Interiors, Styling

We Are Family: Display your old family photo’s alongside the new

I was at the frame shop yesterday with an older client’s three generations worth of photographs.  They had been separated for me by his daughter into groups of the three children.  I know one of the families, but the other two family’s were strangers to me.  So, I’m laying out these adorable school photo’s of this little girl – then I reach a photo of a beautiful, confident young woman who bears a striking resemblance to the little 3rd grader I was just looking at – her at her high school graduation.  I reach another family grouping and I see this cute little baby boy looking somewhat stunned and surrounded by his older sisters done up with matching bows and then a photo of a handsome young man who somehow made it out of childhood and into adulthood in the span of 10 seconds for me.  It was a beautiful moment of time passing and a moment that gave me pause throughout the day.

The documentation of the generations of a family is really something profound to see all at once.

That said – it made me want more of that for my home and made me want to really encourage my clients to put their older photo’s of family and friends up on the walls – even those retro 8×10 photo’s you may have of your mom looking airbrushed and awkward yet strangely glamorous from her high school photo.  They belong with your own more modern family photo’s.  The next generation might think our candid’s old fashioned – but hopefully they will put them up alongside their own.


My dad and his brother in 1958 and my mom circa 1960.  The frames need updating but the photo’s are perfect and of that period in time.

martha stewart photo ledge
Generations all together – it’s easy and looks fantastic.  (Source)

dark wall photos
A dark accent wall with a collection of your photo’s – both old and new can look really striking if your style is more minimal or tailored.  (Source)
going around the light switches
Adorable and I would love to see more photos.  I love how they just hung art and photo’s around the outlets and thermostat.  Those things are always hung right where you want to put a piece of art! (Source)
family hall photos
For a more colorful and eclectic photo wall – try integrating art into your display.  It will give the area more energy and can help it look more stylish. (Source)

I hesitate to say this, because I love seeing family photo’s hung up in a home but I don’t love the photo wrapped canvas pieces and I am tired of the overly precious words and letters mixed in with the other photo’s.  I would love to see people mix in different generations and styles of photo’s – if you need to keep the frames and mats similar for the looks – that’s cool – it does make it easier.  It just looks more forced when I see a beautiful series of photo’s from the same photo shoot marching down a wall and the words Family above.  If this is you – either ignore me or maybe start thinking around that box and try something different.

Here are my grandparents in 1939 and Sylvia and me in 2007.  Generations look great together – don’t worry about the change in photo styles and dress.  Go through your old photo’s and go to a framer you trust.  I think you’ll be amazed at how rewarding it will be!

Also, since it’s now in my head: We Are Family from 1979…





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s