Last fall I my school had a fundraiser where local photographers waived their sitting fees and donated the money to our schools. I had a wonderful photographer take pictures of the girls on the beach and the photos are gorgeous.
Earlier today I was looking at proofs trying to decide what to order. As I looked at the pictures some decorating advice that I've heard countless times sprung to mind.
"Personal photos should not be displayed in the "formal" areas of our home."
I even heard a friend of mine's husband tell someone at a party that the closer family photos are displayed to the front door the "lower class" a family tends to be. (Yeah, the guy's a pompous dick, but you can bet your bottom dollar I took away some family photos I had displayed in my foyer!)
I decided to do a little Google search on this subject and here's some stuff I came up with:
The San Francisco Chronicle had an article on this subject in reaction to a Pottery Barn catalog chock full of family photos blown up and displayed all over the house:
In a dining-room vignette, hanging on the walls and propped against a sideboard and leaning wall shelves, were gigantic photos of children and their parents, the occupants of this imaginary family's home. The largest was a poster-size image of a cherubic boy. Another, maybe 2 feet square, was of two young children. All of the images were in black frames that matched the sideboard and shelves.
To me, this seemingly innocuous decor represented the height of narcissism, the self-absorption of a generation more interested in turning the camera on themselves than outward. It seems the traditional ways of displaying family photos -- once relegated to the hallway or the mantel -- are no longer enough for the modern family. We must be surrounded by darling -- and colossal -- images of ourselves. Family photos have taken center stage, taken on a more important role in decorating and, perhaps, taken over.
Many decorators, consider over-the-top displays to be offensive and feel they actually detract from the decor. Exhibiting family shots in an artful manner requires the right place, creative framing and, just as important, discretion.
Most of the articles I read said indeed the rule of thumb WAS to keep the family photos to a minimum in common areas of the home, but that those rules have changed. Nowadays the trend in decorating is much more casual and personal than in years past.
What do you think? Do you have alot of family photos displayed in your home? If so, are they displayed in your living and family rooms?
I'm trying to decide what type of prints to display and where to put them and I'm wondering if I should keep them upstairs.
Tomorrow we'll discuss whether or not it's tacky to have chewed up Barbie parts and dog hair scattered about your dining room. Stay tuned.