Guide to Wall Art

The tragedy of living in a digital age, particularly in regards to photography, is that the vast majority of the pictures we take or have taken are never getting printed. The exist only on our electronic devices. Do you ever stop to think about what would happen if our access to digital media ceased to exist? What if tomorrow you woke up with no electricity? What if we never had electricity or access to our iPhones or computers ever again? What if the only pictures you had left were the ones you had printed? How many would you have?

I know For me, the loss would be devastating. I'll be the first to say that I've neglected pprinting pictures. I'm a perfectionist and I always want to wait until it's perfect before I hit print, especially when it comes to displaying pictured in my home...which means it never gets done. But I'm ready to change. I'm ready for a plan of action that will allow me to print and display my family photos now, without going overboard and while leaving space for the future.

I want to start with common ways of displaying images on your walls. These are great ideas to keep in mind when you are looking at your walls and wondering what to put on them.


The Statement Piece

A single piece for anchoring a room or piece of furniture, something that makes an impression. It is critical that single pieces be proportionally significant to the wall or whatever furniture it is hanging over. Most people make the mistake of going too small, leaving the piece looking out of place or the area incomplete. If you can't afford to go big (or just don't want a giant portrait of your family on the wall), then consider multiple pieces.

The Grid

An neat and tidy arrangement of multiple prints is a great way to fill a larger area, and leave room for future growth. Arrange 2-12 frames of all the same size and color in columns and rows. Adding wide mats beautifully pulls together a group of images that may not otherwise look like they belong together. Plan the whole wall out at once. Start with 2-4 frames and add on, or hang all of your frames at once and fill with prints as you are able.

Photo by SuwanPhoto/iStock / Getty Images

The Vertical 

For narrow, tall spaces, a stack of frames draws the eye upward and creates the impression of high ceilings. You can even go from floor to ceiling! This arrangement works well beside doorways and between Windows. Keep continuity in frame scale and color for best results.  

The Gallery

Yes, it's everyone's favorite and the most intimidating to plan out.