Where to put 8x10 framed pics of deceased family members

patrice607August 30, 2014

I am trying to redo my living room and dining room. For years, I displayed family photos on the dining room buffet and bay windowsill. After my in-laws died, my DH added 8x10 framed photos of them. It just got to be too cluttered so I took everything down except one family photo. DH put the 3 frames back on the buffet. I told him I was going for a cleaner, more modern look and don't want them there anymore. I'm desperately trying to find a compromise. Any suggestions???

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

A gallery wall in a hallway or a small display in your bedroom? On his bedside table? :-)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sis3

We have our "family gallery" in the hallway that goes to the bedrooms. That way only the people who appreciate the photos (us, our families, and house guests) see them.
The photographs are displayed on framed narrow shelves so that they can be replaced or rearranged easily without damage to the walls. We often find ourselves smiling at photos of loved ones or the newest member of the family as we walk by, and family and friends enjoy them too.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
teresa_nc7

I agree, a family gallery would look great in a hallway: start in the middle of the largest wall space in the hall and add to each side of the first grouping of framed pictures. Another idea is on the wall going up your stairs - if you have a two story house.

I've made so many quilted wall hangings that I'm going to start hanging them in my long hall in the middle of my 1910 brick bungalow. I already have two framed needlework projects hung there, one my mom made me and one that I made before I started quilting.

Teresa

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

Does being deceased relegate one to a less prominent space? I'm not being facetious. My husband's dead and my house is plastered with his image.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
teacats

Yes -- another vote for a family gallery wall in the hallway with photos from ALL sides of the family groups ....

.... PLUS .... as an added kindness .... add a small biography page to the back of each photo ... to keep the memories of birth/death dates; locations of homes; fun memories etc.

... PLUS you could add photos of vacations or holidays with the family members -- another nice way to keep memories! :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ellendi

(((Hugs)))Linelle.

Sometimes when we move things around, we notice them more. I have tons of knick knacks from my travels. Small items. Some are stored in my china cabinet and I rotate things out.

A hallway that you or guests frequent would not necessarily be a demotion.

Not exactly the same, but in our basement family room I just removed my fish and sea life collection that was displayed under a console. I took a few items and scattered them about, but stored the rest. Sometimes you just need to change things up.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

Ellendi, you're the best. :)

A year or so ago I thought maybe I'd reduce the number of his photos and just keep the best ones out. Not that I don't love/miss him any less, but life has moved along and is pretty darn good, all things considered. But my wall looked bereft and I put them back. They've become touchstones, memories that make me smile.

I think if I moved to another house I would rearrange stuff. But I'm cool with how it looks now.

If I actually had a serious suitor I might have to reevaluate my decor. Fat chance.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Sophie Wheeler

A photo album. In your bedroom. Along with the rest of the family photos. Public spaces like living rooms should be more impersonal.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 2:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
debrak2008

Hollysprings brings up an interesting point. How personal or impersonal should a public place like a living room be?

Is a living room really a public place? Aren't the only people who are there friends or family? I can see not having intimate photos displayed but other than that why not display what you want? I consider my entire home personal space with the bedrooms being "more personal".

I don't have a lot of wall space and for 2 years I keep thinking about hanging photos in our staircase going from our kitchen to our bedroom. Need to work on that this winter.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 3:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

My living/dining/kitchen is my personal space. I use my bedroom for sleeping and getting dressed. I don't hang out there. I guess if I did lots of entertaining I'd rethink my living room. Since it's just me 95% of the time, it's a personal space.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 4:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jellytoast

I know I'll be the odd man out here, but I don't get a whole lot of pleasure from looking at photographs, especially ones that are in view all the time. While it can be fun to go through photo albums now and again, I don't find it particularly enjoyable to have photographs around me at all times, and after a while they just tend to blend into the surroundings and I hardly notice them. IMO, a photograph does very little to convey anything real about the person, place, animal, or thing depicted.

If someone gives me a photograph, I put it on display and enjoy it for a while, and then I either put it away, or throw it away. I'm not very sentimental, I guess.

