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Should Family Photographs Be Displayed in Your Home?

For a long time there was a pervasive thought in the design community that family photographs shouldn’t be displayed on your walls.

And while I whole-heartedly agree that highly posed, formal, emotionless portraits aren’t likely a great choice for the heart of your home, I disagree with the sentiment that photographs of the ones you love most don’t have a place on your wall.

So which ones do belong? The photographs that reveal your heart.

The ones that show you holding the hand of the little boy who probably isn’t going to be willing to hold your hand for too much longer. The ones that show your husband with his arms around you as you watch your littles jumping and playing and laughing and screaming. The ones that show you with your arm around your teenaged daughter getting ready to leave for university, not a little girl any longer.

Those are the true pieces of art.

It does mean some thought needs to be put into your portrait session beforehand. Your session location and clothing all need to be selected with the knowledge that the final result will be hanging on your walls and therefore needs to complement the décor.

So then… how should family photographs be displayed in your home?

One strong large scale image can be the perfect anchor to a contemporary home. Of course, you wouldn’t want that large piece to be a photograph of everyone staring sweetly at the camera. That’s a lot of eyes looking at you when you enter the room.

But a pulled-back photograph of your husband tossing your 4 year old up in the air while you balance your toddler on your hip? Perfect. Especially if you consider we’ve planned for a lot of ‘white space’ by way of a grey stone wall to suit your very modern vibe. Or if we’ve planned for that ‘white space’ to be an open field with big skies and dried grasses to suit your more natural home.

A beautiful arrangement of framed photographs of you and your husband with your teenagers can be the perfect complement to the décor of your den. Perhaps we chose warm tones for your clothing and dark wood frames to match the cozy feel of this space with it’s leather couches and built-ins crammed with books.

And on those days that you’re really missing them, away at university, those photographs will warm your heart in a way that a painting, purchased simply because it works in the room, never could.

The bottom line is, your family photographs can reflect the love and emotion you have for your family while still suiting your design aesthetic. And make you smile at the same time.