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How to Display Those Old Family Photos

How to Display Those Old Family Photos

Turn your memories into an artful photo display. Discover inspiring ideas that will make your family photos and artwork stand out!

Personal touches are what makes a house a home, and nothing does that quite as well as family photos and artworks. But finding ways to incorporate a photo display into an interior design can sometimes prove challenging. Color schemes, other art pieces, and overall atmosphere must be considered, not to mention the images themselves. Here, we take a look through the AD archives to see some of the best options for displaying family memories, from a gallery wall in Michael J. Fox’s home, to an artfully arrayed bookshelf in Tory Burch’s Manhattan office. From the mats to the frames, or lack thereof, and the possibilities for creative arrangement, there is endless opportunity to exhibit the truly priceless artworks in your collection.

A Pair of Portraits

In accessories designer Fiona Kotur’s Hong Kong home, James, left, and Rex do homework at the kitchen’s Saarinen table, under the gaze of bold and bright Simon Birch oil portraits of their younger brothers.

An Over-the-Top Photo Display

Cherry-red picture frames, balanced by more classic black ones, bring a sense of ordered chaos to an otherwise spare stairwell in this Brooklyn home. The bright frames both heighten the vibrant hues in the brighter photos and complement the softer, more faded tones of others. Smartly, designer Nick Olsen left the walls white to let this visual dynamic play out.

A Gallery Wall of Family and Friends

A gallery-style wall of family pictures is the focal point of this minimalist hallway in the Manhattan home of Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan. Using warm wood frames and clean white mats—an effective way to visually unify a wall of photos—showcases their collection of full-color and black-and-white images with elegance.

A Simple Grid Arrangement

No strangers to portraits, models Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber hung four pictures—one of each family member—in a simple, equilateral grid on the wall of the sitting area of the master bedroom in their Baja, Mexico, home. Taken by Brian Bowen Smith, the black-and-white portraits are visually set off by strong black frames, a classic choice for grayscale images.

A Floor-to-Ceiling Display

Full-color images immediately take center stage in this otherwise white stairwell in the Miami home of fashion designer Naeem Khan. Styling this gallery setup with larger-scale images, frames that disappear into the walls, and a floor-to-ceiling arrangement gives viewers plenty to look at as they ascend the spiral staircase.

A Curated Photo Collection

Fashion tycoon Tory Burch displays family pictures on bookshelves in her Manhattan office using her signature sense of style, a mixture of playful eccentricity and tasteful restraint. Images of family members mingle easily with books, artful objets, and natural materials, all creating a dynamic that speaks volumes about her loves and interests.

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A Photo Ledge

In the family room of her Manhattan home, actress and model Brooke Shields displays photos of herself and her children, taken by photographers Annie Leibovitz and Robert Mapplethorpe, next to fine art photographs by the likes of Richard Avedon. The cabinets beneath the arrangement provide a wide ledge perfect for creating visual depth by overlapping frames of different sizes.

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