Be inspired

I am not sure when I “met” Melissa exactly but i know that after we chatted via email a few times, i knew she was a kindred spirit with both a love for home and God. I am sure many of you know who i am talking about..Melissa from the popular blog “The Inspired Room.”

{image from Melissa’s beautiful home}

Her interest in “authentic living” is so encouraging..this is some of what she has to say about it.. “I am passionate about practicing what I call Authentic Living. Authentic Living is living a life that really works. It is focusing on things that are appropriate for me and the season in my life. It is about letting go of pressure to live out a life that isn’t really “me.” And that includes creating a home that may not look like the cover of a magazine, or just like my neighbors home, but nurtures my family and reflects more on WHO I AM than WHAT I HAVE. That is the beauty of “using what you have” to create an authentic home! Your home is unique to you! I like to find inspiration from others, but then I like to mix things up and make them my own.” good stuff huh? and there is more here..


It is exciting to see blogs like the Inspired Room and this new magazine (I mean they have fab photos by King Au)pictured above (check out the latest issue on stands NOW!)that focus not just on beautiful “material” living but a beautiful life on the inside (and when i say interiors i dont mean the kitchen) as well….. ha! did anyone get that bad joke but me;;

So i knew i wanted to get input from Melissa on this photo topic..here is what she said:

“I love using candid photos to decorate a wall or table top in my home. The candid photos capture real moments and remind us of what matters in life. I think it is important to create a home that not only reflects our family but inspires us to live the life we want. Decorating a home should be about creating a life, not putting together a designer showroom. When children see a “family wall” of photos every day as they head to their bedroom or another room in the home, they see that they are treasured, that they are a part of a happy family and that life is good. Photos encourage our family to be thankful for what we have and to count our blessings. Any time we can create a lasting happy memory for a child (or ourselves!) we are giving a lifelong gift. Family photo displays are a tangible reminder of happy times and the people we love — that is what a home is all about!”

so there you have it, what a great way to end this photo “two weeks” but by keeping the main thing the main thing..

there is much more we could discuss about living with photos and using them to decorate, we barely scratched the surface and i know i will continue to post on this topic occassionally..how could i not as much as i love pictures…soon i will try to discuss various “gallery walls” using things other than photos.. but for now remember to edit edit edit when using photos, frame similar if you want a sure fire cohesive and nice look, and think about this authentic living thing..so freeing! our homes arent to just be beautiful but really a place to love, nuture, grow and remember and teach God’s goodness!

Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4

WHAT to frame?

What to frame what to frame??? We all know a really well done photo wall (or even a simply framed picture on a table or piano) can be really pretty and well done or REALLY tacky and not so well done..so we move forward with caution. Because we want to use what we love but we also want it to look nice. And we cant frame everything, and we shouldnt.. special things, no brainers will definitely come to mind and jump out..things we just have to frame but when doing a wall it can get complicated…we’ll talk more about displays and groupings tomorrow.


[from Meg Duerkson’s Whatever blog]

For today, let’s focus on the ever so subjective topic of what’s frame worthy and current trends/inspiration in photography..there are so many..and they are fun! we’ll just scratch the surface..feel free to contribute your two cents in the comments.

Many moms are really interested in photography these days and we can learn so much from them..totally inspiring… like Darby at Fly Through our Window and Meg Duerkson…many of these awesome family blogs have great photography tips and discuss their cameras, a great resource for learning to capture your own images…so forget olan mills and sears! i think that is what many designers in the past were so leary of..too many BAD PICTURES.but if you are taking great pictures and careful not to display too many it can look so great….moms today are taking some pretty awesome photos of their kids in everyday life..dirty feet, baking in the kitchen, kids being kids..no wonder they want to display some of these treasures in their homes. it would be a shame not to!

So whether you are capturing your own images or using a professional like many of the images featured below, they are all treasures. it is just a matter of training your eye on what to use in your home and editing and updating periodically (this is my opinion).. Emily at Chatting at the Sky suggests in this awesome photo post on the Inspired Room to go through all of your photos and pick out 5 to work with..she promises it is worth the effort.. more on Emily’s great ideas tomorrow..she is one of those inspirational bloggers!

