How to Make a Bold Statement When Decorating Your Home

That one wall...

Have you been looking at that one wall in your home -- knowing it’s time to hang something amazing there, but what? It’s time to make your house a home using images of the ones you love!

I adore using large portraits to create a visual impact on a space. When you walk into a room and see a 24×36 inch (or bigger) framed print, you know that either that moment or the people in it are important and celebrated.

Decorate with bold images

To get the look

To create the greatest impact, I suggest choosing just one or multiples that make sense for the space you are looking to fill. For example, one large family portrait or one large portrait of each of your children, all the same size. If choosing a grouping of photos that weren't taken at the same session/ time, make sure the colors and styles of the photos coordinate for a cohesive look. If printing one huge image, don’t limit yourself to a posed portrait! Choose an image that portrays the emotion or season your family is really in or one that is a long time fav.

A new photo wall can completely transform a room. What an amazing confidence booster for your kiddos to see themselves on your walls, not just as cute babies and toddlers, but also as growing kids and beautifully awkward pre-teens. 

Look at the wall space you want to freshen up and choose a size or grouping that fits the scale of that space. Depending on the space you have, I just love the look of two or three 12×18 inch prints side by side, or one large 30x40 inch print. 

gallery wall

Tips for creating your impact wall

  • First, take a breath and relax. This is not the most important decision of your life, it’s images of your family, meant to bring you joy. Give yourself one hour to choose the images. That will help you to make a decision and prevent overwhelm, which I find leads to no decision.
  • Decide whether you want to do one family photo or individual portraits of your kids. Then, go into your recent photos and choose your images. Or better yet, schedule a session for portraits with me and I will guide you through the entire process.
  • If you prefer less posed photos, then that’s what you should put on your walls. The purpose of hanging portraits on your walls is to bring you joy, celebrate your people, and make your house feel like home. When your family sees what you’ve decided to print and hang prominently on your wall, it’s like a big love note they get to see every single day.

A note about framing/ or reframing…

framed portrait

I know it's not always possible, but I am a firm believer that once I custom frame something for a client, it stays framed. We can always find a new, maybe less prominent place to move the previous years’ photos, like an upstairs hallway,  your bedroom photo wall, or even make a collage wall in your basement family room or game room. After a few years, you’ll have a progression of portraits of your family, kids (or grandkids, or pets…) that’ll put a smile on your face everyday.

Want to try it yourself? 

Here are a few tips to get you started creating your art wall

If you are doing a gallery wall yourself, gallery-wrapped canvas are a simple, classic, cozy option that would work in most homes. Gallery wraps look great from any angle, and that attention to detail adds a little something extra to your walls. My favorite is a premium matte fine-art gallery wrapped canvas from my favorite professional lab. They have stunning life-like details, just gorgeous.  Bring on those window walls, with the matte finish, there will be no glare on the canvases. If you opt for framed or to do a mix of both, non-glare glass is my go-to.

  • To start, choose your wall space and decide on the vibe you’d like to incorporate formal, joyful, candid, artistic…
  • Give yourself thirty minutes to look through your images from the past few months to a year and choose a few options. Close-up images of faces look amazing on canvas, as well as posed pet portraits. 
  • Once you have your selections, go back and narrow it down to just a few images that will look good when hung together. If colors clash, you can always convert to black and white or re-edit if needed. 
  • Next, measure the overall size you want to fill and then divide by the number of images you’ve chosen. Don’t forget to account for the spaces you’ll leave between canvases (usually a few inches). When I hang a gallery for clients, I create a hanging template first - it makes installation seamless.
  • As you create the canvases you’ll need to choose the best crop for the image. Then prep and order right away to keep this whole process easy, stress-free and under an hour. I find that if time stretches past this one hour span, decisions are harder and people tend to not end up ordering anything at all.
  • Seize this time and place your order, so in a few weeks you can enjoy your favorite people on your walls, everyday!

Want more...

Download "6 Ways to Decorate With Portrait Art That Means Something to You!"

I'd love to see what you've created! Tag me on Instagram @theheartsjoyphotography