Hang Family Pictures

Maybe I should take pictures of tasks I put off and then publish them for everyone to see on the internet. That seems to spur me into action.

Here is my blank family room wall from a couple of weeks ago. The Mister has been begging me to put up family pictures for a while now. When I took that picture, I was really focused on the cheery yellow of the pot. When I uploaded it to my computer, all I could see was the empty wall and the riot of mismatched frames.

Here is how it looks now.


Here is how it looks pulled back.

The Mister is almost always supportive of everything I do, but this is one of the few projects I can remember from this year that made him break out into a huge grin. Later that night he even commented that the family room feels comfy and warm, exactly how he envisioned it when we bought the house seven years ago. It only took me seven years to hang pictures! And I’m not done!

I still have a few more frames to put up on the right, and I’m not in love with the placement of the frames over the T.V. That said, I doubt I will change it anytime soon. This looks good. Great, when you compare it to the before! If I waited around for everything to be perfect with the perfect pictures in the perfect position, I’d be staring at a blank wall for three more sets of seven years.

One thing I didn’t compromise on was the frames. I bought new ones at Aaron Brother’s 1 cent sale. I didn’t like our old ones, and I gave myself permission to “waste” money on new frames that better reflect my taste today and make me happy. It’s okay to admit your taste has changed, especially if doing so motivates you to complete projects that would otherwise collect dust.

I grouped my plants together to take attention away from our Wii station. I’ll pot the Plush plant (Echeveria harmsii) once I know the west facing windows provide enough sunlight. That’s one good thing about living in the Inland Empire. My succulents–so far–do quite well inside. It’s not as hot inside as they may like, but it’s dry and bright.

This post was part of The William Morris Project, a weekly series that details the steps I am taking to create an intentional home. You can see more of my goals and completed projects here. To learn more about this project, start here.

Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share how you have lived according to the William Morris quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Made a plan? Cleaned a drawer? Bought a sofa? Tell us about it with a link or comment. A few guidelines:

  1. Please link to a specific post, not a general blog address.
  2. Your post must relate to your efforts to create an intentional home. I have a delete button, and I’m not afraid to use it.
  3. No links to giveaways, please.
  4. Let’s use this weekly link up as an opportunity to gather inspiration and motivation. Click links. Discover new people. Say hi and good job. I know I will.

Join the List


  1. I have to go back up and finish reading, but first I just have to comment to tell you that the wall looks GREAT!!! I love how you styled it–well done. Yay!

  2. Congrats! That looks REALLY good! I would grin too – I did! =)

    Pictures on the wall definitely make a huge difference; too bad it can be so hard for some of us to commit. I’ve taken to hanging empty frames on our walls just to force me to fill them/print out pictures. It’s kind of ridiculous, but it seems to be what works for me, ha!

    • Hanging frames on the wall is a good idea. In fact, I have one more frame to hang and I was going to leave it blank. I didn’t, but only because I was too worn out (and hot! it was hot this week!) to put the frame together.

    • Yes, they are gold frames. I love the look! I used to hate gold and dislike yellow until I moved into this house. From day one, I felt this house would shine in yellow and gold. Weird, huh?

  3. Looks great! Are those new frames the kind you buy and slide your picture into? Your store is not one we have in Ohio si just wondering about what you framed in. Love the starburst which is popular these days. I bought a small one at a resale shop and hung it over my four poster bed like a little punctuation point. It is perfect and my favorite thing in the bedroom. Much better than large art I was looking for. Your room is beautiful.

    • Thank you, Jeanne! They’re standard frames where you take apart the back on pop in your pictures. Good thing I linked to Aaron Bros. I almost didn’t, thinking they were nationwide. The room is still a work in progress. I hung one picture over the fish tank and over my desk I hung a print and a Kelly Rae Roberts hanging angel. I took pictures of it, too, but it still looked so anemic that I’m keeping them as before pictures. I used frames I already had, and they don’t look good at all–both with the prints/pictures and in the room.

  4. Looks fabulous! You know, I’ve come to believe the less than perfect photos are some of the best–they’re life, the ones I love, and that always makes me smile . . .

    • I completely agree. Of the 10 pictures up there, only 1 is a professional picture. The rest are ones I’ve taken over the years.

  5. The wall looks fantastic! I have frames gathering dust (so much dust) that I bought from Ikea and never put up. Maybe this weekend…

  6. It looks great!! I love that you used gold frames. I like how you hid the Wii thing with potted plants. I’m totally stealing that idea!

    • Please do! Make sure your pots are the same color as your Wii station. That’s what helps. I’ve tried hiding them before with colored pots, and it didn’t work as well.

  7. Looks wonderful! I really like the assorted shaped, the frames, and the one picture hanging from the ribbon. Our walls are full and it’s one of the things people comment on when they come over (on the infrequent occasions I allow someone in my house!). Books on the shelves and art and pictures on the walls most definitely make a house a home. And so happy to hear it made the Mister so happy. πŸ™‚

    • The ribbon frame is my favorite! I’ll be using more of those in the future, probably in the entry way. You made me laugh when you made that comment about letting people into your house. You and me both, sister! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I’m pleased with the way it turned out. I tried to get a mix of years, and I think that made a difference with how it looks.

