A Design Guide to Using Photos on Canvas

Interior design tends to be an intensely personal experience unless you’re engaged in it professionally, which is one reason it so often includes photos on canvas as a component. After all, it’s your room, your home, the space you occupy personally that’s being designed and decorated. You’ll have to live with your choices, no one else.


This sometimes guides people into making all of their design choices intensely personal, using nothing but personal pictures for their wall art and nothing but vacation mementos for the objects d’art in the room. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with the personal touch, sometimes so much intimacy can be overwhelming in a room. The room can feel like it’s yours and not meant for anyone else, and guests can feel like intruders as a result.

The Key: Proportion

The key to interior design using photos on canvas as wall art is restraint: The personal should be a spice in the space, not the main course. People shouldn’t be hit in the face with a mountain of vacation photos, family portraits, wedding photos, and other visual intimacy – instead, concentrate on the design and use complementary images that subtly call back to the personal in ways that will reward people you’re close to without alienating people you’re not.

Holiday Macro Photos on Canvas

For example, let’s say your family enjoyed an epic holiday recently – say, to Egypt, where you viewed the Pyramids and saw the most amazing works of art. Instead of littering your room with images of your family on the trip, limit the intensely personal and instead use photos of the Pyramids and of Egyptian art to decorate the room. An awesome idea is a huge split canvas installation of the pyramids – awesome monuments deserving of scale – behind the couch. Such touches bring the spirit of your family and your memories into the space without requiring guests to know anything about it in order to appreciate your design.


Intimacy through Obscurity

Family portraits are always a popular choice for photos on canvas, of course, but too many can make a room feel solipsistic and inward. This is fine for a bedroom or any room where guests are generally not going to find themselves, but in public areas of the house this can be a little off-putting. While your relatives and close friends might enjoy seeing your children everywhere, other guests might find it a bit much.

Again, the key is to reference the personal in an artistic way. Instead of formal portraits with everyone posed and wearing matching jumpers or a huge collection of holiday shots, make your photos on canvas more subtle: Extreme close-ups, artfully composed long shots – even shots of favourite or important locations from your family’s history but without any people in them, landscapes of your personal experience. This makes the room personal to you and anyone who knows your family well without alienating those who don’t.

Using photos on canvas tastefully and effectively is a talent that requires a bit of practice and experience – but is within the reach of just about anybody. Think on how you can combine the personal and the tasteful in your next room design, and when you’ve cracked the code click here and we’ll turn your subtlety into amazing wall art everyone can enjoy.