In partnership with Saal Digital

Displaying custom photography in your living space can transform a wall from dull to dramatic. Tracy Calder explains how Saal Digital makes the process pain-free for photographers

Saal digital logo

Blank walls are fine for minimalists, but if you want a burst of joy every time you enter a space then a touch of wall art might be the answer. Displaying your pictures can trigger happy memories, while also making a statement about who you are as a photographer and what you love.

Custom wall art also makes a space 100% unique. Whether you’re a professional photographer working for clients, or an individual looking to surprise a loved one, Saal Digital has a range of Wall Décor options that are sure to impress.

15 ways to give your room that gallery feel

1. Use art as a springboard

Many people choose a piece of art to fit in with their existing colour scheme or design, but if you’re at the planning stages (or revamping a space), why not select a piece of art and base your room design around it. You could use colours from the picture as a base palette or take some of the design elements and replicate them in the style of furniture you choose.

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Ensure your image blends in with your decor

2. Go for a float

To give prints that extra wow factor, consider displaying them in a Floating Frame. Ordering one of these instructs Saal Digital to include an 8mm visual gap between the décor and the wood, giving your pictures the appearance of floating in the frame.

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An example of a floating frame

3. Set the right mood

It’s important to think about how your chosen wall décor will affect the mood of the room. If your picture is bright and busy, for example, it might not be a good idea to hang it in the bedroom where you want a more restful, calming vibe. Alternatively, you might like to hang something more challenging in a kitchen or living room to match the high-energy activities that take place there.

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Ensure a bright, colourful image fits in with the style of the rest of the room

4. Feel free to change your mind

Some works of art can be appreciated for years, but others become so familiar that you just don’t notice them anymore. Saal Digital offers the option of a photograph in a Changeable Frame so that you can swap your art as often as you like. (The frame is made of aluminium so it will suit most images, and it’s tough enough to withstand some pretty heavy handling.)

Saal Digital changeable frame

Make full use of Saal Digital’s Changeable Frames

5. Invest in precious metals

Having decided to have one of my images (two cars in Guatemala) printed on metal I was expecting it to feel heavy and maybe lack colour accuracy. But I was wrong! The print was surprisingly light, the colours were punchy (thanks to the 7-colour UV direct printing), and levels of sharpness and detail were impressive. What’s more, I can hang my metal print outside if I like because it’s weather resistant.

6. Join a popular group

Consider hanging a group of pictures together to create a focal point in a room. To achieve visual balance, it helps to position larger pieces in the group towards the bottom left, but there are no hard and fast rules. Before you commit, lay a piece of paper on the floor, draw around each frame and cut out the shapes. Stick the pieces to the wall with washi tape and rearrange them until the balance feels right.

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Grouping images creates a great focal point in a room

7. Get a gallery-style look

Photo canvases are always popular, because they give your photographs a classy, gallery-style look. I ordered my image of a fern (below) to be printed on canvas as it has a gentle, almost painterly feel. The printed fabric was stretched by hand onto a solid wood wedge frame and the print was ready to hang straight away. The colours were wonderfully natural, and I was blown away by the level of detail achieved.

Saal Digital fern

This fern image has a gentle, painterly feel

8. Stay on the level

If you’re planning to hang lots of images around a room, it can be tempting to try and line up the tops or bottoms of the frames, but this can create a lack of visual balance. Try lining the middles up instead. (There is also a designer’s ‘rule’ that states that if you’re positioning a piece of artwork above a sofa or a sideboard it should be at least two-thirds the length of the item of furniture).

9. Show off your art

Having heard that the Saal Digital GalleryPrint option combines direct printing on acrylic with aluminium plate (for reinforcement), I was keen to see what this means in real terms. The photograph I chose features Skye Bridge in Scotland, and I went for a GalleryPrint with glossy finish. The brilliance and depth of colour was amazing, and the finished article was vibrant and eye-catching. I was seriously impressed.

Saal Digital Skye bridge

The prints from Saal Digital are wonderfully colourful and vibrant

10. Think about light levels

The lighting you use near your artwork can have an impact on how it appears to the eye. Kitchen lighting tends to be bright and harsh, for example, while bedroom lighting is often warmer and softer. Think about this when you position your work (especially if you’ve opted for a product with a reflective surface). Do not hang your artwork in direct sunlight.

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Consider the light in the room before hanging your image

11. Soundproof your space

Now and again, I come across a product that mixes design and purpose perfectly, and the Saal Digital Sound-insulating Canvas is a great example! Perfect for hanging in meeting rooms, home offices or bedrooms, the canvas is filled with sound-absorbing foam, which reduces reverberation. What a great idea!

12. Don’t get overheated

Think about the temperature of a room – bathrooms and kitchens can be hot and humid, while areas above fireplaces and radiators are usually too hot for prints to handle. A slightly shadier corner is often best – you can always invest in picture lights to illuminate key pieces.

13. Use picture panels

Multipart Wall Décor can be a fun (and striking) addition to an interior, and Saal Digital provides various options when it comes to layouts and surfaces. You can split a picture across several panels or combine several different images. The Wall Décor Configurator allows you to test different combinations before committing yourself.

14. Pick up some stationery

Use Post-It Notes instead of pencil to mark the edges of frames and the position of any hooks or nails you plan to add to your walls – it will prevent your paintwork from getting dirty and marked.

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Be careful with the paintwork when mounting your images

15. Get an instant fix

There are various ways to mount your art to the wall but if, like me, you’re a menace with a drill then consider magnetic mounting (this won’t be suitable for heavier pieces of work). This system is great for Squares because you can update your gallery easily and play around with the layout until you’re happy.

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Magnetic mounting comes in very handy

Further reading
15 ways to add wow to your wedding portfolio with Saal Digital