Patrice607, when my FIL died, my husband did the same thing (displaying a framed photograph) even thought he rarely saw him or even talked about him much when he was alive. I figured it was part of his mourning process so I left it alone until I figured it had been there long enough that he didn't notice it anymore, and then I put it away. I was right. He didn't notice.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 5:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Olychick

I feel like a living room should reflect the wishes of the people who live there and if they want photos, there should be no thought to it being a "public" space. It's not. It's a private home.

Linelle, I think it's really different to display pictures of your spouse, who shared your life and your home, if you wish, than someone displaying pictures of their family of origin in a space that they share with their spouse (who may not want them displayed). In the OP case, it seems a compromise is to display them someplace her husband can see/look/linger over them when he wants, but she is not forced to look at or decorate around them when she doesn't want to.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 5:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

olychick, I totally agree with you on both counts. :)

If my living room is public space, where the hell is the public? My house is small enough that I live in all my rooms throughout the day, with the possible exception of my guest room.

Since I live alone I get to make all the rules and don't have to compromise with anyone. So I get that spouses or partners may not agree on what should grace a prime spot. It does take some sensitivity to negotiate that, esp. when one may still be grieving.

I'm sentimental about people. Some photos still speak to me, and I often speak back.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Holly- Kay

(((Hugs Linelle))). My very dear first husband passed away when he was 45 and I was 41. We had loads of pictures of the children in 8 x 10 frames but only one of us as a family. I still have it on display in my office and I always will. I still love and miss him terribly but indeed life moves on and life is good. I have a DH and he has never minded in the least that I have it. I have been blessed to have two fabulous husbands. My first DMIL is still a part of our lives and joins us for all our holiday celebrations.

I don't have family photos in my living room but have many in our library and my home office and a wedding picture of DH and I in the bedroom.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

holly-kay, you are twice blessed.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Gemcap

holly_kay : I echo Linelle. You are indeed blessed.

Linelle :Your husband was a truly lucky man to have found a lady like you in his life.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

gemcap: Thanks. That's what I kept telling him. :)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 11:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sjhockeyfan325

Linelle, I swear, I'm coming to visit!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

SJ, seriously, anytime.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 3:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
raee_gw

Patrice, not knowing how long it has been since your inlaws passed, or how close you all were, it is hard for us to give advice. But really, you need to talk to your DH more about this. It seems that having these portraits out is important to him at this time, and that needs to be respected, even if it has been some time since they passed away, and to me would be of more importance than any "look" that I was trying to achieve. JMHO.

As others have suggested, if you can, find some wall space for the portraits (and of your parents, too), or a space on a bookshelf -- someplace that doesn't feel like you are trying to hide them from view. Maybe in an arrangement with some floral prints (B&W if the portraits are also) or photographs of their homes. Include DH in the decision of where.

I never had any photos sitting around except a few that I was particularly fond of, of my DD, on my dresser. But since my parents passed (Dad 3 years, Mom 2 years ago) I find that I want their pictures out on my bookshelf. Maybe that will change in a few years again, who knows?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kswl2

" I can see not having intimate photos displayed but other than that why not display what you want? I consider my entire home personal space with the bedrooms being "more personal"."

Agree!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 5:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pammyfay

There was no discussion with your DH before you removed the in-laws' photos? What about after? I mean a discussion, not an explanation.

A small hallway or stairway gallery display will give you and him what you both want -- and if someone doesn't want to look at the deceased folks, they can just stare straight ahead!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justgotabme

Patrice, you didn't say if your parents are still alive. My guess is, they are. Until one loses a parent, no matter how sorry you are for their loss, you do not understand how it feels. I know I didn't, and have been told by many that lost a parent after I had lost my Mom, that they were sorry they didn't understand what I was going through. The fact that your hubby put the pictures back out, means he still needs them there for his personal comfort. Please honor that need.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justgotabme

Patrice, you didn't say if your parents are still alive. My guess is, they are. Until one loses a parent, no matter how sorry you are for their loss, you do not understand how it feels. I know I didn't, and have been told by many that lost a parent after I had lost my Mom, that they were sorry they didn't understand what I was going through. The fact that your hubby put the pictures back out, means he still needs them there for his personal comfort. Please honor that need.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 11:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arcy_gw

