Ask Kate

Stylish Ways to Display Black + White Photos

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

I met a friend at her house a few weeks ago, she has four cute kids and an empty hallway, and she was asking what to do with the “blankness” of it all.  I’m a big believer in “bigger is better, make a statement!” when it comes to displaying photographs, and you cannot go wrong with black and white – they are undeniably classic and oh so sophisticated when gathered in a group on display.

For her hallway, I suggested four extra large black frames and white mats with their darling faces enlarged and all four hung in a grid; or a simple hallway collage like this one I created for another friend years ago.

But it got me thinking…beyond the hallway, there are multiple ways to display black and white photographs, it just depends on the space and whether you prefer a more eclectic and asymmetric display, or if you favor a symmetric or streamlined look.

Symmetry is the easiest look to pull off, just gather up the same size frames in a grid – bonus points for large off-center mats, and then hang your favorites in a series.  The bigger frames and mats are an investment but worth it, the look is timeless.

symmetrical grid black and whites

Samantha Pynn

The best part about a gallery like this is you can change out the photos as you please since photography enlargements are so affordable.   Showcase your favorite vacation, your wedding, silly faces, your family members, whatever is meaningful.

symmetrical black and white photos over console

Pinterest

 

This image has been seen by many, but it’s still one of my favorites.  It took some thought to achieve the look, but I love how this display keeps your eye moving around and yet it is still so well balanced. Notice the mix of black and white frames in different sizes and that one black mat thrown into the mix, all of it hung on a blue painted plank wall – lovely.

black and white photo display pottery barn

Pottery Barn

 

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Brooke’s Office Basics

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Brooke wrote to me a few weeks ago asking for suggestions on what to do with her catchall office space and looking for a few tips on how to pull a look together in an affordable way.   Here’s Brooke’s summarized email: 

“The room is 11 x 10 with 8 foot ceilings and the only thing that has to stay is my grandmother’s desk, a family heirloom.  As far as my style, I prefer light colors, whites, creams, warm grays, some navy blue and punches of color.  I’m not a huge floral print person,  but I’m obsessed with stripes.  I love minimalistic, simple non cluttered, but you probably couldn’t tell from the photos.  LOL!  Oh, and I love texture.”

Here’s Brooke’s catchall space that she can’t wait to clean up and organize and turn into a functional and comfortable home office, once she has a style plan in place.  Ignore the mess she says! 

brooke office before

 

And here are a few of the images Brooke sent me for inspiration: 

plank ceiling athomeinarkansas

 

navy chevron wall

 

bookcases for storage

 

image sources: 1 / 2 / 3

She loves whites and texture and pops of navy, so here’s a basic plan for including all of those elements:

brookes basics office plan

sources: accent chair / chevron pillow / rope ottoman / billy bookcases / geometric panels / parson’s desk / rattan office chair / navy stripe indoor/outdoor rug

How fantastic would  white plank walls be in this space like the ceiling in the first image?  With Shelley’s DIY instructions, Brooke could install them herself.  I love the idea of an accent chair in a corner to plop into to read or have a conversation with someone else in the space. 

Texture is easy to add with accessories – any basic chandelier can be wrapped in rope , or consider Ashley’s jute wrapped pendant as an alternative to the ceiling fan.  A stool wrapped in rope can become perch too – or the Crate + Barrel Samar ottoman is another option for a textural accent.

Pottery Barn’s desk chair is a little pricey, but the idea is to keep an eye out for a nice wood desk to pair with the white desk for contrast, or continue to use the farmhouse version shown.  Billy bookcases are affordable, add necessary storage, and they’re easy to personalize – add fabric or paint to the back and crown molding to the top like we did in this playroom. The dark wood desk will stay in the space and be placed under the window or on the opposite wall next to the closet.

A pair of geometric window panels would add a welcome pattern and Brooke loves stripes so this Dash & Albert striped rug brings the look and since it’s indoor/outdoor, it cleans up easy.

With the basics in place, all Brooke needs to do is layer with more colorful and meaningful accessories like a cool lamp and some artwork.  Brooke wrote that she loves globes so I can see a collection of them up on top of the bookcases.  Add more textural accents and perhaps a few pieces in gold or antique brass for warmth and this would be one fine office! 

What say you readers?  Any ideas for Brooke you can think up to help her spruce up her space? 

 

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