January 10, 2011

The Memory Keeper’s Wall

I've shared before my love for a good gallery wall.  Below is one we installed in our home earlier last year.  I like that you can easily change out the pictures to go with the seasons or with what is relevant in your life.  And I like the eclectic look of mixed frames on the wall.


I've also shared how much I adore this simple installation above the fireplace.  The grid keeps everything from looking too chaotic; creating a large focal point over the mantle.


So it is only natural, that I want to share this installation with you all because it inspires me every time I see it. This is a small reading area directly across from the galley kitchen in my in-law's home in Pittsburgh.  For all other intents and purposes, my mother in law can be considered a minimalist.  While she has some pieces that she displays, there certainly is not an ounce of clutter in her home.  Which is why it is always so pleasantly surprising to happen across this room in the kitchen. 

The display of pictures is vast and yet never overwhelming.  Instead, with the cozy couch and fireplace it becomes a wonderful place to sit and congregate while meals are being prepared.  The walls of photographs are a family history lesson with snapshots from vacations and posed pictures from weddings.  I remember the very first time I "made it" onto the wall…I knew long before I was ever engaged to my husband that I was part of the family because up on the wall was my smiling mug releasing a hawk in Scotland while on a family vacation.


Each photo is displayed in an acrylic frame with a cardboard insert.  Upon removal of the cardboard insert, each photo has the relevant information…the who, what and where, of the photo.  Yup…that's me taking a dive out of a plane three years ago!


Perhaps the thing I appreciate the most about these walls is that no matter how many times I have visited and no matter how long I have stayed, I still find new things to look at every time I sit there.  It is a conversation starter for those people who have graced the wall themselves for years just as much as it is a conversation starter for anyone who is new to visiting.  And isn't that what home design is all about?  Creating comfortable spaces that encourage conversation and instill a feeling of warmth?  


 Have you ever seen something like this in a home you've visited?


(photos: 1, 3-6: Miriam Z. Bradford; 2: James Merrell)

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2 Responses to “The Memory Keeper’s Wall”

  1. LB Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I like the idea of the pictures as a rotating gallery of memories and conversation starter.  On another note, I need some rug ideas for my new apartment and just Flor might be a good solution.  I'll send you pictures off-line for ideas.  I love your aesthetic!

  2. Lacey Says:
    January 13th, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Yes, I've seen similar types of arrangements in the homes of several close friends. I, having once been obsessed with Polaroid instant cameras, have always had boxes upon boxes of old Polaroids. I never really knew what to do with the bulk of them. One day I picked up some foam core poster board & rubber cement. I used the rubber cement to adhere the Polaroids to the poster board in neat rows, covering the entire board in pictures. I did this over & over, until I had enough Polaroid covered poster boards to fill up the entire dining room wall–then I hung them all up. That wall became such a conversation piece! People gravitated towards the dining room, just to pore over the Polaroid wall. I'd like to eventually do something similar in my new home. If you have an excess of pictures, get them out of hiding & hang them up for everyone to see! You won't regret it.