Family Photos: How to Properly Use Them to Beautify Your Home

looking through family photos
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Family portraits add charm to a space. They make a space more inviting and welcoming. It adds a level of intimacy in a living room that no amount of artwork could replace. But therein also lies the problem with displaying intimate family photos in the most public of your private space, which is the living room. The modern home designing principle will tell you one thing: you can’t display photos anywhere. These photos have to complement the décor and work with the overall theme of your home’s interior.


Some designers believe that homeowners should stop displaying family portraits for the sake of displaying them. While using fine art printing gives these photos a professional and glossy look, it is still sometimes tacky and distasteful to fill a wall with your photos. Oh, it’s narcissistic, too. Experts say that these photos can sometimes make people uncomfortable to be in a room. These also detract from the décor, which is more representative of who you are as a person and homeowner.

Both Sides of the Family

If you are going to hang photos of your family, make sure to represent both sides. Hanging photos of your family only and not your husband’s will create a division in your relationship. The same goes if you’re living alone and decide to display only photos of your mom’s side of the family. Won’t your father feel different after seeing how his family has been excluded? Or you can choose to represent your immediate family—your partner and children.

A Cohesive Theme

happy family

You can choose to display colorful portraits of your family, make them sepia-toned, or convert them into a black-and-white theme. Your photos should have a cohesive theme that will complement the décor of your house. If you have a flair for the arts, then your family portraits should contribute to that.

Sensitivity to the Subject Matter

It’s weird for your guests to still see photos of your ex-partner in your living room. As much as you love that photo of you in front of the Eiffel Tower, take it down and replace it with a more appropriate portrait. You should also think about how your guests will feel upon seeing the photo. A naked photo of yourself, for example, should not be hanging in the dining room. That’s perhaps more appropriate in your personal bathroom—not the guests’ powder room.

The Appropriate Spot

There’s a right place for everything, even in your own home. The dining room is not a place for your black-and-white photos, as well as for your kids’ newborn photos. Those are more appropriate for the bedroom. The living room is probably the most flexible room in the house when it comes to displaying photos. But you still need to choose well-curated portraits that will fit the overall theme of the room.

Designers believe that family portraits are too personal to be displayed in the living and dining rooms, the two most public of places inside your house. Family photos are better suited for the hallway and stairway. These are the traditional spots for a family gallery and with good reason.

There is no rule against posting family portraits in your home, but there are good practices to follow. As with everything, there is a right time and place for hanging those college photos of yours. Allow this piece to guide you if you decide to use your family photos to beautify the interior of your home.

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