  8. It looks beatuiful! Nice job Jules. Tell us more about the framing process please. Did you pick the photos first and then have custom frames done, or buy stock frames and then crop favorite photos to fit? It seems like indecision stops me from adding anything to our walls, so any process tips are deeply appreciated. Thanks.

  9. Love the mix of frames, and the mix of frames with objects. So many gallery walls I see look generic, but this one is warm and real and could only belong to you. We’ve got a big long stretch of hallway I’ve been wanting to fill with family pictures. This gives me great ideas and inspiration.

  10. Just lovely, Jules.

    I love your line that says we will miss our lives in a blink, if we wait for everything to be perfect. I feel compelled to wait for things to be perfect in our new house, also, before I hang certain things or make certain window treatments. But, we aren’t going to have the budget for making these things perfect for a year or two. I think you’re right. These photos and fabrics are meant to be enjoyed, even if everything isn’t always in it’s perfect state (which is just a myth anyway…). Thanks for the post.

    • Waiting for things to be perfect is my specialty! I’m trying to break myself of this habit. Of all the projects I’ve done around the house, this one was one of the hardest because it forced me to be okay with “good enough.” And in the end, good enough turned out to be wonderful!

  11. This looks great. And a timely inspiration: we had beautiful (and expensive!) black-and-white portraits taken of my son and daughter, each at the age of 9 months, and family photos taken at the same time. Half of them are framed but we have procrastinated on getting the remainder framed and getting them on the wall. They are such beautiful photos; we really should have them up so we can enjoy them every day. But we finally got our act together and have ordered new frames, so hopefully the dream will become a reality soon.

    • I did the same thing with Mikey’s Baptism photo. Professionally done, cost a mint, and I only had it professionally framed this month–7 years after the fact!

  12. I agree it looks so much more cozy, I need to do the same! BTW, love the photos, the one of Nicholas and the Popsicle made me smile, I didn’t know you blew that up it looks fab;)

  13. It looks beautiful–warm and very personal. Your succulents are so pretty– I wish I could find some house plants that could survive our household. Between the cat’s attention and my neglect, they don’t fare well.

    • I’m hoping the succulents do well there. I have four on the dining room table, and aside from a string of pearls that is looking a little anemic, they seem to like it there. The maidenhair fern I had by the TV bit the bullet, but I’m not surprised. I have a devil of a time getting those to last in our arid environment. In 12 years, I haven’t had one live longer than a month.

  14. The wall looks fantastic! Such happy little distractions surrounding the TV. I can’t say it enough; it looks great. I love it. Love. Have a good day!

  15. You do such a good job of putting up odd-sized picture frames – and making them look like they belong that way. I like it!

    There’s one picture, just above the tv, of Nico & Mikey. It looks like there’s an extra arm between the two of them. What is that?

  16. I love, love, LOVE your choice of pictures! I’m a big fan of action shots instead of the posey stuff. Proof of a life well-lived!

  17. That looks great! I am working on something similar around our tv, but its not finished yet. Although I finally unpacked them and hung them on the wall, so its a start.

    I especially like the sunburst mirror and the oval frame and the cross–little items that make the photos even more interesting.

  18. Jules, I love the way you’ve grouped the photos around the TV. It kind of camouflages the TV. I am definitely pinning this for future reference. I also switched things up and linked to an old photo wall display of my own since I was so inspired by yours. Thanks!

  19. Another great project, good job! Just a few weeks ago I purchased a bunch of simple black IKEA frames and hung them with our latest family portraits into a jumbo wall collage (I love the 3M command adhesive strips – no holes!) It looks okay, but I think I might add a few others with unique frames and snapshots, I think that is what I like best about your display…mine seems a little too much like an engineer did it and not a designer. At least I didn’t use a slide rule or anything geeky like that to calculate exact placement…ahem.

  20. Jules, I think this looks beautiful! I love how you style little vignettes around your house–I would love to start doing that in my own home. You did a great job “disguising” the Wii–at first I thought it was a little sculpture or something πŸ™‚

  21. Best part of this post? Giving yourself permission to accept that your tastes have changed. It happens. I realized that I was hanging on to things like my 10 year old Waverly floral curtains and pillows because they were still in good shape, even though I couldn’t stand them anymore. I had changed in 10 years, so shouldn’t my house have permission to do the same?

  22. Love it! I have a wall I want to fill with old family photos. This inspires me. I’m always inspired by the William Morris Project things. Please keep doing the link party. I love it and one of these days I’m going to do something to participate too! Thank you.

  23. I love it! It’s so warm and cozy… and I didn’t notice the wii station at all until you pointed it out. I really need to do this in my house too!

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