Affordable Decorating Ideas: Revisit Your Family Archives

Rather than purchasing new art, frame cherished photographs of family and friends to add personality to blank walls.
This clever homeowner applied her grandchildren’s framed portraits to pieces of plywood and used them as kitchen cabinet fronts.
Photo: Helen Norman, Styling: Rebecca Omweg

Article: Zoe Gowen

Why not fill your home with all your favorite people? Raid your boxes of old family photos and sort through your ever-growing digital files to assemble a collection of images to frame and hang. Don’t fret if you weren’t entrusted with the family albums; have quality copies made at your local camera shop. A traditional gallery wall is always a great hanging idea. Frames don’t have to match, but keep them in the same finish for cohesiveness. Also think outside the box and try a new display idea. A large framed photograph, attached to a plywood backing, is a great alternative to a boring cabinet front. Or, place photographs in a row above a doorway to draw attention up.

Our Favorite Sources for Inexpensive Frames

  • Michaels: This arts and crafts store has a quality selection of ready-made frames and a good in-house custom framing shop. Before you go, look online for coupons. michaels.com 
  • Hobby Lobby: Visit the store in person to see their full selection of ready-made and custom frames. Consider buying unfinished wood frames and painting them your favorite color. hobbylobby.com
  • IKEA: We love their RIBBA series of chic frames with white mats available in different sizes at astonishingly affordable prices. ikea.com/us 
  • Pottery Barn: Their well-edited line of frames is great looking and nicely priced. We love the silver-plated ones for a sophisticated look. potterybarn.com