The importance of hanging pictures

We just moved in to our townhouse, obviously, and I am faced with several large boxes labeled "ART."  Yikes, where to start?  In preparation for a little housewarming party we're having this weekend, I'm hoping to just put things on the walls somewhere.  But it's a little easier to start the process when thinking back to how I decorated our old place...

One of my friends lives with in a newer townhouse with several other people and lots of homey touches.  It's fairly large but laid out oddly, so there are two sort of living rooms and a dining room, but they all feel very comfortable and lived in.  There are pictures and art and decor items all around, and I noticed that's what makes it feel good to me--so many pictures of my friend's roommate and her fiancé!  On the wall along the stairs, in particular, there is a grouping of a lot of framed pictures, all in different but similarly styled frames, and it looks good while also sharing the pics of important people.

I've always had a few framed photos of friends and family, but they always seemed a little out of place, and more sentimental than artistic.  So I took a page from my friend's book and grouped a bunch of them together, which I think makes them look like intentional design decision.  I also did this in the hallway/stair area, like in my friend's house.  Here's the before of the sort of bland stairwell with a few almost randomly placed pictures:
And the after (thanks to lots of IKEA Ribba frames!):
I also got a bunch of pics from our engagement session and framed them in a $10 multi-opening frame from Ross.  It went near the big picture wall...
Since I switch to digital snapshots I've enjoyed ordering prints once a year or so from Snapfish or similar, and you usually get 20 free prints so it ends up only costing a few dollars and I get a big 8"x10" if I want!

The new townhouse has a stairwell, too, and I'm thinking that's where the family pics will go again.  It can be a forgotten space, but as long as it's well lit enough, I think it's a great place for photos you'll want to look at, rather than art you want to admire from far away.

What about you?  How do you display family and friend pictures, if you do at all? 

10 comments

  1. i have a few pictures of family on the fridge, one of my brother and his wife in a frame. in our bedroom i have two big, funny pictures of our son in frames, matted with fun fabrics. everything else is art, and LOTS of it.

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  2. We have loads of framed pictures of mainly the kids on shelves in our lounge but I have this plan to do exactly what you've done and lay them all out on the wall in a bunch. Pictures can always be added later on. I also got a digital photo frame for Christmas and that's wonderful, I spent ages going through 8 years of digital pictures and selecting pictures I wouldn't have printed out but want to look at again. I've especially got lots of goofy ones of the kids and that's great. I can definitely recommend a digital photo frame.

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  3. I still live at home, so pictures aren't really necessary. But I'm going to university in the autumn (hopefully!) so I expect I'll take loads of photos, because I'll miss them so much. All our photos are just on the computer right now, so maybe I'll print some to have up.
    By the way, I love your engagement photos!

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  4. i have pinned some photos of my friends and family on a basic canvas. (instead of a pinboard) so i can change the pictures from time to time or even in change of season (some flowers photos in spring, new summer holiday photos etc...)
    i like that the canvas is bright white an thick, like a frame but more simple in switching. if you want to i can show you a picture.

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  5. There's a great photography blog I read and they have a series on "living with art." They have lots of inspiring stuff:

    http://designaglow.com/inspiration/living-with-art-modern-picture-box/

    http://designaglow.com/design/living-with-art-a-photographic-display-for-every-room/

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  6. I have family photos hanging on the wall in my dining room.

    I don't linger on the stairs, so any pictures hanging there would be mostly ignored, but this way lets me hang out with them at meal times :)

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  7. I need to do this. Our "old" walls had one that showcased them rather nicely - kind of a diamond set up with us at the center and each direction was a diff branch of the family.
    But since we got the walls redone - I haven't wanted to put holes in them :P

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  8. I wish I had a staircase just so I could do this.

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  9. I'm working on this project right now - I'm going to hang all the personal photos, framed in silver, together in a big collage and light it well. It's a wall that's off our kitchen.

    I'll blog about it when I'm done. I like how yours turned out.

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  10. Some great ideas--I love hearing how other people with design sense do framed pictures. You have awesome ideas for things I never would have thought of!

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