How To Mix Art and Photos

I often get the itch to change up the art of photos in our home. As much as I wish I could be a one-and-done decorator, I’m afraid it’s just not in the cards for me. I love the feeling of tweaking rooms over time. Luckily, since I print 100 percent of my photos at home, I’m able to swap out photos whenever I want!

This post is sponsored by Canon USA, featuring their new PIXMA TS9521C printer. It’s the first time I’ve had a printer in my home other than my beloved PIXMA iP8720 (which is large format), but I have to say the quality did not disappoint. I tried matte photo paper this time and it was excellent. The color and quality were SO nice. I will definitely be buying more matte paper from here on out.

The images I printed were illustrations made by followers on Instagram. The pink illustration of Nova’s face is made by an unknown artist (please leave a comment if it is you and we will update the credit!) and the illustration of our home is made by @kelseydavisdesign. I also printed a family photo to sit on our dresser.

I changed my mind, like, three times while prepping these frames. The ability to print at home is something that I don’t take for granted—it makes DIY projects like this so much easier!

In addition to the items I printed, I mixed in some artwork. The pink color blocked print is by Pencil + Paper Co via One Kings Lane. The large framed abstract art is one of the first paintings Nova ever did (so of course I framed it!). And the nude abstract is by Teil Duncan.

My tips for mixing art and photos are to choose more abstract photos with colors that match your art or minimal black and white photos. You don’t have to choose those traditional portraits for a room like this (a bedroom) unless you just want to. I think casual snapshots work really well. I actually don’t really hang portraits in our home at all, now that I think of it. I use them for things like Christmas cards and albums, but not so much for our walls. I just prefer the feel of snapshots for home decor.

Another tip is to lay all your art out together before you buy any frames or finalize your choices. Most likely, you’ll want to add a few more pieces or take a few away to make the overall gallery wall more cohesive.

Here’s a video of making our wall! I always hang the papers (cut to the size of each frame) first to make sure I like the placement.

Have fun mixing and matching! xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Lovely wall!

    A quick question – how do you calculate the placing of the nail on the wall to make sure the pictures are distanced just the way you like them?
    I mean, some frames have a higher “hook”, others lower and I notice that when hung up I haven’t calculated correctly the distance, even with a ruler!

  • What have I never thought to actually nail the papers in place!? I always line up the paper on the the floor and then struggle to translate that to my actual wall. Haha what a simple hack! Thanks for sharing!

    – Grace | The Keen Kind

  • Can I ask where did you get the Teil Duncan frame?
    I have a art print from this artist and looking to frame it

  • I love this! I really struggle with what to put on the walls. Mine are way too bare!

  • This does look good, I love that the shades of colour work so well together!

  • I love your little gallery here! I wish the photo had been incorporated into the wall in some way, because it definitely feels like a lovely little art wall plus a photo on the credenza.

  • I agree that snapshots work really well. Lately though, I’ve been experimenting with ordinary snapshots I’ve taken and turning them into something more abstract on purpose (pixelizing them for instance) to get that artistic effect and it’s working like a charm.

  • I really hope that there was some dialogue between the artists and printing their work. As someone who posts their work to instagram, I’d hate to think that people would find it just acceptable to grab my illustrations and print them out, especially when I sell prints.

    • I get permission from each artist and these people sent me their files directly. I would not recommend stealing art to print. 🙂

    • I sent Elsie the beautiful art of sweet Nova! Rest assured no art was stolen in the making of this beautiful gallery wall! <3

  • What a great way to display art in an inexpensive way! I love the pieces you chose as well – the colours go together beautifully. Your followers are so talented!! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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