DIY and scrapbook effect – not that this is a bad thing, but it will certainly not look contemporary.
This can look especially good in photo walls for children’s rooms. Get the brightest colors you can and you will create a fun and interesting feature that your children will grow to love and possibly add to as they grow up.
And finally – if you are short on space going frameless is always an option. You can get your photos printed on canvass and remove the space required for loads of frames – While this will cost you quite a lot more than normal picture, you can create very dramatic effects.
So there you have it – absolutely everything you could want to know about photo walls. Below we present to you our favorite picture walls for ideas and inspiration.
Did we inspire you to create a picture wall? Please take a picture and post it in the comments below! We would love to see what you have created and may even feature it in the article!