I was hoping you could offer me some advice?
I have a rounded headboard with a side table on each side, above on the wall I have 6 10×13 portraits of my girls taken yearly. I arched them to match the arch of the headboard, starting and ending the row above the tables. I think it looks pretty good.
My problem is, I am 4 years behind! I have 4 more 10×13’s to add but I have no idea what to do now. Should I begin a second row? It would look unfinished until the row was completed. Should I take all the portraits down, patch the walls and begin with a new arrangement?
I would like to arrange them so that I can still add more without having to change too much. They are in chronological order now, so I would be adding one each year at the end. This wall faces you as you enter the room. If you are able to offer any insight as to what I can do, I would so appreciate it!! - Lori M. Canada
The display of family photos is a personal statement that often lacks a “decorated” look and my suggestion would be different depending on where you were planning to display them. In Lori’s case she wants to include them in her bedroom a place of peace and relaxation.
She made a good start with her first 6 photos, by balancing them across the space (with an overlap across the bedside tables) and following the curve of the headboard, great job! But, now she would like to think ahead and include the next 4 year plus allow for annual expansion without too much rearranging and nail holes…
Here is one suggestion – let’s call it the GO BIG, OR GO HOME approach – the 3 elements of this design are:
DRAMATIC DISPLAY: First let’s establish the layout that will allow us to add photos each year. As in the example above a 5 x 3 grid (allowing 15 images in total) would work well and taken all the way to the ceiling will add drama and impact. In a room with 9 ft ceilings and a Queen bed (Lori’s case) each image should be approx. 16 x 20″ to fill the space. Keep the distance between frames about 1 inch apart to achieve this unified grouping. Note that the images will over lap with the bedside tables and drop behind the headboard on the bottom row. I hope this doesn’t bother you too much, since it will help tie the display to the furniture piece and ‘balance’ the curved line of the headboard. Note that in design curves work well with straight lines.
BREATHING ROOM: Color images can get very ‘busy’ to the eye, not what we want for a relaxing space, so we are going to calm the display down with white. As in Lori’s case your photos are probably not 16 x 20. But, rather than blow them up to this size, I suggest you stick with 8 x 10 images and mat them up to 16 x 20. I would add white mats and a frame color of your choice. If you stick with gold frames I would tie these in to the room scheme by adding a bedside lamp in the same metal. If you choose black frames, look for an oil rubbed bronze option for complementary lighting. Another way to calm a group of ‘busy’ photos (and the option I use in my own home) is to convert them all to black & white or sepia before framing them up to 16 x 20.
MEMENTO MIX: It seems like a good time to establish your grid, you already have 10 photos. By measuring out from the center of the wall and from the ceiling down it is time to get your 15 hooks in place. Now what to do with those placeholder positions (5 as of this year)… how about getting some wooden initials of your kids names (check out Etsy for lots of options)or perhaps a flea market mirror or plate, or anything that speaks to you as a family or your kids specifically. Then each year remove a placeholder item (finding a place for it somewhere else in your house) before hanging up the new annual photo. Use your eye to decide where the placeholder items work best or, if you want some structure to the placement, start counting from top left to right and make every 3rd ‘image’ a placeholder.
Mood Board: Some extra thoughts – to help tie this look together and make the photos pop even more – you could darken your wall color (maybe Sherwin Williams Dovetail) and add fresh white bedding to reference the white photograph mats. I like the touch of blue in this Allegra Hicks sheet set available from West Elm. A wall mount swing arm in a ‘library’ style such as this from House of Troy will tie in to the grid format nicely and allow for extra space on your bedside tables.
I hope this helps, or at least provides one solution for your problem. If anyone else has dealt with this issue and would care to share, add a comment below.
Good Luck, Lori and sweet dreams to you and your family.