4 Things to Consider When Presenting Family Photos in the Home

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Few home decor additions reflect our tastes better than personal photographs. Reflecting some of our best times and happiest memories, there’s simply no comparison between a home accessory bought in yet another home store and an expertly framed snap of the entire family.

The trouble is that, when it comes to using personal photographs as a style choice, substance can often overtake style, meaning your photos can sometimes get lost and not have the impact you desire.

Every home is different and every homeowner has different styles and tastes, but it’s important to try and not make photographs dominate your home. This doesn’t mean you can’t have areas that are very prominent with photos, however, it’s all about striking a balance, which we’ll discuss below.

Framed photographs in particular can be an amazing accessory in the home. The question is, how do you walk the fine line between tacky and tasteful when you’re embarking on this particular choice of decor? Let’s discuss.

1. Offset with a gallery wall

Gallery walls and feature walls are an amazing way to create a centre point of interest in any room, and can really help to tie all of your themes and colours together in one space.

While it’s typically best to avoid using 100% personal pictures in your gallery wall, this style choice also provides a fantastic footing on which to finally make family photos work for you.

In particular, using this opportunity to offset your favourite family snaps with more general prints or landscapes can help you to showcase your family’s highlights without showing off.

This way, rather than detracting from your decor choices elsewhere, you should find that you can soon tailor your pictures to complement the space overall, and sit more tastefully within it as a result.

2. Incorporate them onto shelving or standalone tables

Tastefully decorated shelving units or tables are an amazing way to add extra style touches to your home, and family photographs can fit in with that. However, cramming shelves full of personal frames can put this style choice at very real risk of becoming overwhelming.

To get this right, it’s therefore essential to consider more subtle ways to fit family photographs here, notably by incorporating them with other touches including accessories or even items that are personal in a different sense.

From artwork that your kids have completed in school through to stones you’ve painted together or even candles you’ve made using your very own candle supplies, this provides you with another opportunity to add sentiment without going too far.

When arranged to complement your framed photos, these small touches provide a personal, but subtly stylish, glimpse into the heart of your home. One thing we have went for in our home is a table with a selection of personal photos. This table is in the main hall so it’s not in your face but acts as a nice area for discussion when people visit the house.

3. Choose your rooms wisely

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As well as relying on subtlety, tasteful displays of family photos are also all about choosing your rooms wisely. After all, an overload of personal pictures in every room is never going to work well, meaning that you need to cherry pick areas that enable you to feel the full benefits of these displays.

Most obviously, this tends to mean choosing to display framed photographs in only rooms where you spend the most time together as a family, such as your living room, playrooms, or even kitchen.

The halls and stairways of homes are often a good area for family photo displays. They provide lots of space to accessorise, and ensure you don’t need to dominate the walls of your main living spaces with photos. We prefer a mix of photos and artwork in our main living spaces although we do appreciate everyone is different.

If in doubt, consider how you would feel seeing a personal photograph in that same area of someone else’s house. If you don’t think it would work there, the chances are that you should keep that same room picture-free in your house.

4. Keep it tasteful

Style specifics aside, perhaps the most imperative thing to remember when hanging or otherwise displaying personal pictures is the fact that you’re going to need to keep it tasteful.

That risky yet subtle nude might have been stylish in your student apartment, but family homes just don’t have space for raunchy couple’s photoshoots.

Instead, always keep your displayed photographs tasteful and family-friendly, even if you have amazing, but riskier, pictures that you’d love to display. Keep those for your personal albums, and let your home decor do an altogether different kind of talking.

That being said, if your personal style is to be more edgy and out there, then riskier photos allows you to inject your own personality into your home, and this is something we would never discourage. However, as a rule of thumb we think it’s better to be cautious and more tasteful when it comes to photography in the home.

Got something to add?

Can personal photographs really complement rather than crushing your home decor? We certainly think so if you keep these tips in mind during the planning stages! We’d love to hear your thoughts though so please share them in the comments section below.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Helen, Nial and Lewis.


Welcome to Pikalily, an award-winning food, travel and lifestyle blog. We are Nial and Helen, a happily married couple from Northern Ireland, who share a passion for food and travel among many things. We became parents to our beautiful boy Lewis in 2017. Follow our adventures through the blog.

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