Everyone has their own views on using personal photographs in the home as accessories. Having said that, I tend to lean toward the motto: “less is more” when it comes to displaying pictures in your house. Take a look at any design magazine shoot; you will rarely see a table packed with photos in frames, much less other surfaces. Not that I don’t believe in displaying sentimental pictures and mementos; in fact, quite the opposite!
Personal things such as pictures create the feeling that the home belongs to you; this is what I strive for in designing any project—that feeling that the home is “yours”. However, I do have an opinion on how to use photos effectively. Here my thoughts on personal photographs in the home: (for what it’s worth…)
1. Group photos together
Develop a collection of frames that either look well together or even group them inside the same frames with different images in them—place them in a grouping on a table, a nightstand, bookshelf. But whatever you do, don’t scatter them about a room on multiple surfaces. This creates visual chaos.
2. Collect large quantities of photos
All black and white OR all color. Then frame them strategically (either all the same frame, some with mattes and some without, OR purposely all in eclectic different frames.) Hang them in a random looking, but well thought out pattern on a single wall, preferably in a hallway, bedroom, family room or otherwise private cozy space.
3. Picture frames are not a substitute for the right accessories
Great accessories on surfaces such as mantels, dressers, tables, coffee tables, and bookshelves are a critical component of the overall design scheme and complete the overall look of any space. Liken it to putting on the perfect little black dress—you want to finish the look with great shoes, the right jewelry and the right bag.
4. Avoid a photo “shrine”
Try to avoid making a personal photograph the center of attention in any room. If done poorly, this can look like an unintentional “shrine”.