I am fixated on the 8X10. I have only one 8X10 ever displayed and it is family photo. Photos of individuals are plenty big at 5X7 IMHO. Perhaps it would be easier to incorporate the pictures in question if they were smaller?
Side bar: I totally cringe when ever I read "no photos in public rooms". Who the heck made that crazy rule? I have photos in cute seasonal frames that I swap in and out as the months go by in my living room. I WANT people to see them. Most are vacation or holiday pictures of my kids--all grown now. If it makes anyone uncomfortable to see a PERSONAL item in MY HOME than I guess they best not come to MY HOME. I also read one should not have photos of your kids in your bedroom. Another CRAZY rule. No way am I giving up my wall of 5x7s of my kids' yearly school photos. I agree no one but me and maybe DH wants to see all that but heck if I want to dig out an photo album just to be reminded of what once was.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 6:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kitasei

I have put all of our old black and white family portrait photos in the powder room. They get looked at there much more than a hallway.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 7:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sixtyohno

I made photo books on Shutterfly. You could make a beautiful 8x11 or larger book with family photos. I have 7 books now. They are stacked on the coffee table. I can look at them whenever I want and they are accessible to visitors. I do have framed photos on my hall table and the walls of my office are covered. But the books are special because I chose the photos, layouts, cover and colors. And you can add text should you chose.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 11:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

No photos of kids in the bedroom? That's hilarious. Should extend to parents too. Because it's just so awkward when they watch.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 11:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
palimpsest

I understand the "public/private" concept, but I think it depends on how your house, living room and dining room get used. My mother belonged to several committees that met in the members' houses and played in several bridge clubs some of which raised for charity, some of which were social. So about twice a month, when she was at her most active, there were 8-12 women in the house, some of whom she didn't know very well, and a couple of whom she rather disliked.

They saw the LR, the DR and the downstairs powder room. So at that point there may have been the latest family portrait on a side table or something. Other photos, school photos and such were in areas of the house not seen by anybody and everybody.

Eventually, when there weren't a lot of acquaintances coming in and out--and more friends, more personal photos worked their way into the LR and DR, but there has never been a photo of any living family member hung on the wall: everything was in frames on a table.

I think if the person is dead, it depends on how often and in what way you want to remember the person.

My parents had a friend whose daughter had died around age ten, and they had an elaborate large portrait of her in the living room. An interior designer actually convinced them to move it to a more discrete location, not because of the décor of the living room, but because the first time she saw it, she asked its significance and they were very upset telling her who it was. I can remember being told by my parents to Not ask who the girl was in the portrait if I was ever invited into the living room. So, it probably shouldn't have been so prominent.

My sister gave us copies of a photo of my mother taken shortly before the car accident from which she never recovered, and I don't display it because even though it is what my mother looked like at that particular time (after 20 years of a debilitating illness), I don't think she would have liked it as a photo of herself, and it's not how I remember her. (I seem to have a set memory of what my parents look like and that's how I imagine them, even when I talk to my dad now, I don't picture him as a 90 year old).

Generally, I would much rather see photos of deceased family members, instead of multiple school and wedding photos of the living in prominent locations.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mboston_gw

I have a different opinion than most here. I have been doing genealogy the last couple of years and since then I have become "attached" to the photos of the Grandparents and Great Grandparents of my husband. I have had family photos on the shelves of one bookcase in my formal living room for many years, his family, my family and our family (the three of us) but now I look at them differently. Seeing the multi generations all together just helps me make sense of these people. They were true pioneers - in Georgia and Florida.

All the pictures are different sizes, but all are in silvery antique type frames. The narrow bookcase is in the corner and has 3 shelves with doors on the bottom. Inside I keep my photo albums. I don't have alot of company but when my bridge group comes over, I usually get a positive comment about the photos, as we often have subs playing in the group. Most know I'm into the family history and they ask what I have recently discovered new about the family.

