Interior Design

The controversial decorating technique graphic artist Adam Ellis swears by for creating a statement picture display

The pattern and print connoisseur shares his favorite tips for styling pictures at home

Adam Ellis picture styling tips
(Image credit: adamellis.com)

Feeling brave and ready for a stylishly-startling change in the hallway and beyond? Color and pattern loving, whimsy connoisseur Adam Ellis is the rocket fuel muse we all need to punch our wall displays into the daringly different beyond. 

‘There’s no space that can’t be enhanced or warmed up by the right picture,’ enthuses Adam Ellis, London based graphic artist and maximalism advocate. 

However, the artist has a surprising tip to really make images pop. Adam’s biggest tip is not for the pattern-clash fainthearted. ‘I strongly advocate the look of an elaborate wallpaper overlaid with pictures. It’s not for everybody – my wife likes things to be calm, but I’d rather be more extravagant,' he says.

Adam Ellis picture styling tips

(Image credit: adamellis.com)

Applying print across wallpapers, fabrics and rugs is 
a much more ‘interesting and satisfying way of thinking about artistic processes outside galleries and painting canvases,’ he says. And if people are too nervous 
about living with that much colour, ‘an interesting arrangement of pictures always works, even in the smallest, most intimate spaces.’

It is important to be bold, Adam affirms. ‘I like helping to create spaces with a bit of surprise, that maybe show something new.’

Adam Ellis picture styling tips

(Image credit: adamellis.com)

And if you need a final nudge of color-courage, perhaps Adam’s impressively cool list of collaborations with designers such as Martin Brudnizki and Olga Polizzi will have you utterly sold. 

Dramatic scenes that seductively traverse walls, ceilings and doors can be oohed and aahed at in the most esteemed of heritage institutions. From the romantic trail of songbirds and wisteria enveloping the Brown’s Hotel lobby in Mayfair, London to the gilded scenes of flora and fauna found in many of The Ivy’s collection of globally spanning brasseries. 

Adam Ellis tips for playing with pictures

Ready to get your gallery curator mode on? Read-on for more of Adam’s wonderfully wacky styling gems...

Adam Ellis picture styling tips

(Image credit: adamellis.com)

1. Move images around

Moving around, adding or taking away pictures, every six months or a year, really makes you look again at both a picture and the space around it. They’re so versatile.

2. Mix vintage and contemporary prints

Putting a vintage-looking piece next to something contemporary lends a more curated, collected feel to a space. 

3. Rule of three

Rather than agonise over choosing just one picture for a space, play with a set of three. Once pressure is gone on that single picture, you can make a braver choice because you have two others to support it.

4. Go bold with the frame

Think about framing - a fabulous frame, with proper mounting, won’t detract from the picture but instead enhance it. 

Adam Ellis picture styling tips

(Image credit: adamellis.com)

Like Adam, take a peek to the past to inspire creativity - everything from natural history and botanical prints to antique maps, art-deco advertising posters and contemporary abstract illustrations can provide endless material for eclectic and curiouser displays.