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Three Tips for Family Photo Displays

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Most homes will use family photos as part of their decoration plan. Adding your own photographs can give any area that “personal touch” while allowing you to enjoy reminders of some of their favorite times and people.

Effectively utilizing these pictures does require a little know-how, though. If you just nail up family snapshot wherever you happen to have the space, you won't be impressed with the way the final project looks. Here are three tips for family photo use that will allow you to share precious memories without compromising the overall look and feel of your decorating plan.

First, remember to obey the “five foot rule” when placing photographs on the wall. The “five foot rule” argues that photos should never be placed higher than sixty inches up on the wall. When you have pictures located in higher spots, it has a few negative consequences. Initially, it can make a room appear smaller by making the feeling feel lower than it actually is. Additionally, it makes it hard for people within the space actually see the photographs clearly. If you're about to put a nail in the wall somewhere above the five foot mark, stop yourself and rethink your plan.

Second, don't make the mistake of hanging a small photo in a large, open space by itself. This is sometimes referred to as “hanging a postage stamp” because it has the unintended consequence of making the small piece appear even smaller. That's not visually appealing and it creates a sense of imbalance that's inconsistent with any good design scheme. If you do have a small photo that you'd like to use in a room, find a way to integrate it with accent items on a shelf, mantle or end table. Alternatively, find a way to merge the smaller photo with other pictures as part of a good looking grouping. You're not going to be happy with a small framed snapshot on a big wall, however. You need something with more “heft” if you want it to stand alone.

Third, use your family photos in moderation. As much as you enjoy the pictures personally, they do have some aesthetic limitations. Photos are rarely consistent in theme, composition or color combinations. Too many of them can create a loud, busy look. Additionally, those who visit your home are less likely to find the photographs riveting or exciting than you are. That great picture of your uncle George reminds you of just how much fun Christmas was in 1982. Others just see a guy in an ugly suit. Finally, it's possible to create a look that seems a little too self-involved and/or ego-driven when you're using many family photos. You want to bring your family into your plans, but you don't want to create a shrine to them! While it's great to make your family members part of your decorating plan, you can't let those snapshots to dominate.

If you follow these three recommendations for the effective use of photographs in your decorating plan, you should be able to merge your own snapshots seamlessly with the overall look and feel of your space. Using family pictures effectively requires a little bit of thinking and a commitment to moderation. When it's done correctly, it can add a very attractive and personal element to any room.


 

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