Everyone loves photos – especially family photos – and framing these pieces and displaying them on a wall to enjoy every day is always a joy.

But sometimes the task can be overwhelming.  Where to begin?  What to frame?  How to display?

“We always take a very common sense approach to displaying framed photos,” said Margot Dark, co-owner with her husband Andy of Contract Pictures Framers Inc., of Westville, N.J., which has been providing quality picture framing, artwork and installation to businesses for more than 25 years.  “We want people to be able to enjoy the display without being overly artsy, which diminishes the artwork itself.”

As a general rule, frames should hang at eye level, or around 5 feet, or slightly more, from the floor. Hang them a little bit higher if you have high ceilings.

A large gallery display of family photographs is an especially attractive way to infuse any room with warmth. To create a photo wall, place your favorite pictures in frames of different sizes and shapes and hang them in a mosaic pattern.

Pull it all together by using like frames or mat color or by using only black and white pictures. New framed pictures can be added to the arrangement until you’ve formed an overall shape that works for you. Interesting options include diamond or rectangular shapes.

Dramatic Displays

Assemble a perfect display and create more than a backdrop on your walls. Fill a large wall space with a collection of images framed identically, or make a dramatic display with shadow boxes and framed works mixed. You could also create several groupings of smaller framed pictures, or arrange a gallery on a table using easel style frames.

Produce the impression of a single dramatic image by framing similar pictures or art work (like a series of abstract paintings) in the same size frame and hanging them tightly together.

Record a special event with pictures and create a stylish display. Choose your wall, then place three identical size frames in the center to establish a focal point, then add rows, grouping pictures about 1-2 inches apart to form a square or rectangle.

Stairway Wall Challenges

Stairway photo displays attract attention and make for very pleasant – and perhaps even fun – wall decor. It can, however, be a challenge to come up with just the right display design. The most important rule that should be followed when creating a picture wall display of this sort if to be sure to follow the upward angle of the steps.

How About Straight Rows?

To hang straight rows of frames – always a timeless and sophisticated option – use string stretched between two pushpins as a guide.  You can also choose to use a laser level to accomplish this.  Make sure to use a level after hanging each frame to be sure each frame is straight before moving on to the next.

As you can see, there’s are an overwhelming number of options to hanging picture frames.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Keep it simple and you’ll be quite pleased with the results for years to come.