Moving into a new build home, it would have been easy to go with the bland walls the developers refer to with fancy flowery names but which we all know are basically, modern forms of Magnolia. We decided the pain of moving was too great to consider ever doing it again and therefore we would decorate to our own taste. We looked around for ideas in magazines but the ultimate choice for ideas came from an app which we downloaded to our mobile phones and iPads called Houzz. Houzz provides over one million images of interior and exterior designs and amongst them, my wife spotted a bedroom with a turquoise theme – rather unusual I thought and potentially, cold. Such a theme needed careful consideration with warm colours and tones to compliment the cooler turquoise so we set about how this could be put together in such a way that we didn’t feel like we were drowning in cold water.
The original Houzz theme showed a painting above the bed covering most the height available above the headboard against the turquoise wall. As a professional photographer of some 35 years, I’ve amassed a huge number of amazing photographs, many of which would look superb as a main feature on any wall. I sifted through my images remembering one that I had taken earlier in the year in Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. The water was almost a perfect colour match for the wall with a little adjustment, and some warm colours within the boats’ sails centred in the picture provided a hint of warm tone along with some oranges and yellows on the limestone rocks that, I realised could easily be picked out in the curtains. Bingo! What better souvenir from such a trip than a spectacular picture that sits right above your head creating a feature wall.
We had wardrobes fitted that complimented the cool turquoise colours. We were originally going for a white gloss cupboard, but opted to keep the warmer tones of the developers original paint job on the three remaining walls and hence, we chose an ivory gloss colour for the wardrobes, blending in with the walls and giving a warm feel to the room. Again, some of these tones can be seen in areas of the picture.
Cost wise, I had seen a painted framed print that I liked in a well known furniture retailer at £450. My print cost for a print measuring 4ft x 3ft and mounted in bevelled perspex was approximately £300 + VAT. Above all, we ended up with a hard to beat memory of the trip that colour wise, blended perfectly with the main colour of the feature wall, curtains and wardrobes.
Although my photography is based in Stevenage, I use a lab in Coventry called One Vision Imaging for all my quality printing. One Vision use traditional print processes and high quality archival paper, reducing the amount of fading over time. They also provide the framing service. In this case, the print is bonded onto one of the two layers of perspex and the frame is them mounted onto the wall using six aluminium pillars drilled and secured onto the wall.
We used the Houzz app for further ideas for the kitchen, lounge and remaining bedrooms with a different colour theme for each room. One photo printed large for each room reflects and compliments the main feature colours selected for the individual room. Our living room for instance, has pail blue walls, a dark blue corner sofa with yellow feature cushions with a solid oak floor and display units for warmth. I produced a medium size print of Pepiris, an award winning image of a blue iris flower growing from a yellow pepper to complete the theme. We were also careful with the selection of all the frames, ensuring that the surrounding frame and mount were all complimentary to the colours portrayed in the room and pictures.
In short, art can be so much more than just paint on canvas. The trick is to convince interior designers and the public that photography and in particular, professional photography is also very much a form of art and should not be overlooked when designing interiors, which it so often is.