This wall up the side of my staircase has been empty since we moved into this house over 13 years ago. I could never quite figure out what to put here. I started to collect old black and white family photos to create a wall of pictures a few years back -- and this past summer I finally put everything up. Now, I was impatient, and ended up buying most of these frames, so it wasn't a completely inexpensive project -- although I did use a LOT of dollar store frames and mattes, and I bought the rest of the frames at Walmart, or at Micheal's, either using the 40% off coupon, or when frames are on sale (which seems to happen fairly frequently). If you wanted to do this on a budget, I think the best way to do this is to start collecting old frames and spray paint them all one colour. I think the key to making it look good is to be sure to vary the size of the frames, the widths of the frames, and the shape of the frames. I also didn't use mattes in every single frame, that also helps to create visual interest.
I personally prefer the look of all black and white photos. I have another wall upstairs of all colour photos, and I like that look too, but personally, I don't like the mix -- but hey, that's just me -- I'm a firm believer that if it looks good to your eye (after all, it's your eye that has to look at it) then it's right!
Another thing that I tried to do to make this a little more "fun" was to use pictures that might surprise a bit -- maybe don't use just traditional posed pictures, but pictures that tell a story (for example, one wedding photo that I have up there isn't a traditional head on shot, but a shot as the bride and groom left the church, and guests were throwing confetti).
Another tip that my Mom gave me, was to add something that might not be a family photo at all. For example this picture:
We don't really have any circus performers in our family tree (not professionals, anyway!) This was a card given to Limefreckle Jr. years ago, and he has ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS been an elephant lover -- so it just seemed fitting that I should frame it and add it to the wall!
This guy just looks so interesting I had to add him in (he's one of my relatives, but the relation escapes me right now --- I still have a hard time remembering who everyone is -- but my brother can tell!)
This is my Great Grandfather, with John Diefenbaker, the 13th Prime Minister of Canada. My Great Grandfather was a politician, he was mayor of the town he lived in for 37 years, and he was also a member of our provincial parliament.
And this is me as a baby -- I tried to represent everyone in our family on this wall. I'm lucky, my Mom's family kept a lot of pictures from waaaaay back, so I had a very diverse group of pictures to choose from.
Basically whatever inspires conversastion, makes you think, makes you happy -- that's what should go up on your wall! I like the fact that every person on the wall is related to Limefreckle Jr. in one way or another.
Oh, and many of these pictures are just photocopies --- I don't know how long them will hold up, they've been up there for awhile now, and so far so good! Some are original pictures, but most are scanned images printed from my computer.
If you have a wall like this, or attempt a wall like this, please comment I'd love to see it!