The Fine Art of Family

Some of you may recall a series of posts I did last year on decorating with photographs and family items.  I was pregnant at the time and pretty emotional about the topic, I think I droned on and on about how this could be done in a tasteful way and why it is important.  I asked others designers and bloggers their thoughts and really tried to capture this topic.  I don’t know if I even scratched the surface but I have found a source.  Monica Rich Kosann.  She “gets it” and more. She is an amazing fine art portrait photographer, jewelry designer and CURATOR of family memories!  She has been blessed with an amazing talent in this area. When I heard about her new book, Living With What You Love, I knew I had to discuss here on the blog.  I love this topic so much and Monica has put together an amazing source on this subject. She has captured the importance and beauty of living with the things we love whether they be family photos or collections. 

 I love what Monica, pictured above with a huge photo canvas,  says in the forward of her book:

The fine art of family is far more than taking photographs and hanging them on the wall, or finding the right place for an old heirloom. Each of us has the power to transform our personal living space into an area where family memories are kept alive, where we pay respect to our values and accomplishments, express our tastes, communicate our enthusiasms, and create memories and experiences that friends, relatives, and children will forever associate with the place we call home. 

Wow. This is powerful.  So not only is this a beautiful book, like everything Monica creates, but it also has heart and soul.  And I love that.  And it’s not just about photographs and heirlooms she also covers ideas for display in public spaces, stairwells and intimate spaces like closets and tablescapes. 

This book is comprehensive and a great source for designers as well as homeowners and photography and antique lovers.  As fans of her jewelry and home items at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus know, Monica  is a skilled artisan at mixing photos and heirlooms to create unique pieces…you see this in the book and more. Where else can you find one volume that will give so many display ideas on groupings, types of frames and more?!

For instance, the book shows Monica’s office in her own home [pictured below].  She had this cork applied like wallpaper.  We visited recently and I asked her about sticking pins through the cork into the sheetrock. She said “yes it’s a commitment” so this isn’t a temporary treatment but it is very cool.

So if you are like me and love photography, antiques and collections, you must check out this new book and also Monica’s website,, it is full of inspiration and beauty for the everyday. And I’m hoping we can twist her arm and get her to show us more nooks and crannies of her lovely home in the looks amazing! Just like Monica and her artist’s eye.

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  1. once we move, i’ll have a brand new canvas….. i can’t wait. this post was very inspirational. especially the office space photo… love it! thanks for the post.

  2. This looks like a wonderful book and right up my alley! I’ve just been writing a post for tonight on a similar topic myself with regards to what I collect when I travel. I really must get this book! Thanks for sharing it, I look forward to reading it and even sharing it with my own readers! Thanks Holly!

  3. Awesome feature, Holly. 🙂

  4. I love the mix of old and new photos of past and present family…definitely speaks “fine art of family” to me. And the cherished heirlooms, yes! I have several things that I can think of off the top of my head that are on display in my home that I LOVE to see…one of momma’s old schoolbooks, Mike’s childhood baseballs, and a gravy boat of my great-grandmother.

  5. Thank you for such a beautiful and inspirational post. I can’t wait to read her book.


  1. […] I ran across this new book (in a post at my friend Holly’s blog), Living With What You Love by photographer Monica Rich Kosann, I knew I’d found a kindred […]

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