Decorating with photos

I recently did this post for my friend Allison’s photography blog.  Allison and I met through a mutual friend, Linsey of LLH Designs in Houston! MY job is to think about creating homes for my clients, many young families, and often the topic of decorating with photos comes up!  Clients will ask me “Is it okay to use these photos”  or “i know i have too many frames and need to edit” or “I have some great photos but never ordered or framed them”…I always assure them it is okay and we can edit and reframe their treasures to best compliment their home and style.  Often when clients ask me about helping them choose art for their homes I will ask if they have considered professional photography.  It is a double whammy investment, you are documenting family AND investing in timeless art. 

But decorating with photos is not a NO FAIL can make mistakes..not to offend or throw anyone off BUT there can be too many photos and frames and it can get crazy.  It can be a constant nag to a mom feeling like she needs to update photos or cull etc. My advice, BE INTENTIONAL. Plan and order and frames photos and also embrace the photo book which I know Allison is doing more and more of for coffeetables and keepsakes.  Last but not least, have fun!

These are some of my most common questions from clients when decorating with photos:

1. Should all photos be black and white?   The answer is yes and no.  Decide on a look and go with it.  Think about what kind of person you are when it comes to decorating and what appeals to you or bothers you.  I like a crazy mix.  But if you are more type A or want a fail proof look, stick to all black and white, similar frames and even consider totaly symmetry.

But the truth is, color can be gorgeous?  My kids are blonde and blue eyed but I know their eyes may change and hair darken..i want to catch that peachy cream skin and blondeness the way it is NOW so i have started buying more color prints.

2. To mat or not to mat? We will talk about this another time but i think it always looks good on a collage wall to have one or two closeup dramatic shots or one portrait that is large and NOT matted or throw in a colorful mat..i will show example on another post soon.

3. Large sizes??? I say go big or go home.  Of course i am all talk, sort of…I mean when you are in love with your baby and the photographer is amazing like Allison or my friend Tami from the K Gallery, its hard not to say “I want a 4×6 of EVERY SINGLE ONE” but try to also THINK big statement piece can be amazing,  Who cares if your mother-in-law doesnt get it?! (BTW i love my MIL!)

{via Apartment Therapy}

4. Should photos only be in hallways or “private spaces”?..we will talk about this in the future on Allison’s blog….so crazy!

5. What if i just cant bear to nail that many nails into my friend is the shelf from Pottery Barn or IKEA..we will  talk more in future posts about this topic! And if a shelf is too intimidating to hang, again consider one or two big pieces..less nails!

6. The Gallery Wall debate…to “mish mash” or grid? Symmettry and sticking with one frame and size can be gorgeous once the intial “hang” is complete (we will talk more about hangin another time)  then you know you have 8 x 10 print “holes” and that is what you can update and order and change as you get new photos or want to switch out images..isn’t this room below so elegant..who says photos are only for private or inmature spaces? Not this decorator!

And another great example of simplicity and ease in changing out/updating…

 Finally, what i like to call the “mish mash” or collage wall! Also a great way to hide a television, do you see it?

The collage wall often involves mixing in art and other objects and papers with your photos..yet another topic we will cover in my upcoming guest posts. So stay tuned!

If this is all fun to read about but you still need help planning your photos walls and installing them, I would love to help you feather your nest! email me at AND YES we can absolutely do it online and via email!

{all images from my pinterest boards}

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  1. I tend to be uniform when I do a gallery wall, but this may have changed my mind…looks fabulous!!

  2. That was a great post and very helpful! I am wanting to do a gallery wall up my staircase and it is hard to know were to start! Thanks!

  3. Great post, Holly. LOVE the second to last image. Thinking about doing something similar in my house!

  4. I am in the process of gathering photos, looking at frames, and putting my plan together for an entry space photo gallery in our home. This was good information — thank you!

  5. I LOVE the color pictures in white on white frames. Looks spectacular with older color photos!!

  6. What a great post! Sooo many great inspirations–I will definitely save this to refer to when I finally make my own photo wall! Congrats, fellow Reader’s Choice winner!! 🙂

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  1. […] Decorating with Photos via Holly Mathis Interiors – been thinking about re-doing mine so the perfect post. […]

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