When I was a little girl, there was always something going on in my house.  I grew up in an extended family household and that meant that on any given day there was something to do, someone stopping by, some event going on, something.  And our home was a reflection of that.  It was stylish but comfortable, thus the reason people loved to “stop by”.  That and the company/conversation.  And the food – there was always food.


And even back then there was always someone constantly snapping pictures with their Polaroid, and later, on film.  All those pictures had to find a home somewhere and stuck in photo albums was not the place.  The snapshots along with the once a year professional sitting for every member of the family and the annual family photos all found homes on the walls.

I used to always wonder how my grandma chose which pictures went up on the walls and where, until I realized that she didn’t.  Unless it was too blurry to tell who’s in it, a pic of someone’s thumb, or otherwise destroyed, all photos were wall worthy.  And if something came along and there was no place to put it, then and only then did something get rotated out.


mixing old with new - even if the new is something thrifted like patterned window panels


I don’t know if they called them gallery walls back in the day, but this is THE real reason I love them now.  Not because they are popular or trendy or because of the many ways you can add 1 to any space.  I love gallery walls because of what they really stood for originally – the memories they hold.

When I first went to my husband’s childhood home, the first thing I noticed was the walls were covered in photographic memories.  I could look at all those pictures for days.  I still do, there and at my childhood home.

Yes there are still pictures all over – up the stair walls, on the family room console, on the fireplace mantel.  They are much more artfully arranged and now all boast similarly simple high quality frames to keep the look neat.


Families treasure photos of all sorts of memorable moments. And we want to see them not just hide them away to pull out every now and then, or pull up on electronic devices.  I like to think that’s why photo gallery walls have always been so popular. Take a look at the (mostly family style) gallery walls in this slide show. Memories done right!

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