This past weekend I took some time to catch up on little things around the house. Sometimes by purging the old and reorganizing what you already have, rooms can take on a whole new life. Part of what I did was add framed family photos to side tables and tucked them into the nooks and crannies of my bookcases. Family photos can make a space seem personal and intimate. I also like when the photos are taken from different parts of life. It is great to celebrate many moments. I am the first person to love a beautiful wedding photograph, but let's be honest, life didn't start the day you got married. If every photograph in your home is from that special day- it's time to diversify your portfolio. I probably tend to lean more towards the candids as they are the best display of one's true personality and emotions. Ultimately, I think it 's really about creating a balance, as naturally some of the most sentimental photos might be more staged and posed. Put on display what really speaks to you and evokes a certain sentiment. Also, family photos are not a substitute for artwork. They are meant to add personality here and there, not be the entire theme.
The photo above is of me and my cousins, Drew and Kyle. We are about 4 years old, staged by our parents on a clunky iron bench in our grandparent's back yard. I am an only child and I cannot tell you how many photos we have with me sandwiched in the middle of these two chaps. It's not long after this that my grandparents, Bebe and Bupa, packed up and left Michigan for the retired life down in Florida. Even though I was very young, I still have a lot of fond memories from this house. There was a sprawling back yard with a dog run and a pool (most of which has been sold off now for one of those cookie cutter neighborhood developments), shag carpeting the perfect shade of puce, and a stocked bar that would have made Don Draper do a song and dance. It is amazing how though styles might change and things will eventually look dated, there is an effortlessly elegant execution that is translated above any trend. While now it might be considered horribly 70's, Bebe and Bupa's house had the sense of a collected interior- a look I strive to achieve in my design style. I cannot tell you how many times I flip through a current design magazine and see items I remember from their home. That might just be the wise, old truth, "what is old is new again", ringing loud and clear. Bebe followed the trends, but also had an inherent air for flair. Afterall, she was the only Grandma at Grandparent's visiting day in a leather skirt, clunky cocktail rings on every finger and snazzy beaded keds with bright pink ribbon laces (a stylish interpretation for not being able to escape age dictating that practical shoes be a necessity).
You probably wonder where I am going with all of this. After I put the photo of me, Drew and Kyle in the frame, I whipped out my iphone, snapped a picture and messaged them about their new prevalent spot in my living room. In response, I got a picture message from Drew with the exact same picture nestled in between his belongings, front and center on his bookcase. This is awesome in a couple different ways. Not only is this one of probably hundreds of pictures of the three of us, but I also have to admit I'm enjoying the way he has it displayed, snuggled in amongst a variety of objects that define who he is. College diploma, marathon memorabilia, mementos from various travels. I think this photo is also a sentimental reminder of a time when we all got to see one another regularly and oftentimes in the naively delightful world of being a guest at our grandparent's house. I guess some might differ and say this is a typical "bachelor pad" look, but I have to think it is a little bit of the arranging panache that is in our genes. It's also the power of a photograph to stir an emotion, that through the outlet of modern day technology, can remind family that even though they don't get to see each other as often as they'd like they are still, and always will be, family.