Using canvas prints in interior design

There's no doubt about it, canvas prints have become an increasingly popular choice for brightening up interiors over the last decade; where heavy frames and traditional paintings once took pride of place, the simpler and contemporary look of canvases seem to have taken the limelight in recent years.

Because canvas offers complete versatility, along with a choice of different finishes, those decorating their homes can literally choose any image at all to complement their overall interior design. The real question is: What comes first - decorating or image selection?

The great news is that you can actually work around either approach - here are a few ideas to inspire your interior decorating and canvas print themes...

Shabby chic - this popular style has really taken off since the millennium, providing lots of flexibility and opportunities for beautifying the home on a budget. Because features, decor and furnishings don’t necessarily have to match, you'll have lots of freedom when it comes to choosing your image for canvas. Family photos in sepia work well in this environment, or natural images that echo the leaves, flowers and other organic themes often found on shabby chic furniture and accessories are also a good choice. Consider a black and white image with hints of pastel colour to draw out parts of the image and blend with the colour hints in the room.

Minimalist - if you don't favour the fussy and have opted for a clean, minimal interior, then you can use a big canvas print as the main focus for your room. Set against a white or light, plain wall, select a large canvas size with lots of bold, block hues to make an impact and colour statement. This will brighten up a more clinical look and bring a little warmth into your home. Other images that work well in this type of interior are structural or industrial prints - think black and white detailed close-ups of well known landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Houses of Parliament. If you can personalise your canvas by using a holiday photo (or a clipped section from one), then that will stamp a little of your own personality on the room which isn't afforded by the otherwise simple decor.

Cosy and creative - if you're a fan of a snug, cosy environment, then a selection of varying sized prints displayed in a cluster is a great idea. Choose a selection of family, friends, holiday snaps and pets for an eclectic and character-filled wall of wonder!

Canvas first - if you already know what image or images you want on your wall and you're not sure how to decorate to fit them in, then the best approach is to step back and take in the main colours in the pictures. The most striking colours will leap out straight away, but you need to look for the more neutral tones - use these for the bigger colour works in the room, such as your wallpaper or paint, to provide a simple backdrop, and then pick out the bolder colours with the clever use of accessories. Use these colours to help you select your cushions, soft furnishings, ornaments and light fittings to pull the room together.

Interior decorating and matching your wall prints with the overall theme might seem a little daunting, but as long as you focus on the colours, you’ll soon be able to work out the perfect blend!