13 Stylish Ways to Display Family Photos Throughout Your Home

updated Mar 29, 2023
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Credit: Tessa Cooper

Are you sick of staring at bare walls day after day? Filling in blank wall space with family photos is a simple yet effective way to add some personality to the home. They also make for great conversation starters for when guests come over because you can share about your most precious memories and travels.

However, finding the perfect way to decorate with family snapshots can be a little tricky. You want to showcase your photos with style while ensuring your display blends in with the rest of your rooms. You’ll also need to think about frame selection, placement, and display pattern. Follow along to get inspired with these 13 family photo display ideas to bring some warmth and vitality to any room in your home, no matter your style.

Credit: Qui Kruithoff

1. Create an effortless look with floating shelves.

The good news is, a perfectly organized gallery wall with matching frames isn’t the only way to go. Simply stacking some frames on a set of floating shelves creates a cool, laid-back vibe while still bringing some color and nostalgia to a space, as shown in this Michigan home.

Credit: Sandy Jandu

2. Adorn the wall space above a headboard.

Where better else to display photos of the people most precious to you than above your bed? The primary bedroom in a New Jersey home shows the design power of curating a collection of beloved memories in a variety of frames to bring a sense of coziness.

Credit: Rachel Hill

3. Take advantage of or add built-ins to your family room.

Built-ins are gold mines for designating space to display family photos. Here, this Scottish Highlands home shows how much personality personal mementos can bring to a room. The best part: no nails or Command Hooks required!

Credit: Ashley Urban

4. Mix and match what’s on your gallery wall.

While a streamlined gallery wall with matching frames is visually appealing, it’s not the only way to style one. Take notes from this L.A. apartment and consider taking your time to collect a variety of frames, as well as other photos and pieces of art to mix in with your family photos to create a funky, vintage-inspired vignette.

5. Bring some personality to a hallway.

The walls of your hallways deserve some nostalgia, too! These often odd spaces can be ideal spots to display a series of family photos to infuse vibrancy and color. This Chelsea apartment shows how much impact just a few design-centric additions can make to an otherwise bland hall.

6. Go bold with your picture frames.

Colorful or metallic photo frames, such as cherry red or gold, create a dynamic effect. Balance these more eye-catching pieces out with neutral tones, such as blacks. Keep your display from veering into chaotic territory by keeping your walls white or light, which will allow your photos to shine.

7. Use snapshots as accents in your kitchen. 

Family photos aren’t exclusively for the living room. They can be a fun way to spruce up your kitchen by adding pictures between your countertops and cabinets or above the fridge. You can even create a collage of printed-out photos or place little Polaroid-style snapshots on your refrigerator. Plus, it can be nice to reflect on memories while cooking or washing dishes.  

8. Add photos to your dining area.

Your dining area is another unexpected place to introduce family photos. Hang some snapshots on a wall beside your table to create a stunning focal point, just as designer Emily Henderson did in this makeover project. The area becomes a perfect display spot for when friends and family come over for meals; the images just may inspire dinner conversations about people’s favorite memories.

Credit: Tessa Cooper

9. Match frame colors with the rest of your space.

A color-coordinated display creates a modern, cohesive look. Pick one to two hues used throughout your room and within your decor and match your frame colors to them. This allows your pictures to blend into the rest of your room rather than stand out too much.

10. Go for a simple grid pattern.

A symmetrical grid-shaped display is visually calming and will never go out of style. Grid arrangements also add a sense of simplicity that are perfect for smaller spaces. Consider grouping together photos with similar subjects, styles, or themes for further unity.

11. Hang photos high and (almost) floor to ceiling.

A floor-to-ceiling display makes a bold, attention-grabbing statement. Larger-scale photos work well for this type of design. This kind of salon style configuration also gives you an opportunity to showcase various images and be creative with your setup. Highlight this kind of configuration further with paint, just as designer Crystal Sinclair did with the gold geometric background she used to set off her own home’s hallway family photo display. The photos, all framed in white with prominent white bottom border mats, pop even more, thanks to their contrast with the wall color beneath them.

Credit: Submitted by Dean Sameshima

12. Place items around your pictures.

Incorporating other decorations with your images can make them stand out even more. For example, add photos to your bookshelf and mix them within the books for more visual appeal. You can also add smaller artwork pieces, travel trinkets, and even some potted plants. This is a chance to showcase your interests and appreciation for your family. 

13. Create a layered desk or dresser display.

Deciding how to decorate your desk is tricky. One way to spruce it up is by adding family photos that telegraph happy memories. These images can help you get through a busy day at work. If your desk is near a window, place a few standing frames on the windowsill. This will clear up surface space. You can also hang a few favorite photos above your desk or install floating shelves for more display space. A bedroom dresser can be another great place to set out a few of your prized snaps, as seen in this Queens apartment. Don’t be afraid to place a few smaller shots in front of larger ones; layering will add dimension, character, and variety.