When we first moved into our house last year, I immediately fell in love with all the blank wall space. I dreamed of huge colored prints of all our favorite places covering some of them, gallery walls on others and pristine “blankness” on the others. As I happily went about decorating our new house (The Best Places To Buy Home Decor), I ran into a couple different snafus – one being the cost of large art. I was on the hunt for the perfect frame for one of the photos I took on our Royal Hawaiian Staycation, because every time I look at it – it just makes me happy! I mean – we are talking serious bucks for large printed photos. Even if you get a deal on the print, you’re going to pay dearly for the frame. And a frame in Hawaii – let’s not even go there….one of my quotes was four digits long – OUCH! Enter my favorite new décor hack: engineer prints. Decorating with engineer prints is something I’ve read about on other blogs, but the only ones I could find were in black and white – so sad! Some offered the advice of getting engineer prints at Staples, but sadly I couldn’t find that anywhere here in Hawaii 🙁 I dearly wanted color engineer prints and by gosh – that is what I found! Read on for all the details on this affordable DIY home decorating hack with engineer prints!
Home Décor Hack: Color Engineer Prints
Engineer prints get their name from what they were originally used for – architectural drawings and blueprints used by engineers to build and construct. Measuring 4 feet by 3 feet, they are a dream for large printing projects and you can find lots of fun ideas floating around Pinterest. My problem? Engineer prints are usually printed solely in black and white. While color did seem like an option at some places, none of the locations in Hawaii offered it.
I had used Parabo Press previously for other photo printing projects, but when I discovered they printed high quality color engineer prints for a STEAL (only $30, people!) – I was sold. I was a little bit hesitant about the quality once it was blown up to that size, so I made sure to adjust my photo settings before submitting it to print. These photos don’t really do it justice, because it was super sunny in my house, but the color quality is SPOT ON! It’s bright, vibrant and crisp – not blurry at all!
But even with a way to affordably print my photo, I was still left wondering where I could find a frame. But in talking with the folks at Parabo Press – they’ve already done the legwork here! Because our house has a modern/contemporary vibe, they suggested I forgo a frame altogether and pair my print with some of their poster rails. I’ll be the first to tell you, I instinctively thought…“no, that’s going to ruin the paper almost immediately” as well as “We keep our windows open all the time to enjoy the nice breeze in Hawaii – it’s going to look terrible in a week” — hey, just keeping it real!
I am here to happily report that in the month since it has been hanging in our home – neither have happened. In fact, the paper has flattened, not rolled, and is complimented by nearly every person who comes over. It hangs over our main stairwell and because it’s so big, it’s the statement piece I had been on the hunt for all along! For those wondering – the poster rails are weighted and pull the prints flat, so they hang flush with your wall without flying around or lifting, and even kind of crazy Hawaiian tradewinds haven’t blown it around a bit.
The total cost of this project was $65 – a complete bargain when it comes to statement wall hangings! If you’re like me and willing to think outside the box when it comes to decor, I would highly consider working with engineer prints and/or poster rails from Parabo Press.
What’s your favorite home décor hack?