Is Replaceable Art just a Passing Fad or is it Here to Stay?

by Eric Von Lehmden | January 27, 2012

First off, let me explain what I mean when I say "Replaceable Art". This is a term I just created out of thin air that means any art that is changed out monthly, seasonally or every couple of years. I ask this question because I have personally seen many friends and people in my social network talk about how they like changing up their house decoration every so often...including the artwork or personal photos that hang on their walls. My wife and I are guilty of the same act of recycling and changing our home decor. We find ourselves constantly changing what is hanging on on our walls based on the season. We go all out for pretty much every season and then we take it all down and start again. It is kind of nice to have a stockpile of photos and art that are stored when you don't need them but we can always break them out when the season...or our taste requires. That is what brought up this question that I posed in the title. Is replaceable art just a fad? Well, I have some thoughts on the matter. I also have a few ideas for folks who don't think it's a fad and think of it more as a lifestyle choice.

I think there are a couple of factors at play for people who like to change things up in their abode rather than investing in one or two expensive pieces of art to hang on their walls. I think the economy over the past couple of years have gotten people thinking about thrifty ways to decorate their walls which has lead to this huge surge in a DIY (Do It Yourself) movement. Another reason is personal taste. Some folks would rather have family photos adorn their walls than expensive art. But photos can go out of date rather quickly so new ones will pop up each year. And at last you have folks (like my wife and I) who just simply get bored at looking at the same stuff on our walls for more than a couple of months. I am sure there are a bunch of other factors too like the difference between the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X...and Y but I don't want to get too cerebral here. This is just an opinion but I think that people will continue to gravitate toward having art that is easily replaceable on their walls than invest in something that will stay on their walls for 10 or 20 years. Arguments are welcome.

This opens the door to all kinds of fantastic ideas that you can use to keep the art or photos on your wall fresh and exciting. I have some ideas about using a mixture of photos on canvas, photo paper, and art canvas prints that can be used throughout the year and is a relatively smaller investment than a one of a kind piece of art...And who is to say that the stuff you create isn't one of a kind...of course it is. And that is what makes it even better. I am going to use the example of decorating by season. Here are a few ideas that you can use to decorate your walls throughout the year (and please add your own in the comments).

Spring

  • Go grab some photos of some wildflowers or go to a field and take photos of your kids flying a kite. Those could make beautiful canvas prints or go smaller and just print them as photos to put in smaller frames...You don't always have to go big.
  • Photos of your family in your Easter Sunday clothes. I can see great wall collage of the photos from the Easter Egg hunt. Be sure to photograph the details...that is what makes a great photo canvas collage work.
  • Spring is a time of fresh greens. Have your kids do an art project of all different shades of green. Now this is something you can have forever and display each Spring.

Summer

  • Take some photos of your kids at the pool or at the beach and display some on photo frames that you can rotate the photo in and out of and print one as a photo canvas to be the centerpiece
  • Think about 4th of July and doing a few pieces of word art as a wall collage - great sayings like "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and maybe include a line from the Star Spangled Banner. Use different tones of Red, White, and Blue in your art.
  • Think about what color Summer makes you think of. Go to a local hobby shop, grab a canvas and that color and paint something...anything. Use a stencil or paint by numbers or trace it on the canvas first then paint it. Just try it...it's fun.

Fall

  • Of course you can have a ton of fun with Halloween. You can even do a few online searches for creepy images and get those printed as canvas prints or have them sprinkled around your house in photo frames.
  • Take pics of your kids in their Halloween costumes and display those as desktop photos to add the the fright fest.
  • Thanksgiving conjures up images of fall leaves and cooler days. Go out and find those changing leaves and take some close up photos of them. A single orange or red leaf or collection of leaves can have a bold but playful impact as photos on canvas. You could even just dry out the leaves and frame them for a unique piece of natural art.
  • There are a ton of craft activities that you and your kids can do together...One of the best is the painted hand print turned into a turkey...classic. You can do that on a nice cardstock or water color paper that you can buy at a hobby store then frame it and have it for Thanksgivings to come.

Winter

  • Of course there is the big obvious Christmas. Christmas photos, Christmas crafts, and even lyrics to Christmas carols are things you can print on canvas and enjoy around your house for the season.
  • Or you could go with the less obvious and decorate in the icy blues or new funky colors you see for the Christmas holiday. Take a cue from department store ornament colors to help you create your color palette. Bright fun colors are great to decorate with...especially if you have young kids.
  • Start a tradition each year by taking a family photo in front of the tree or on your vacation and display it somewhere in the house during Christmas.
  • Don't forget about Valentine's Day (That is still in the Winter season...right). Remember when you were in grade school and your art project was to make paper hearts. Do it again. Make big ones and small ones and have your kids make them too. Make paper heart garland and frame a few of your favorites. You could also Modpodge a heart onto a blank canvas (or embellish a canvas print you already have).

These are just a few ideas that are floating around in this noggin' of mine. I would love to hear more ideas on transitional and replaceable art that you have going on in your house.

Photography, fine art printing and decorating news and advice

Tips-n-Tricks #42

When taking a portrait of your kids, focus on their unique details. Their freckles and eyes...and baby's toes and fingers make great wall art when you turn them black and white.


Turn your walls in to unique works of art