Clean & Decorate: Turning Pictures Into Art

Do you have a digital camera or a shoebox full of pictures? Maybe you look at them from time to time and tell yourself you will do something with them eventually. What better time than the end of the year to take a look at those pictures and find something new to do with them? Not only will this provide a bit of house cleaning for your digital camera, computer files, or boxes of pictures, but you will have beautiful, custom décor in your home as well!

Before you start: Before you add a new design element to your wall, make sure you’re starting with a clean wall! Many housekeeping services offer wall cleaning in certain rooms or as an additional service, so check there if you need some help!

Black & White Versus Color

Whether you choose black and white pictures or color depends on the look you’re going for. Is the room you’re decorating more clean lines and modern style? Black and white is probably a good choice if this is the case. If you’re decorating a brightly-colored, classic, or country-style room, you can go with either. If you pick color, though; go for the more vibrantly-colored pictures.

Tip: If you are starting with digital pictures, you can easily flip between color and black and white through your camera, computer software, or online editing sites.

Using Frames

Depending on your style, you can use frames and matting that match exactly or frames and matting that are different but complement each other well. While you can certainly use frames without matting, a photograph will look much more professional and finished if you use it.

When it comes to arranging frames on the wall with your pictures, there are two ways to do it: symmetrical and asymmetrical, and it’s done exactly the way it sounds. Symmetrical arrangement involves arranging them in straight, clean lines and symmetrical shapes. For instance, you might arrange your frames into a large square or rectangle on the wall above your couch. This makes it look like one large wall element despite being composed of several smaller pictures.

As for asymmetrical, this is more of an arrangement, like a collection. You might even use frames of different shapes, styles, and colors, and you arrange them in ways that are offset from each other, so that you end up with more of a wall design than a shape.

The one you choose will depend on your personal style and the room décor you already have.


Another alternative is to have your pictures printed on canvas. This is a pricier way to go, but your photographs will look like they belong in a museum or store, which can be a big eye-catching element and a great option if you’re only going to turn a few of your best photographs into pictures.

For more ideas, take a look at this online photo gallery of decorating with pictures, and enjoy your new photo art!