Choosing nature photography prints to complement your home décor can be one of the most rewarding aspects of decorating, creating a calming atmosphere and making your home interior more inviting and beautiful.
But if you are reading this article, chances are you are already a creative person. You are probably aware that the atmosphere in your home can have a strong impact on how you think and feel. Your home is an extension of your tastes and should speak to who you are.
If you are considering a nature-themed photography print for your home but find the process overwhelming, the following tips, theories, and ideas may prove helpful.
Creating a focal point
One of the main goals in choosing a print is to create a focal point in your room. When you examine the image below, what is the first thing that you notice? My guess is the giant print of the Japanese maple tree! That is the room’s focal point.
Neutral walls are often the best way give your photography print the attention it deserves. Without any color behind it competing for recognition, this art piece becomes an unmistakable focal point.
The biggest mistake when purchasing art is to choose a piece that is too small. If it does not fit the scale of the wall, it will tend to become ‘lost’ and forgettable.
In all likelihood, if you are investing in an original artwork or photography print, you want it to be the prime focus in your room. So don’t hesitate to be bold and consider larger pieces to breathe life into your home.
Large artworks make a powerful statement by drawing the eye and pulling your rooms together which makes your home more inviting. They are very compelling when placed above a large piece of furniture such as a sofa or dining table, becoming an instant centerpiece that helps anchor the space.
The size that fits
An important consideration in choosing a print is determining what kind of wall space you have to work with. Start by measuring the width of your furniture if you intend to install artwork above it.
As a general rule of thumb, art placed above a sofa, dining room table, or headboard looks best when it is at least 2/3 to 3/4 the width of the furniture, or slightly larger. Remember rules can always be broken, but this is an important starting point to consider.
If you find that the wall is too large for a single art piece, you can always create a ‘gallery wall’ with a selection of smaller pieces grouped together.
This would be the perfect opportunity to group prints with a similar theme or color scheme with striking results. Multiple works from the same photographer or artist will generally complement each other naturally.
Self-expression through artwork
While it is usually wise to choose neutrally colored high-ticket items like sofas and flooring that will not go out of style next year, investing in an eye-catching art piece is an opportunity to express your personality through color and subject matter.
Before purchasing a print, if you find that you have doubts about your choice because it does not create feelings of happiness, relaxation, or excitement, then that is a red flag and you probably do not want it on your wall for the long term. You don’t want to like it…. you need to love it.
The right nature print sets the mood for your space by keeping it inviting and communicating what type of person or family you are. We are all different and deserve to decorate our homes in an inspiring way that articulates who we are to our guests.
It is suggested you take the time to source a high-quality print that you love. It is your home and money being invested, and you want it to be an expression of your identity and tastes.
That is the beauty of art; it reveals your personality and exists to remind you where you have been and what you love. Surrounding yourself with art that speaks to you is especially inspiring and can improve your own well-being.
Choosing by style or theme
It is very natural to choose artwork that matches the style of your room or architecture, with existing furniture and décor that you already own.
Do you have hardwood, wood moldings, and classic furniture? A beautiful wood frame on your artwork would be a stunning addition to make it blend seamlessly into its surroundings.
Some homeowners like to decorate with a certain theme or idea, like tree or waterfall photography, abstract prints, or artwork with bright colors.
To compliment your artwork, you can also shop and search for decorations specific to your theme or with colors that are already present in the art. Area rugs, accent pillows, throw blankets, bowls, or lamps are just a few of the items you can purchase to match or blend with the colors in your print.
The theory of color harmony
Have you ever noticed how certain colors just seem to ‘work’ together, while others seem to clash? This phenomenon is described as ‘color harmony‘ and has been the topic of extensive research throughout history.
Although many patterns and models of ‘color wheels‘ have been suggested over time, the traditional ‘RYB’ model (red, yellow, blue) is most commonly used for selecting colors that are perceived as harmonious and pleasing when presented together.
The chart below helps to visualize some of the common types of color harmonies. The ‘primary’ colors of red, yellow, and blue are colors which can be mixed in a varying amounts to create almost any other color. Note that the primary colors are equidistant from one another in a triangle or ‘triad’ on the wheel.
‘Analogous‘ colors are composed of a root color complimented by two or more colors that are all next to each other on the color wheel, and tend to be the simplest when choosing a color scheme for your home.
‘Complementary‘ colors are ones that are exact opposite each other on the wheel, and create the most contrast and tension from one another.
‘Monochromatic‘ colors are all the tones, tints, and shades of a single hue such as light, medium, and dark blue.
If you already have expensive furniture or other items with a certain color theme, it makes sense to choose artwork that contains colors which complement the ones already present in the room.
Alternatively, adding decorations and accessories later that contain colors already in the artwork emphasizes the united feel of your home.
If your goal is to keep your space sophisticated, it is a good idea to stay with a consistent color scheme in a room to keep it cohesive.
Although it is highly subjective and contrasting across the many geographic and cultural boundaries of the world, color symbolism refers to giving a meaning or association to certain colors.
For example, a bride in North America often wears white, while in China they may wear red. Or the color yellow is commonly associated with warmth in North America, whereas in the Netherlands it is blue.
The chart above is an indicator of color symbolism in North America and although there may be variances depending on culture, these meanings are somewhat customary.
If you desire to create a specific atmosphere in your home, this guide may help you to choose colors that communicate your chosen ambiance effectively.
Referencing the color wheel and symbolism guides can help you to choose colors when investing in a beautiful photography print. Below, this abstract image with tones of yellow and orange looks stunning against the bold gray/brown wall color.
A final note
There is nothing more deeply rooted in humans than our love of nature. For that reason, landscape and nature photography prints are a perfectly natural way to decorate and beautify our homes.
Having the control to choose your own theme, color palette, and complementary décor reflects the atmosphere you wish to communicate, making your home calming to live in and inviting to your guests.
Whether you would like to become a collector or you just want to have one beautiful print in your living room, choosing original prints from an artist you like is easier than ever before.
The tides have turned and reaching out to your favorite artist or photographer online is easy, saving you time and giving you the convenience of collecting from the comfort of your own home.
It is fun and simple to establish a connection and build a relationship with an artist whose work you enjoy, and there is nothing quite like owning an original, gallery-quality art piece that can be handed down in your family for generations.
Anyone can become a nature photography print collector, and the magic starts with your first piece.
About the Author
Dean McLeod is a Canadian landscape and nature photographer, raised in the prairies of Saskatchewan where he learned to love the natural world at a young age. Dean’s work as a fine art landscape and nature photographer has allowed him to keep that joy throughout his life. You can find out more about Dean and see his work on his website. This article was also published here and shared with permission.