How to display them? Interior designer Easylife, says technology may change, but the desire to surround ourselves with family images seems to stay the same. “An interior should tell a story,” she says. “A photo wall can show us where we have been and where we are going. Frankly, when I’m in a home without one, it can feel a little sterile.” Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, once the photos are 2-D, the process of creating a photo wall can be decidedly low tech.
Why: Crookedly hanging a haphazard collection of random family photos is akin to spreading the contents of your junk drawer across the wall. A little thought can make a photo wall a work of art.
Who to hire: Although it’s a project that could lend itself to a DIY weekend, you can get a polished look with the help of an interior designer or a professional art hanger. If you want to resize, reprint or change the color of a large number of photographs, a photography lab can make quick work of it. You might also consider using the services of a professional framer.
Next decide whether you want a grid or an asymmetrical display. No matter which you choose, Mughannam says uniting the pictures through a common element will give them a sense of order. That common element could be photograph color, frame color or image size. For example, you could have a lot of photos of different sizes together on a wall if they are all black and white.
In this project from Zionsville, Indiana, black and white family photos framed in the same scale and grid pattern as the nearby windows make a big architectural statement.
How: To avoid having to constantly make room for more photos, and to create an instantly finished look, Mughannam will create a display using frames whose contents can be easily changed. “I hang all of the frames the family wants to use, even if I have to insert a landscape photo as a placeholder,” says Mughannam. “As the family grows and changes, they can add or swap out photos.”
Mughannam has achieved similar results with magnetic paint, a primer with very fine iron particles that allows lightweight magnets to stick to the wall after the topcoat is applied. “This kind of paint can be tricky for homeowners to apply, because it takes many, many coats,” says Mughannam. “If you are doing it yourself, it is easier to deal with if you apply to a board and hang that on the wall.”
This photo wall, by Hufft Projects, for a home in Kansas City, Missouri, includes a wide variety of frames, but it has discipline because the outermost edges are aligned and the frames are spaced equidistantly.
Typical project length: Creating your own photo wall could be done in a weekend. To have photos professionally printed, framed and hung could take several weeks.