How to Decorate with Photos – Tips and Tricks from an Interior Designer

How to Decorate with Photos

I’m excited to share this guest post from Interior Designer Fiona Brass today. Having photos on display at home can bring such joy, but sometimes it’s difficult to know where to display them and how. In this post Fiona answers those questions with lots of ideas for decorating your home with photos. Over to Fiona…

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce”

Karl Lagerfeld was onto something with this quote. These moments are priceless and are bespoke to each one of us. They make us smile when we think about them and give comfort when called upon.

So, with that in mind I want to talk about decorating your home with photos, adorning your walls and spaces with memories and snapshots of your family, moments shared together. In this post, I will share with you how to decorate with photographs and, of course, making sure the whole thing is styled beautifully!


Built to last…and grow

One of the most popular ways to show case photos in your home is by using a gallery wall.

These walls of photos can take on a formal appearance – think one size, thin steel frames, black and white photos all hung in a very distinct grid. Habitat has a superb collection of steel frames to choose from. Using a laser level will help you achieve perfect alignment when hanging these photographs.

How to decorate with photos

Picture walls can also be playful and fun. This can be achieved using a collection of various frames and colours with a more haphazard layout (a well planned out haphazard layout!).

When looking to realise a more relaxed feeling for these walls, use chunky wooden frames. Antique frames can also give these art displays a bespoke touch. Colour is welcome in these displays but consider the tones you use, try to avoid conflicting or clashing colours.

When having any professional photographs taken, it is always advisable to make the photographer aware at an early stage of specific colours and tones you would like to achieve for your gallery wall.

One last thing to remember when planning a gallery wall, if possible, include space for future memories to join the past ones. Think of it as an open family album, something that when you walk by it makes you and your guests smile fondly!

Find Clare’s guide to creating a gallery wall here.


Style around the photos

Picture ledges have been around for a long time but have recently seen resurgence in popularity. By mixing some pictures on these mantles with other special items they can create a really beautiful vignette.

The allure of the picture ledge is that you can chop and change the style as and when you please. There are no nails in the wall holding your frames up and also you can play around with a variety of frame heights and accessories to compliment your photos depending on the occasion. A beautifully framed Christmas card can cost very little and have a wonderful seasonal effect sitting on these ledges alongside other styled items for the event.

These sills come in all shapes and sizes so consider what else you want to add to your shelf before choosing the width and depth. Ikea’s RIBBA Range is a simple ledge that offers a variety of colours and lengths but if you want something a little more special, consider employing a carpenter to build a bespoke ledge to your exact requirements. Your “made to measure” ledge can be painted the same colour as your wall so it just blends into the background providing a perfect space for your photographs and other treasured possessions.

You can find lots of picture ledge inspiration over on Pinterest:


Only one

One very special photograph that is…it might be a portrait or perhaps an abstract photograph. But this is the one picture that evokes a myriad of feelings when you look at it, one that is too special to sit within a gallery wall or ledge.

Supersize it to at least 50cm x 70cm and bestow on it a very special location fitting to the photograph.

Consider bespoke framing and mount and even a picture light to sit above this beauty. Yes this is a financial investment but trust me if you happen to have one of these important photographs look after it. It’s an important memory that is to be cherished and you won’t regret the investment in the long run.

Consider hanging this photograph on a dark painted wall as the impact will be even more striking!


Wired Up

Wire picture frames are a fantastic idea for transient smaller photos that you want to cherish right now and perhaps replace with another in a few months.

They are a superb way of capturing a child’s first year, family occasions or even a holiday. They range in size and shape. Maison Du Monde do a great range of frames that are on trend in copper and bronze at a reasonable price point.

How to decorate with photos

Clever tricks

Finally, if you are running tight on a budget but want a clever option to display your cherished photos look no further than the myriad of washi tape available on the market. Washi tape is a type of masking tape that comes in pretty colours and designs so will add to the overall display of your photographs. Most cost about £1.50 per roll so it’s guaranteed not to break the bank.

If you’re renting or are reluctant to make any marks in the wall, one trick stylists and interior designers use is Command Strips for hanging artwork. These clever things adhere to the wall to hold your frames in place and can be removed seamlessly when you move out or just want to change the location of your artwork. You will find a variety of options depending on the size and weight of your frame.


Over to you

I hope you’ve found all of Fiona’s tips helpful – there were quite a few I hadn’t thought of before. What about you? Let us know how you got on in the comments below.


Find more photography tips for parents here.

Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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