Our Welcoming Home!
by Jolene Hanig-Jones
Decorating With Family Photos
I have always loved looking albums and boxes of family photos. I never get tired of paging through my Mom and Dad's wedding album. They were so young and happy. My dad had an album that contained photos of his time in Korea during the Korean War. This held a lot of intrigue. After all, this was Dad, before he even knew Mom. Dad in a foreign country. Dad with people who were mostly unknown to me. I remember one Sunday afternoon at my Grandma Hanig's house and my cousin Carol and Donna, and me were allowed to open the cedar chest. We spent the afternoon going through old photos, frequently asking, "Who's this?" I picked up one particular baby photo, and said, "Oh what a cute baby!" My two cousins said in unison, "That's you!" I was as surprised as they were that I didn't recognize myself. I was quite young at the time.
One of my very favorite home decor "items" are family photos. Maybe it's because I live 800 miles from my mom and many extended family members. Maybe it's because my siblings and I "ended up at the four corners of the earth", as my parents predicted, but were truly a little dismayed that we fulfilled their prediction. (Actually the four of us are all in the United States, and for a few years were all located somewhere off of Interstate 80 in various states. ) But to quote a blogger from Shabbyfu, don't overthink what you like. Just do it.
So, in January, I got busy doing it. I had been overthinking things for too long, and had photos I wanted to display and rearrange. Here is a report on my progress so far.
First up, I decided to change things out as part of my view out my kitchen window. Christmas decorations were packed away, including my favorite holiday plates that I hang on either side of my kitchen cabinets that border the window just above the sink. I decided I would put photos that would bring a smile to my face After all, the sview out the kitchen window is a little stark and bleak in January. I decided to display photos of my Dad and my husband, both as babies.
I had these particular photos in a file on my computer. This enabled me to print both of them in black and white and add the titles "Bath Time" and "Love" to the photos. I have a small laminator, and because these are near the kitchen sink, I decided to laminate them for extra protection. You can see the tutorial here.
These photos have been lots of fun to have in the kitchen and I have gotten lots of questions and compliments on them. It seems guests to our home enjoy seeing these "blasts from the past", too.
On the opposite cabinet, I found this inexpensive "To Do" board at Walmart. I thought it balanced the photos.
The view out my kitchen window was complete! (The wreath was fashioned from a spring garland, that I simply wound around twice in a circle. I added a black ribbon with polka dots for added whimsy. It was so simple! The mercury glass candle holders were an after thought. I like the way they sparkle in the sunlight and shimmer when they are lit at night.
One of my absolute favorite photo displays is also in our kitchen/family room. My Grandma Marshall was known for her angel food cake. As a young girl, I can remember going out to get fresh eggs from the hen house for Grandma to make angel food cake. Then I would stand on a small gray chair next to her at the countertop and watch and chat as she made the cake. One Mother's Day, I had the idea to have the recipe framed with photos of Grandma and my Mom and me, for my Mom. I really liked the way it turned out, and decided that when I had a home of my own, I would make one for my kitchen. (Since then, I've also made a similar one for my sister, using photos of Grandma and Sandra.)
Right above the angel food cake recipe photo collage, hangs a collage I put together about my dad. Dad served in the Korean War. Prior to him being deployed, a good family friend, Annie Rose, gave him 4 silver dollars for good luck. Dad gave me one, when I moved from Iowa to Pittsburgh. When I married my husband, Bob, I chose Nat King Cole's song, "Unforgettable" as our father/daughter dance song. I had all of these individual pieces, plus a photo of Dad just looking at me as a baby, professionally framed.
I treasure these two collage photo displays. The collage of Grandma, Mom, angel food cake, and me was framed a few years before the photo collage of my dad. I am so glad I had them professionally framed and that the framer was able to match the frame and matting.
The kitchen sink photos were so much fun, I decided to, change out the decorative plates in the living room for more photos. I had two matching frames. Some black and white kitchen towel ticking became the background for the photos. I share the tutorial for these photos Here.
The beautifully photographed barn photos on