Paige Johnston, Lux Design’s Condo Quickie lead designer based in Calgary shares her tips on how to create an amazing and beautiful family photo display. “Technology is actually great. My family just hired a photographer for a few hours for family photos and the prints were amazing – custom made to any size,” says Paige. “They took so many photos and they gave us all of them. You can do so much with it, so technology has really helped.” So take the time to get your photos off your phone and computer and make a wall display of your most cherished pictures.
How to display family photosSlideshow
Think clean and crisp for a modern home
Take a collection of photos you really love and have them all mounted or framed on the same backings and finishes for a clean look. To create a polished vibe, keep the images in the same family of shapes – all rectangular or square. “From my family photo experience, we hung a number of different images of various sizing on our wall and it looks incredibly professional yet totally fun,” says Paige. “This particular photo wall consists of the same rectangular style of photograph with identical backings so, while the sizing varies, there is a consistency to the display.” Gilt frames, Pottery Barn, starting at $31.23.
Experiment with shapes and sizes
“That being said, I also enjoy approaching photo walls entirely differently,” admits Paige. “I love the eclectic look of a montage of different shapes, sizes and styles of photographs. Having a more eclectic look is a bit easier because you probably already have frames around the house. Collect frames you want (I would say between four and 14 if you have the space) and get ready to create a wall display.” Large repurposed frame, Anthropologie, $28.
Tips for hanging
Before you start making holes in your wall to hang frames, make sure you have the proper tools. “A lot of frames are quite light. I don’t like working with nails, they’re not always reliable,” says Paige. “I like to use really small screws and just use one.” Think you’ve messed up and put it an inch or two off the mark? Let it go – it’s not a big deal. “The whole point is to make it not so perfect, and consequently, unique. In the end it will probably work. Especially with a lot of frames, one won’t look out of place with so many others around it.” Weathered oak gallery frames, Restoration Hardware, starting at $60.
How to create a photo wall
1 Once you’ve picked your images and frames (whether all similar or completely different), arrange them on the floor in the design that you like.
2 Pick the centre point of the blank wall and choose the frame in the middle of your formation and work out. You can change things this way if you want to. “It’s less clean than the first method, but people get to use antique frames with new frames and mix shapes and sizes,” explains Paige.
3 Once you have your arrangement set on the floor, snap a picture. “This is the easiest way to make sure you translate it on the wall. It’s a great reference point,” Paige says.
4 Remember: It doesn’t have to be perfect. “This type of photo wall should be unique, not too perfect. It will add interest and really become a conversation piece,” says Paige.
Kimball frame, Crate and Barrel, $86.83.
Photo albums: Yes or no?
“Photo albums are amazing, but they’re a very personal thing,” says Paige. “People aren’t doing them as much but it’s an amazing way to stay connected and add a conversation piece. A photo montage is that but better now, it represents you and your home and the style that you want your home to be. Not everyone can go out and buy an original piece of artworkso having a photo montage is even more personal – and can really represent you.”
The final tip for displaying your favourite photos? “If you see a frame that you love, get it. It’s going to look good where you want to put it,” says Paige.
Free-standing wooden frames, West Elm, starting at $19.65.
How to display photos on tables
“I really like frames. I’m obsessed,” says Paige. “It’s an easy way to bring colour or a certain style into a room – a French ornate frame brings that feeling into the room. I encourage people to place them throughout their homes.” So wherever you have an empty surface, consider whether a single frame or a cluster of three or five will help to add character and interest to the space. You can also mix your frames and layer textures and shapes. “You can mix so much together without it being wrong. I usually put them in places where I have shelving, not on tables per se. They can fill up little nooks that don’t have books. Having them in an office is great,” adds Paige. Banchi baroque picture frames, Horchow, starting at $375.