Thursday, September 23, 2010

Decorating with Black and White Photographs

One of the most popular colors used in decorating today is black. Its classic style can be used to complement any style decor ranging from traditional, contemporary, and country — to French, rustic, and Old World. There's simply no shade on the color wheel with more power to draw the eye and provide a dramatic touch to a room. I think it's safe to say that designers and decorators all agree that "every room needs a touch of black to sharpen everything else."

One simple and rather inexpensive way to introduce black into a room is by using black and white photographs. I think they provide an uncluttered look (as in "less is more"), and add a warm, personal touch to a room, too.

I am considering using several of my photographs in the house we're going to build, and have converted some of my favorites to black and white just to get an idea of how they would look framed (I accomplished this by using my Photoshop Elements program).

If you prefer more color, another option would be to frame color or sepia-tone photographs in black frames with white mats. The following pictures show the above photos in their original colors:

I actually have those two sepia photos framed and hanging in my house now:

At this point, I'm still in my "wishy washy" mode as far as making a decision whether to go with black and white photos or color, but I do know that I want to use black frames with white mats. Of course, I could always use both color and black and white pictures throughout the house, depending on the decor of the rooms. There's nothing like having several options to confuse you, is there!

I'd love your input — which do you prefer?


racheld said...

Depends on the subject, I think---the magnolia, the cotton, even the cow, all lend better to their natural colors, with the robust tones of sky and green true-to-the life-force within.

The columns, the statue, the building's stalwart facade---sepia is their tone, for the beauty of them, and for the ingrained expectations of other times having been lived in those somber shades, somehow, from the old black-and-whites of our long-ago relatives, staunchly sitting smileless for the one portrait of their lives, to the succeeding generations squinting into the sun for their Kodak moment.

I've always had the feeling that they LIVED in those muted tones, and that no thirties farmstead was other than gray and black, and that no dustbowl farm wife ever hung her laundry beneath wide blue sky, nor had a dress other than tan.

Your pictures are absolutely exquisite, in any shade.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that I wouldn't be much help to you...I can't decide which I like better either. The photos are beautiful...I guess it would just depend on the room and what it called for.

Deb said...

wow...hard decision... they are all great...the black and white if I have 2 choose...

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

my biggest problem is picking out my favorites. If I had to choose through your photos, I would just give up, I love all of these that you have posted.
I can't wait to see which ones you finally choose.

Jenni said...

I very much like the cotton boll and Magnolia in black and white. These are both such Southern Icons, and seeing them in black and white is both attention grabbing,and thought provoking.

To me, the two stark contrasting shades prompt one to take a closer look and really study those natural bontanicals.

I love all the pics, though...

Tonja said...

Just more evidence of what a fine photographer you are! These prints look good either way! I like the cow in color, but the angel and the archtecture is so nice in B/W.

Anonymous said...

These are all fabulous Janie!

I have used black and white, sepia and color versions of my photographs. I love the wall of sepia photos, from around the lake, in our condo foyer. I have the sunflower in color by the farmhouse table and color and black and white photos in the inside hallway. So there is a variety.

All are in black frames, white mats except for the sepia photos...they are in white frames and white mats. This is on the very dark wall of the foyer.

I like your idea of matting and framing the photos virtually before making your decision. I'm going to give that a try too.

Happy weekend!