I have pictures of my grandson in my bedroom. A few in the hallway to the 3 bedrooms of my son growing up. Thats about it.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patrice607

Thanks for all of your thoughtful responses! We are mulling over the various suggestions and will find a new home for the photos. I like the idea of a shutterfly album and DH is leaning towards the hall or stairway gallery.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 11:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sixtyohno

Patrice607- Shutterfly is easy to use. They show all kinds of fancy templates, but once you are on, you can make lovely choices with out embellishments etc. You will have to scan your older photos. Also, you can make 2 or 3 copies should you want to give books as a gift to people close to you.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justgotabme

Patrice, I made a wedding book for our daughter through WM that would be similar to the one sixtyohno is referring to. You can do it online or in their stores. I'm sure any other store that offers photo printing will have some sort of book you can put together too. Everyone that has seen the book has thought it was very well done.
At the link below, you can see photos of the whole book, from cover to the last page where I gave them tips to a great marriage. This can give you an idea of what a great gift you can give your hubby by collecting photos of his family, including his parents to make a wonderful memory book for him. Have his family help you with finding great photos and sharing their stories so you can add captions to the photos to make a cherished memory book for him.

Here is a link that might be useful: Katie and Will's wedding book.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 1:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rob333

I too vote the hall! It's where all my family photos are located. We get to see them, but no one else has to see.

_____________
I have a thought. It's just a small thought. A tiny one. Who will see it? My grandmother never took into account that while, it was her daughter, she was my mother. And had a HUGE picture of her in her wedding gown in the living room decades after my parents divorced. None of the son who is still married to this day, and no other family pictures. It was constant niggling thing to have to be in that room, reminded all the time, of how my parents had split. But it was her home and I only saw it once a week. Actually, my grandparents lived there and it was their home, but this was her doing. I don't think I was the only bothered by it. seems like others commented.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 1:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
raee_gw

A little off topic but I just wanted to say that I understand what mboston is talking about. What I would give to have photos of my grandfather (who I never met) and great-grandparents. I am so sad when I go to an estate sale and framed portraits, obviously very old, are in a box full of other random stuff for $5. I always wonder if the family no longer knows who they are or just don't care. To be honest, I didn't care much either when I was 25, not realizing that at some point they would all be gone and the stories that I had grown up with would disappear too. Now I feel that they have great value.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 2:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Linelle

raee, I agree with everything you said. Not just photos, but oral histories. Do not delay. Sit down with the elders in your family and ask about stuff. Write it down. Treasure it.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 3:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arcy_gw

linelle LOL!!! I think the author of the no kids picture rule was concerned that kids mean STRESS and the master bedroom should be stress free.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 6:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justgotabme

In this day and age, I'd video these conversations, making digital copies for other family members.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 6:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mboston_gw

Raee - when you see boxes or frames with old photos, there is a way that relatives can be found. There is a facebook group called "Random acts of genealogy". You would be surprised how many people on there actually buy old photos from antique shops and garage sales and track down relatives. Some have even bought family bibles and tracked down relatives that never knew such things existed.

I am lucky that some old family photos were passed down to us - we have charcoal drawings of my husband's GF and GGF. We have a tin print of GGGF, plus some other relatives had other photos of him. We have a number of others from husband's GM on his dad's side and her parents. I love looking at them, especially now that I am trying to learn about their lives in GA before they came to FL. Hubs would qualify as a SAR, and Florida Pioneer Family Member. He is 5th generation Floridian.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 7:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
justgotabme

Ha! I missed linelle's comment about photos in the master bedroom. Whether that was meant or not, it's a good rule. No way to want anyone "watching".

    Bookmark   September 11, 2014 at 6:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldbat2be

Have loved this thread. I love pictures but since we remodeled the house three or so years ago, I haven't put pictures back out.

DH #1 and I always had the guest bath filled with family pictures. Fast forward to DH#2 who is very easy going; no objections but at this point,it's the kid's bathroom. This thread made me think about remodeling the family room (monochromatic theme) with black and white pictures of all family. I just may do this; do love to see my family.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2014 at 8:55PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
I need help deciding what color to paint my sofa frame
I am re-upholstering a vintage french couch, with the...
lizzierobin
If I have two large rugs in a room how different should they be?
In the living room, I already have one 9 x 13 rug and...
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
Help me find a powder room paint color
My painter is here fixing another problem (sheetrock,...
tfitz1006
Open Floor Plans: Will The Pendulum Eventually Swing The Other Way?
What do you think? Yes, I realize that there are many...
Lynn
Help me find a new coffee table
Just before the Houzz migration, GWers helped me decide...
smalloldhouse_gw
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™