Decorating With Family Photos

Decorating With Family Photos

Sometimes all you need to do is re-arrange the pictures on your wall to improve your home’s style.

Horizontal Row of Old Black & White Photos
Horizontal Row of Old Black & White Photos

In this home, prior to our remodel, family pictures took up almost all the wall space.  One problem with this arrangement is that usually only close family members are interested in continually looking at your family pictures.  Second, squeezing in additional photos can make the arrangement awkward.  Finally, too much of a good thing makes it hard to concentrate — there’s no focal point and so you end up seeing nothing.

Instead, we made 3 big changes after the remodel.  First, we took old black and white photos (2-4 generations old) in identical frames and lined them up as a horizontal element to contrast with the vertical plane and bulk of the new fireplace surround.  The black and white images spark conversation with guests in ways that the newer family photos packed onto the walls didn’t.  For just a small twist, we included a single recent softly colored photo.

We Used a Single Softly Colored Photo for Contract
We Used a Single Softly Colored Photo for Contract

We moved the more recent family photos to the private rooms of the house including the hallway on the bedroom level.  In the master bedroom, we again used the technique of a single horizontal plane but this time we used all more recent color photos.  In the same way we included a single color photo in the living room, we used an intense color-field within one of the picture frames to create interest.

Use an burst of color to break up the continuity
Use an burst of color to break up the continuity

In the hallway, we included two picture ledges and packed them full of photos.  The over-packed picture ledges create an intimacy that can be lacking in wall-hung displays.  You see different things each time you look and you’re invited to rearrange the photos or to easily rotate them.

A Jam-Packed Double Photo Ledge
A Jam-Packed Double Photo Ledge

In the family room we used a double row of photos sometimes interspersed with some larger portraits.  In 2 spots we left the frame blank – again as a whimsical touch to attract conversation and second glances.

Leave a Blank Frame As A Point of Contrast
Leave a Blank Frame As A Point of Contrast

While these changes came as a result of a remodeling project.  A new coat of paint and some thoughtful rearranging of your own family photos might be just what it takes to rejuvenate your style.

Images courtesy of Braitman Design/Build.



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