How to Display Your Family Photos in An Elegant Way

April 2, 2020

How Tos

Displaying family photos in your space can add a personalized, cozy touch and make a house really begin to feel like a home. I encourage my clients to proudly display their old family photos and incorporate them into the design of their space. While I think that personal photos can add a lot of character to a home, they can also make it feel cluttered and less put together if they are implemented with a heavy hand.

There is never a truly right or wrong way to design your home, but I believe that following a few loose guidelines can help you create a space that is both personalized, and impressive.

This simple guide will help you display your treasured family photos in an elegant, unique way. Before I show you the various ways that I like to style and implement family photos into homes…

A Few Design Tips and Tricks

Relegate the Photos

Avoid using family photos in the more formal areas of your home, for example, your dining room or your formal living room. I typically relegate family pictures to the family room, play room, and bedrooms. Please however, that this is not a rule. If you want to place family photos in the formal areas of your home then do it! I would recommend dressing up the pictures with more formal frames though (see below for a few of my favorite elegant picture frames).

Black and White

I love the look of using black and white photographs. Black and white photos often look more formal and are therefore easier to incorporate into the design of a space. Full color photos can often clash with an existing design or make it look too busy and cluttered.

Please – No Wooden Wall Art

When making gallery walls, feel free to incorporate art prints in along with your personal photographs. This is a fun way to integrate personalized details into the design of your home. However, (don’t yell at me) adding wooden monogram letters and wooden phrases like “eat,” “joy,” “family,” and *shudder* “live laugh love” really take away from the potential elegance of your space. I’m not trying to be judgy, but please save these things for like – the garage, or the play room – at the back of the house… <3

SHOP: Console Table // Leather Stool // Bronze Wall Sconces // Abstract Painting

I wanted to start by styling an elegant console table that would look great in a family room, bedroom or hallway (although I wouldn’t use this many photographs in an entryway). Designating an entire table to display family photographs is a great way to make sure that they are implemented into the design instead of just sprinkled haphazardly around the room.

I chose a neutral and gorgeous piece of abstract art to serve as the subtle focal point and blend into the console table itself. I layered elegant picture frames around a stack of neutral coffee table books and added a chocolate brown leather stool underneath the table to anchor the design.

Why This Works

Having a group of concentrated framed family photos looks elegant because they are purposefully implemented into the design. I designed the entire look around the framed photographs. The heights of the frames are varied and layered in a way that minimizes the look of clutter, and allows the viewer to get a good look at each photo. I used more expensive looking picture frames because their elegant sheen adds a subtle layer of luxury to the arrangement. I sparingly incorporated full color photos that coordinated with the warmer palette of the painting and table.

SHOP (Clockwise from Top): Black and White Frame Set // Silver Beaded Round Frame // Silver Knot Frame // Kate Spade Square Frame // Pin Dot Frame (Under $15) // Thin Silver Frame (Under $15) // Round Frame (Under $25) // Bamboo Frame // Brushed Silver Frame

SHOP: Velvet Bench // White Gallery Frames from Framebridge // Cocktail Table (under $100) // Silk Floral Arrangement (expensive, but SUCH a worth it investment that will last years and years. They look astonishingly real. They also have less expensive, smaller arrangements too)

I designed this simple and elegant gallery wall moment that would look gorgeous in a family room, master bedroom, hallway, or entryway. I kept the frames simple and streamlined and paired them with a stunning velvet bench and cocktail table to complete the look.

Framebridge (this post isn’t sponsored, I just love them) is an amazing resource if you need to have anything framed. They take the hassle and the expense out of framing your treasures and photographs. The best part is that you can upload your digital photos directly to Framebridge and they will print and frame them for you, or you can send in the photos to have them framed.

Why This Works

This simple gallery wall takes your favorite meaningful family photographs and turns them into an elegant statement. I love that the black and white pictures don’t compete with the rest of the space and pair nicely with a stylish velvet bench underneath. The small cocktail table and flowers layered in front of the bench adds a well designed finishing touch that looks professional and elegant (in my humble opinion).

SHOP: Leather Sling Chair // Metal Cocktail Table (under $200) // Sketched Portrait // Rowing Man Sculpture // Black Bowls // Brown Nest Candle

SHOP: Brown Nightstands // White Linen Bench (under $500) // Aged Brass Bed // Grey Pillows // Green Velvet Bolster Pillow // Black Mary McDonald Lamps // Peony Silk Flowers (expensive, but worth the money. They look so realistic)

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Fashion never stops. There is always the new project, the new opportunity. Fashion is to please your eye. Shapes and proportions are for your intellect. Fashion never stops. There is always the new project, the new opportunity. Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good. Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good.

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I'm Marie!