Sweden is maybe the worst thing to happen to Interior Design in recent years. Cheap flat-pack furniture from Scandinavian countries like Sweden has become so popular that people’s homes have all started to look the same. Neutral tones, flimsy furniture, generic art prints - all have become commonplace.
So how do you stand out in a world of beige, pine and stock photography? The easiest way is to add a little something of what no-one else could possibly have: your own art.
Don’t think of yourself as an artist? On the contrary, we’ve all become obsessive photographers these days without even realizing it. We think nothing of taking hundreds of photos to share on Social Media, and have even become adept at editing them ourselves too - you no longer need a whole design team to make your images pop!
Add to this the fact that we’re all carrying around high-quality cameras in our pockets, and there’s no good reason not to try transforming your home with the power of your own photographs. Time was that only ‘real’ photographers with expensive equipment could ever dream of taking a frame-worthy picture. Yet modern technology means that we have high quality cameras integrated in our Smartphones, accessible to us at all times.
The beauty of this principle is that - no matter where you are or who you’re with - you might just spot something beautiful and think: “That view would look great on my Kitchen wall!” Pictures of natural landscapes, cityscapes, or everyday scenes in bright colour or black & white can make for a stunning effect. And that doesn’t mean it can’t be pictures of you and your family or the pet dog instead! Candid photography also works surprisingly well in big prints and on canvas these days, because new printing technologies mean the image quality is higher than ever.
And if you do happen to have advanced photography skills - or if you’re a painter looking to recreate your work digitally to preserve the original copy - fine art printing can also work for you. Don’t let the accessibility of this technology put you off; if you’re a beginner or a pro, everyone deserves to have their unique artwork proudly displayed on their walls.
When you’ve decided you’d like to see your own pictures on the walls, you’ll need to find a decent fine-art quality printing service. In the UK, Digilab London
have a national reputation for high quality art prints, with options for framing, printing on canvas, and the latest printing technologies like C-Type printing. Similarly, in the US, specialist Giclee printers Picture Salon
- based in Madison, Wisconsin - have been keeping customers from across the country satisfied for over 15 years.
If you’d prefer to chat to someone in-store before you print off your photos, then companies like Kodak
have printing shops and outlets worldwide. The only disadvantage of doing it this way is needing to find your own framing company - don’t give in to the temptation of cheap frames from those Swedish furniture stores we mentioned earlier!
Feeling convinced? Here are five quick tips for transforming your home with your own photographs:
1. Take Lots of Photos
The best way to sharpen your photography skills is easy: practice, practice, practice. You’ll soon find the best light for taking pictures - if you’re relying on sunlight, try just after sunrise and just before sunset. This will also help you find what you most like photographing too. Snap pictures of buildings and cities, nature and pretty landscapes… when you find something you really enjoy taking pictures of, don’t stop!
2. Taking the Picture is Half the Task
Only half of good photography is done on the camera. A lot of the skill in creating an incredible picture worthy of hanging on your walls is actually in the editing. Ideally, try your hand at editing in a photoshop programme (there are lots of free ones on the internet). Here you’ll be able to crop your picture to be just the bits you want and apply filters that make your picture pop.
3. Keep it Classy
On the subject of filters, probably the easiest (and oldest) trick in the book is to put your images in black & white. Black & white photographs have a timeless quality to them, so have the best longevity - no need to replace your stunning wall art every six months, or when you redecorate, because black & white goes with everything!
4. Think Hard About What Fits Where
When we think about hanging artwork in our homes, we immediately think of one or two rooms in the house. But there’s no reason to forget the kitchen, the recreation rooms, even the bathrooms. And what works best for these rooms? That’s up to you! But think about every meal you’ve ever Instagram-ed, wouldn’t that make an awesome and inspirational collage for your kitchen? How about that trip to the forest - wouldn’t a picture of a woodland look good for the bathroom when nature calls? Get creative, and soon your photos will be all over the place.
5. Your Friends Might Get Jealous!
Don’t be shocked if your friends ask where you got this or that print - original photography is almost always eye-catching in the best way! But another great thing about this principle is that you can recommend they do the same thing, and their own unique photography will look totally different on their own walls. No need to fear being copied!