Whether it’s an old family photograph or a stunning Ansel Adams landscape, a black-and-white photograph can elevate any room in your house. Because black-and-white photographs lack color, they are incredibly versatile, complementing a wide variety of styles and aesthetics. But make no mistake: black-and-white photographs don’t require color to make a bold statement. Here are some ideas for how to use them in your space.
The Oversized Focal Point
A large-format black-and-white photograph—like an Ansel Adams oversized print , for example—is a great way to make a statement without overwhelming a space. Such prints have an impressive presence in a room—they immediately command attention. Tastefully matted and framed, a large-dimension black-and-white photograph can even anchor an entire wall. Compared to full-color prints, black-and-white photographs lend a serene subtlety to a space—complementing the room they’re in rather than dominating it.
The Eclectic Mix
Being colorless, black-and-white photographs are also highly versatile. Looking to tie together a gallery wall with many disparate pieces? Smaller black-and-white photographs can work together to create some consistency. And of course, for a cool monochromatic look, you can always create an entire gallery out of black-and-white photography alone.
The Bold Backdrop
If your room’s walls are painted in a bright, bold color, it can be challenging to find pieces that work well in the space. Colorful prints may clash with the walls. And even if the prints don’t exactly clash, a gallery wall full of colorful prints can make a space look busy. Black-and-white photography, on the other hand, can work well against almost any color. Plus, the slick monochrome of a black-and-white photograph can add some subtlety to a room that already has a healthy dose of color.
The Neutral Contemporary
That’s not to say, however, that black-and-white photographs need a bold background to pop. Black-and-white photography looks excellent against neutral walls, too. If you have a clean, contemporary style, black-and-white photography celebrates the natural light in a room and looks perfectly at home among beiges, whites, and tans.
Black-and-white photography’s greatest strength is its versatility. It can be bold and in-your-face. It can be subtle and cool. But whether it’s a showstopping Ansel Adams landscape or a documentary-style portrait on a contemporary gallery wall, black-and-white photography can elevate your space and imbue your walls—and your home—with character and personality.
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Black-and-White Art Lookbook
Last Updated on July 1, 2022