Inspired Shoestrings: The Family Wall

For those of us who don’t shop at Pier 1 or Crate Barrel with any sort of regularity, here is a series on decorating with imagination.  Shopping at Salvation Army (or better yet, shopping from your own basement) may not be incredibly glamorous – but it’s incredibly satisfying.

Inspired Shoestrings: Part 5 – The Family Wall

I was inspired by my mother-in-law to start a family wall.  Her dining room wall is covered with beautiful old family photos in an array of similarly-colored frames.  I’ve been part of their family for a while now; but I still wander into her dining room and get lost in all those pictures of the generations. 

It’s incredible to look at our sons and see the resemblance they bear to men from 2 or 3 generations ago!

I decided it would be fun to fill our dining room with family pictures as well.  I’m a little kooky, though, and had to put my own spin on it.  In the center of the largest wall, I painted this:

If you look closely, you can a hairline crack in the wall on the left side of the verse.  Our house is very old, and I think I traumatized it by slamming it too many times with a hammer and nails.  I’m not a fan of horse-hair plaster and whatever else is behind the nice contemporary paint.

The pictures that surround this verse are of our little family unit, starting with Jon and I on our first date.  My younger sister actually showed up at the skating rink where she knew we were going, and took a beautiful picture of us talking off to the side, totally wrapped up in our own world.  She gave us that photo plus one from our engagement and our wedding day in matching frames as a wedding gift.  How cool is that?

Off to the side are pictures of us with Riley, our first-born – and soon there will be similar pictures of us with Quinn.  Below is a goofy photo of 3 of our nieces and nephews, and a Disney snapshot of us on Test Track.  Classic!  Other pictures fan out to the sides with shots of our extended families.

This is only the beginning of the project I have in my mind.  Hopefully our growing families on both sides will be represented, as well as shots of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents on their wedding days, with their friends, etc.

It’s important to know and embrace where you come from.  We want our children to know the names, faces, and personalities of each member of their family, even the folks they won’t meet until they get to heaven.

One of the best parts of this has been shopping for frames at second-hand stores, where you can score some really great deals on perfectly good frames.  If you like this idea, consider finding old, used frames and repainting them.  It’s so much cheaper and fun, too!

Some decorating projects must be started and finished quickly, all at once.  This one can be done over the course of years and the space will look lovely in the meantime.

Do you have a family wall in your home?

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8 thoughts on “Inspired Shoestrings: The Family Wall

  1. No family wall here… but I love the idea! My mom always had framed photo’s of wedding days and progressive family photo’s… I’ve seen it done on stairwells when the wall is utterly consumed. 🙂 Totally love the verse in the center. It’s ALL about our heritage in Christ. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I love June’s wall too. Yours is cute- love the writing. I have pictures in oak frames (from garage sales) on both sides of my stairwell. I separated the families so someday people will still have a clue what side of the family the people may be… I think I need to quiz my kids, to see if they know who the people are. I think I wrote names on the back, but who knows.

  3. My husband’s family had a wall like this in his Grandmother’s house. It was great! There were generations of pics. We hope to start something like this in our own home someday. Since we’re renting and our landlord doesn’t want that many holes in his walls, we hung a few short shelves of varying lengths and put the pics on there (we also use our fireplace mantel). Most of our frames are silver since we received so many as engagement and wedding gifts. We still receive one a year at Christmas time 🙂

    Since Fitz works in campus ministry I love having a living room that overflows with family photos. Family is not something that students experience on a daily basis and I hope our home can be that place for them, if only for a little while.

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