Give your walls a photo finish

Give your walls a photo finish

DECOR

Give your walls a photo finish

With a little planning and creativity, you can work wonders with your treasured photographs. Put them up on canvas, make a collage, paste them on a soft board or simply frame them and hang them, writes Swati Kapur

The best part about a recent fun-filled family outing was a pretty portrait of my three-year-old who patiently sat through the nearly half-hour process. What we need to figure out now, is where to hang the picture. A typical question one struggles with, each time a new picture frame is gifted or a portrait framed.

Why hang them?

A family picture placed prominently in the house helps the members bond well and think about the other even when not physically present in front of each other. In today’s high-tech world of digital photo sharing, it may sound like a very old-fashioned idea, but the truth is that when you sit down to relax in the living room or the bedroom, it’s these images hung on the wall or placed firmly on a shelf that connect you emotionally with the other family members.

Successful coaches, professionals and mentors have helped their wards reach their goals, by using the art of visualisation. Based on the premise that in order to achieve something, you first must be able to ‘see’ yourself achieving that goal or being that successful person, this unique technique helps achieve goals and garner desirable success.

It works very well for children. Dr. Anna Mae Kobbe, USDA National Programme Leader- Family Life and Human Development, spent years studying the meaning and exhibition of family photographs.

She suggests placing two pictures of a child next to his or her bed. A picture where the child is happily engaged in an activity such as riding a bike, playing softball, etc and the second that displays family togetherness.

“These positive images are likely to be the last thing they see before they sleep and the first thing they see when they awaken. This will definitely help reinforce a child’s feeling of being both loved and capable,” she remarks.

A must-try for all parents

Indu Sharma from Allahabad once found a portrait of a girl resembling her daughter. She framed it high up and still has it on the same wall. “It’s a sentimental thing now. Each time my grand children come over to see me, I tell them tales of the picture - their mother’s look alike on the wall,” she says. 

Wallpaper photos: This is a bold and bright way to add huge impact to a room. Fun pictures in larger-than-life size placed on an empty wall can add drama and zing to the wall. It definitely is the point of conversation with guests. Make sure that the photo is of high quality, that does not pixelate when stretched across the wall. Claustrophobics may not like the idea of a huge photo looking down at them, so just drop it. Bhavna’s life-size picture of her in the beaches of Mumbai is a sweet reminder of her special moments. 

Also, it absolutely enlivens her bathroom wall. “The picture is a constant reminder that I need to take a break from the running around and the commotion of everyday life, slow down and live that moment again,” says Bhavna from Bangalore. Too many ‘my best’ pictures: Well, if this seems like your problem, go for a collage. Collect your favourite pictures and develop a collage with pictures in different sizes and borders. This makes for an interesting ‘stop-by-and-look’. You can get the collage framed onto a board or put it in glass frames. Vishesh and Bhavna from Bangalore have adorned their special moments by capturing their children’s best shots in frames above the study area. “A look at the frames takes me back to the time when they were small and how fast they’ve grown up,” they say.

Flip effect: Capture a series of movements and successive expressions and arrange them in order and frame next to each other. This can create a beautiful flip book effect. An example would be children’s photos, where they are learning how to walk perhaps! You can also use a casual, modern feel canvas with photos stretched on it.

Other options: Picture rails and matching frames are a great way to display family members and travel adventures. I have seen an interesting looking lamp all covered with black and white silhouettes. The pictures all came alive at the click of a button.

Sanjay loves to put up clustered frames on the walls. His passion for travel photography has fetched him wonderful masterpieces from all around the world. “Putting them on the walls are great reminders of the beautiful moments I have spent in distant lands. Plus, they remind me to keep my passion for photography alive,” he says. 

The staircase is another good option. You can grow a complete gallery of pictures all over up the stairs. Shelves too provide a great space for family photos. The limitation of height keeps them more or less in line, and the matching paint on the shelves and walls allows them to stand out. Silver frames and black-and-white photography create a beautiful gallery of cherished memories.

Before you drill the nail

It’s best to decide what size of photo and which frame you want to use for the picture. Don’t worry about a picture’s compatibility with the rest of the room. If you like the picture, it’s perfect for any room. You can create a sense of unity with mats and frames in the colours and styles that fit the decor. The frames don’t have to be identical with each other, just look for compatibility.

A single picture must be large enough for the wall on which it will be hung or you’ll create a desolate look instead of a warm, inviting one. Groupings are usually better, and though having all your children’s birthday pictures matted, framed and hung in a row will make you proud, adding a few other pictures of different sizes to the mix will make for a more creative look.

Pictures if hung too close to each other end up looking cluttered. Also, don’t hang them too far apart or you’ll lose the unified look.

Go for related subjects in a group. So if we talk of a birthday series, then place two or three other pictures of the same person at different stages in his life around the birthday picture. So, we have a picture story now.

Measure the space you intend to use as a photo wall, and then tape newspapers to the floor in a configuration of the same dimensions.

Arrange and rearrange your framed pictures on the newspaper until you are satisfied with the look. Trace each picture on the newspaper and mark where the hook will go.

Now tape the newspaper to the wall. Use drafting tape so you don’t peel the wall off when you remove the tape. Nail the hooks into place according to your markings on the newspaper. Finally, remove the paper and hang your pictures.

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