Richard Powers (+ How I Choose Images)

November 22, 2010

Richard Powers is an amazing talent that I have to point you to today for interiors and still life eye candy. Based in the UK, Powers is a sought-after pro photographer who shoots for top magazines like Elle Decoration, Livingetc, Dwell, RUM, AD, Elle Decor and many more.  He is currently shooting the home of someone I know, but I’m not sure that I am allowed to say who just yet so I may have to tell you later when the article is published. For now you can enjoy some of the views through Powers’ lens below..

Richard Powers (+ How I Choose Images)

A lot of friends ask me how I choose the images that I show on decor8, what thoughts run through my head as I place photos one by the other… Truth is, it’s intuitive and emotional for me so it’s hard to explain but I’ll try with what I’ve shown above… Okay, so I selected images above from Powers’ portfolio that fit my current mood and also palette, colors that I am inspired by… violet, green, turquoise, a dash of yellow or pink or red. I also tried to show some of my current favorite textures – because texture makes a room you know… rough, soft, smooth, crinkled, torn, silky… I love the mix of high and low, old and new, worn and untouched. I think it’s the combination of these things that make better collages when mixing imagery, at least for me. I also like to try to find something in one photo that is also in the one that I want to lay near to it. It could be a color, a texture, a pattern or something less obvious like the way a photo smells to me (yes, smells!) or how it feels (warm, loving, cold, welcoming, sharing, cozy).

Allow me to illustrate…

In the very first grouping, the two images that I have placed a white frame around, I selected them to sit together because the top image is very violet and traditional and bottom image is very modern and graphic with black and white but I loved pairing the two because though they seem to have nothing in common, they do both contain the color purple in very different doses which I think nicely illustrates how violet can work in both large and small doses in a room.

Richard Powers (+ How I Choose Images)

In the next grouping above, I really like the top two side-by-side for no other reason outside of the shapes. In the image on the left, the door and chair look similar in composition to how the ceramics in the right photo are placed. In the bottom two images, I love the idea of having an abundance and having very little — a lot of dinnerware and then on the table, very little. I also like the worn shelving against the clean, streamlined tulip table and I like how the curves in the china on the shelf mimic the curves in the furniture shown to the right. Another similarity I liked is seeing the handles on many mugs and pitchers and on the table seeing only one handle. Lots of ways we look at things can seem quite abstract, often we think they are not that important because there is no rational, practical explanation behind our thinking, but oftentimes this is the more interesting viewpoint to me – the less obvious, abstract, way-out-in-left-field viewpoint.

Richard Powers (+ How I Choose Images)

And for my final illustration, in the collage above the top two images obviously work well together because of the colors – that strong turquoise is mesmerizing. But more enticed me to pair them side-by-side. I like how in the room, the background is a very soothing scene on wallpaper that is quite muted and serene, and then to the right you have an urban setting with a worn wall that also feels serene and provides for a perfect backdrop. In the bottom two images, I found the curves of the chair very sensual, and strangely enough, I found the collection of bowls sensual as well. I also really like that creamy white in the chair that is also in some of the bowls and how that gorgeous violet in the left hand image works so beautifully with the turquoise found in the photo to its right.

Altogether dreamy.

Do you have any impressions that you’d like to share from these same images above? How do decide how to pair images that you use on your blog? I’m curious to know…

(images: richard powers)


  • Reply Rebecca Newport November 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I love Richard’s work! The colours are really inspiring! The purple and yellow feel really on trend.

  • Reply Tracy Kunzler November 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I love the juxtaposition of the first two photos. The lavender with the green and turquoise is so pretty! I agree photos and spaces can have a definite feel and smell and invoke particular emotions. I am just glad the eye candy you feature has no calories, as I would gain a lot of weight from this site! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Monica Lee November 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Holly! I did just what you are talking about this morning featuring some cardigan sweaters that I liked on my blog. I chose creamy colors with touches of black and then without realizing it, I put touches of orange in each corner. I think it happens organically the more you do it. It fun to really THINK about why you may make a certain choice! Fun! I can really see it in yours, the first 2 have the white and strong black and that creates the harmony (or landing pad) for the purples!

  • Reply sandra lund November 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing your tips, love the last collage :-)

  • Reply alex November 22, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Great post! I found myself looking at your quad images not only left-to-right but also opposite, so for example in the second image (first quad), I found it very soothing and balancing to have the two close-up images of pottery with similar shapes, soft roundness, while the other two (top left and bottom right) were both furniture, seating to be exact. Not sure whether you thought about that when you put the composition together – like you said, so much of it is intuitive ;)

  • Reply Brooke H November 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Such beautiful images! I also chose images for my blog based on emotion and deciding what feels right and makes for the best visual flow. Pairing beautiful close ups and shots from a distance for a big picture/overall look is ideal to me.

  • Reply Nix November 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Very interesting post.
    I like to go the thematic route.
    The matching of a slight nuance or texture.
    I definitely like the way you pair photos and the obvious accents of textures. Visually, it creates intrigue.

    You can see my pairings over yonder:


  • Reply janis - pinecone camp November 22, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I’ve been a fan of his for a long time now. You have very good taste, Holly! I just love his work.

  • Reply Amber November 23, 2010 at 4:02 am

    I’m very much influenced by green at the moment so my interiors, as well as photos on my blog reflect this.

  • Reply Katie Bee November 23, 2010 at 5:30 am

    On that last set, I love how the picture of the room features a strong focal point in the top center, and the photo of the wall next to it has that dark mix of colors right in the same area. The composition is so similar between the two photos, and yet their individual components are so vastly different. beautiful selections.

  • Reply D'Homez November 23, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Love the colors. The way it is used makes it look more beautiful.

  • Reply Andreia November 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Beautiful photos!

  • Reply Lisa November 23, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing how you select and curate photos. Your blog is gorgeous- you have a great eye for visual flow and interest.

  • Reply mydesignchic November 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Love his work…so fresh and sophisticated. Thanks for your great tips!!

  • Reply Julie the Alkaline Sister November 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Holly, as a designer sometimes it’s tricky to define exactly why you see something as pleasing because a trained eye often does it so intuitively and unconsciously. But you have defined your intuitive process very well and have made me think a little more about the Why in image selection and placement, perhaps to make me more aware and to pay a little more attention to the Why when laying out my posts. I deliberate a lot over layout, sometimes a little too much sometimes. I love how you did the first two photos. I’m curious though, would you share which program you find useful for this layout?-Picnik or Picasa? or do you photoshop everything? I find it tedious to collage although I love the effects so I am always looking for the most efficient process. Thanx for such and insightful post today:)

    • Reply decor8 November 23, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      @Julie – HI dear! I use Photoship CS3 mostly, but if I’m in a hurry I use Picasa or Picnik. :)

  • Reply Julie the Alkaline Sister November 23, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Aw thanx Holly, I was afraid I’d have to brush up on photoshop CS3- cuz yours looks sooo nice! Picasa and Picnik are so simple but less customizable. Good night:)

  • Reply hena tayeb November 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    gorgeous photographs.

  • Reply Beachtropic November 30, 2010 at 4:56 am

    Hi Holly
    Check for amazing side by side images. Louise is THE master of the art.

  • Reply Beachtropic November 30, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Apologies Holly, it is


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