One of the main trends, if that is even what you call it, is on the “unposed or non portrait photo”..capturing (I know i have used that word too many times;;) little pieces of the everyday..sort of a social history view of photography..i think it is wonderful. Like a farmer’s hands and his baby girl’s sweet feet.


[image from Lynsey at Yonder Way Farm]

So whether you are using antique or vintage family photos like i mentioned yesterday, your own recent work, or a professional photographer, they can all work in your home, alone or together.

One reader mentioned yesterday about only having photos in private areas of your home not public spaces..good point and i have heard that “rule” before too BUT i know many young families like ours live in older, small homes with kids everywhere and frankly the entire home is a personal/private space..no “fancy” rooms here..But this image above captured by my dear friend Lynsey is so special and intimate it might be something for just her in a private space. Just like my photo below (with my son Drew).

I have this photo pictured above on my nightstand…it really reminds me of how it felt to hold my firstborn those first few months, that sweet baby fuzz head nuzzled under my neck..seeing this image on my nightstand every time i got out of bed to deal with a colicky baby really blessed and encouraged me…and still does!

I think the point we all realize and want to incorporate into our homes is that photos dont have to be posed to be frame worthy. they can bring joy and life in to our homes..and that is what we are about, creating happy homes where we can nurture our families and grow together. I think that is the trend, and i usually dont like trends but i like definetly like this..

Even professionals are jumping on this bandwagon or maybe leading it..For instance, I love this from Kate Benson..her entire site is inspiring….this is casual but wonderful. and with wedding portraits like this why keep them in an album…

or this of children..

so what about the feel and style of your images that you choose to display?? how contrived should they be..what about the white shirts..the black shirts..should we do brown shirts this year??? I’m not going to tell you what to do…i think they are actually very nice but you can mix it up too, you dont have to match, you dont have to even see the shirts or even FACES, your children dont even have to be CLEAN..imagine! and of course on one wall or table you can have some white shirt photos mixed in with close ups of your kids playing with the water hose! i know photography people think about this and though i love posed shots like this below(I mean isnt this so creative and precious?!)i like the non posed as well.

from Sadie Olive (who designed this blog)

..i also think the classic things are, well classic..so do the fun neat shot for a while and then put it away maybe, rotate your photos (how many busy moms actually do that though?) but there will be classic photos that always sta
y out..like this one of my son in the church nursery..I cant believe my friend Tami caputured this inside with those awful lights..but she did! I love that is just focuses on his face and not his outfit or the setting. (although i love the trees in the above images too!)


[image from the K Gallery]
just his face..nothing trendy about the background(except “the tilt”, i love the tilt..my mother does not get the tilt!) just HIM and i love it…and i bet I will in 20 years..and not just love the picture and feeling but love the way it looks in my house too…(except for maybe the tilt?! ha!)

here are a few more in my own home that i just cant live without right now..maybe i will rotate out soon..but for now these make our house feel like a home…

yes, the white shirts AND in bluebonnets (a Texas thang) but i love it..



[also from the K gallery]

So, i say frame things you love (like the train bridge below i captured near my hometown..full of memories for me–photos obviosuly dont have to just be of people), find things that you dont just love because of the subject matter or feeling they evoke but also because of the artistic composition and how they will look in your home, in a certain frame, grouped etc…you cant go only on emotion but you cant just go on look either..that’s the rub. We’ll talk more about groupings tomorrow.

WOW. i have really rambled on about this..should have broken this post up..thanks for indulging me..I think i am really passionate about this decorating with photos thing..more soon!

One more thing…i really enjoyed the comments and emails related to yesterday’s post. Let’s keep the conversation going. Funny, Amanda mentioned yesterday she did not realize this is such a “controversial” topic ..and its not really;;..it is totally personal taste BUT there was a time (and still exists among many) when many design types said NO family photos if you cared anything about interior design. i am serious. I think most of us and many designers today think this is a little silly, unpractical and even a little cold and unpersonal but there is definitely that group out there that believes it unsophisticated to have photos in your home. Just throwing that out there..what do you think?? i would love to hear from everyone!

and no, not everything has to be black and white but as the Nester says…when they arebw then “you are drawn into the faces more than the tony hawk shirt my boys are wearing..” i have more to share from the nester and others tomorrow.

Related Posts with Thumbnails