Design Dilemma: Managing Family Photographs | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Managing Family Photographs

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Have you ever noticed that those fabulously chic and modern interiors in shelter magazines never seem to include the framed family photos that most of us collect as treasured personal mementos?  How come?

Here’s one guess: while photos of family and friends may mean an awful lot to us, they’re also not exactly “design-friendly.”  That is, dozens of colored snapshots have a tendency to make a space feel cluttered and busy. And as we all know by now, clutter is anathema to modern design. So how can you resolve this problem if you love modern design but don’t want your home to feel impersonally stripped of all personal meaning?

1) Create a wall installation of your photos by grouping them together.
Deliberately plan an arrangement of your photos rather than allowing them to collect haphazardly. In the photo below, simple polaroid snapshots are deliberately arranged together over a mantle to function something like an installation piece. The same concept applies to the second photo, where one wall has been given over to framed photographs.

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2) When framing photos, seek to keep the frames of the same type. Above, the wall appears unified because each photo uses a black frame. Below, the same concept applies, but this time, red frames add graphic punch.

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3) Consider going black and white. There’s something very classy about black and white. And black and white photos never fight with each other, contributing to that busy feeling that colored photographs can give. So go the artsy route and try converting your color photos into black and white for an instant modern feeling.  In the photo above, black and white photos look chic with a punchy red frame.

4) Blow them up. Got a cool snapshot that is just a gorgeous photograph? Try blowing it up and pairing it with a couple of others to create a unique art installation. Below, although the black and white photos shown are actually of news events, there’s no reason why the same concept couldn’t work for personal photos.

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5) Don’t be afraid to edit your photo collection. You can’t display every photo that enters your life. So pick and choose. Move stuff around. Replace stuff. Keep your photo collection feeling vibrant and alive — just like your home!

Images: 1,3, Verne via, 5, De Baerdemaeker Kat, 2,4 via

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