Homes without family photos always feel like something’s missing to me. Almost like they’re model homes and don’t actually have the emotions and experiences of those who inhabit them reflected. I think family photos, whether they’re of the people who live there or extended family members, tell stories about the people the home serves. While I love professional photos, I know some would rather not spend the money and think it’s just as important to use candid shots around your home. Photos aren’t just for people who visit to admire, but for those who live within those walls to see and recall precious memories day in and day out.
They show how kids have grown and changed and adventures you’ve had together living out travel dreams and new experiences. Maybe pictured is the first time your children enjoyed the ocean or a picture of a beloved pet who has passed away. You may want to remember a family member trying an exotic food on vacation or pushing themselves out of their comfort zone to zipline in the rainforest or whitewater raft. Maybe you want a picture of your parents or grandparents frozen in time just as you remember them. Honestly, any reason is a good reason to print photos for your home!
I will never tire of gallery walls. I don’t care who says they’re out of style. I have several in my home and love the statement they make on a large empty wall. I’m itching to add one to the lake house!
For my upstairs hallway, I had so many different black frames that I knew I wanted to fill with black and white photos. I wanted to hang them all at eye level in an imaginary line running down the length of the hallway to give it a museum gallery vibe. This meant that I needed to hang the frames so that the midpoint of each frame was 57-58 inches from the floor. For each frame, I added on my phone’s calculator 58 inches + half the height of the frame. Then, I measured the distance from the top of the back of the frame to the hanger and subtracted this amount. So:
(58 in. + half the frame height) – the distance from the top to the hanger
I left this calculation on the screen for each of my pictures. Trust me on this- it’s crazy how easy you forget the magic number when you’re hanging numerous frames of different sizes back to back! I then hammered my nail at this height from the ground. Of course the frames were different widths, so I needed to take the width measurement of each frame into account so that all of the frames ended up being close to an equal distance apart. This may sound confusing, but I promise it’s not if you go step by step. You definitely get the hang of it after doing a couple!
Like many of you, we regularly talk about valuing experiences over things with our kids. I do love giving gifts to family and friends when I see something I know someone would love. But honestly, our kids won’t remember most of the stuff we bought them, but they will talk about things we did together for years. I never want them to forget how they felt in those moments that they were brave, proud, or laughed until it hurt. So with their input, I occasionally print small, inexpensive photos for my kids to switch out on their magnet boards and photo cords.
My favorite place to print photos is Mpix.com. I’ve used them for almost ten years and while the quality is great, the photos are inexpensive. They even regularly run sales with promo codes. They’re a huge company, but for those who live in Kansas, their printing is in Pittsburg (KS)! Usually my prints arrive in the next day or two!
After hanging any pictures, I use a level to make sure they’re straight, then I often use Museum Putty to keep them that way when they’re dusted or brushed against by someone passing by. This putty is a great life hack that can be used in so many ways throughout your home!
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