Designing with Canvas Photo Prints: Ditch the Image

For some people, interior design is a natural gift. They can’t help themselves: Every room is an opportunity to be creative, to bring in furniture and paint and canvas photo prints and mix them together in new and exciting ways. For others, interior design is an aspiration: They don’t come to it naturally, but they teach themselves the science and the math of how colours work together and how the lines and shapes of things contribute to a mood.


For the latter group, which includes most people, interior design often gets boiled down to a list of hard and fast rules that can (or should) never be deviated from. Certain colours clash, certain furniture styles belong in certain design plans, and if you use print photos online to decorate your walls they should be clear, well-composed images that complement the purpose of the room as well as the design elements.

Rules are useful because it allows people with no gut instincts for design to make their rooms work. But one of the best things you can do is break a rule – break one rule in each room you design, whether it’s a colour rule or a layout rule or a rule about wall art – and the broken rule makes all the other aspects of your room more powerful. For example, here’s a few simple ways of using canvas photo prints that don’t involve images at all.

Canvas Photo Prints: Colour Blocking


Colour is always the real thing going on in any room. Images themselves are almost always chosen because of the colours they bring first, and the image itself second. So why not just skip the middle-man and use canvas art to bring colour to the wall?

A series of small canvases, for example, each printed with a gradient of a colour from the room’s palette or a complementary palette, and arranged in a crisp, even pattern can bring a powerful moment to the colour plan of the space. It can take disparate colours you’ve woven into the design and tie them up in a beautifully composed pattern.

Bringing Patterns in with Wall Art

Patterns can be fatiguing, and as a result many neophyte or uncertain designers will avoid them, opting for the relative safety of solid colours. However, patterns are also incredibly powerful if employed in a smart and dynamic way. Canvas photo prints offer the ideal compromise: Forget images and print up bold, fun patterns that fit into your room’s colour palette and overall strategy, and you can have your cake and eat it too in the sense of having the room mainly work through solids, but bring “pops” of patterns in the same way you bring in pops of colour.

The patterns can be echoes of other aspects of the room – close up shots of a rug’s weave, for example, or wood grain from the furniture. Whatever the pattern is, having it on the wall in a clearly defined geometric shape keeps it controlled and prevents it from spilling out and taking over the room.