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I recently bought a couch. The last time I went through his process was when my 16 year old was just crawling and since that couch has seen him through snack time, nap time, fort building, sick days and countless popcorn filled movie nights… it was time to retire it to the basement.
As I was making decisions for the new couch I realized how close this process is to buying and selecting portrait wall art.
Measure the space.
Both your couch and your portraits will look unplanned and not well thought out if you don’t have the correct size for your space. You don’t want them too small and you also want to make sure that your couch and your wall art have space around them.
Getting the right size for the space is important. Who wants to go through all the trouble of getting a portrait designed and hung and its too small?? No one should have to get up from the couch to walk up to a wall portrait to see what or who is pictured.
It may cost a little more to get the correct size couch or portrait but you are not doing yourself any favors by skimping on the size. Its a small price to pay for not regretting it every time you walk in the room.
Decide on layout
Take a look at the space and decide on how many pieces you want.
One large piece? multiple pieces to create one cohesive arrangement?
I went back and forth between a sectional and a sofa and two arm chairs. I had to consider the space and what would look appropriate. I measured out the size of the couches and placed masking tape on the floors. I left it there for a few days, if I didn’t think it was right I would try new sizes.
To do this with portrait wall art, hang paper on your wall in the sizes and arrangement you are considering. Live with them for a little bit and make sure that you like the design and layout before you commit. You will have these a long time so make sure you love it.
Make an inspiration board
It helps look at everything together, put fabrics, frame colors and the images you will be using as those colors will play a roll in the design of the space. Here is a Pinterest board of mine. This is a great resource to make a digital board but printing and cutting out images are still a fabulous (and I think more fun) way to still do it. Step back and look, make changes until you love the style.
Decide on Colors and Medium.
Whatever is going in the room needs to coordinate and this includes your portraits. When you are selecting the fabric for your couch you are making sure that it will look good with all the other decor in the room. This holds true for your portraits as well and I am not just talking the color of the frame. Make sure the image will reflect that same look and feel with colors and location. Think ahead on clothing and setting for your portraits.
Getting portraits taken is a lot of prep work. You are getting outfits, making sure everyone is well rested and carving time out of your busy schedule. You don’t want to go through all the work and end up with portraits looking like they don’t belong in your space. You will have these forever and you need to love them. You need to smile at them every time you walk in your room.
Decide on quality, which will also decide your budget
- Do you need it fast?
- How long do you want it to last?
- Do you want quality, last for years and years?
My now basement couch was definitely built to last. It wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t fast. I wanted quality at this time over everything. It may of been my first adult purchase where I made that decision! This time I had to consider the same things, do I just head to a discount furniture store, a chain superstore or that large blue building full of Swedish furniture with instructions that always boggle my mind? Or do I take some time at higher end furniture stores with product guarantees and where it will take some time to get my couch made and delivered?
All of this is important to consider when you are ready for portraits. You can’t have quality, speed and low price in one product so you have to pick what you can live without. Some times speed and low price win, sometimes DIY wins, but for this particular situation quality and a long lasting product won out for me.
See the products in person. Make sure they fit your need. If you need them to last and be of good quality you want to see them in person. Sit on the couch and hold the framed prints or canvas. Not all couches are created equal when it comes to quality in couches and the same goes for wall art. Make sure your photographer is also of the quality you want. Are the images produced properly? Will the paper and presentation be built to last? If you are building a wall gallery or using the images in the same room…. will all of the images coordinate?
Custom Portrait photographers will be able to direct you in proper sizing and design options for your space. They will also assist with locations and clothing. Take advantage of this service and get everything done right the first time. Who wants to drag kids of any age out to this again? And I know no one wants to walk into a room and look at portraits, or your couch, and be frustrated with their decision.
Bring it to life in your own home!
If you are thinking about your own wall display… head here and get a FREE DOWNLOAD with some wall gallery layouts and tips. Get some ideas for your own home and then bring them to life. Some of them will even work well above a couch… if you happen to also be shopping for one of those!