Asked on Apr 26, 2013

Family pictures in the dining room?

HeartbeatElizabeth DionPam Newell


My husband and I have just done a makeover on our dining room. We went from 90's wallpaper, 2 coordinating patterns separated by a chair rail, to white wainscoting on the bottom w/white chair rail & a tan on the upper part of the walls. I have my grandmother's dining room set in mahogany and a walnut Pennsylvania corner cabinet and a walnut dry sink, a large 3' x 4' mirror with a mahogany frame, so what I am saying there is darker furniture in this room. I have an assortment of white lattice plates that I am going to placing on one wall, and already have a white shelf with older white platter, cake plate, pitchers, sugar & creamer, etc. What my real question is, is about putting family pictures on two smaller walls on either side of the large opening to this dining room. These pictures are of my husband's and my ancestors. Should the frames be varying shades of white, cottage looking frames, or should they be the darker wood frames? I have many frames and do not mind painting, scuffing, etc. the frames. I am stuck and would appreciate any suggestions. Well, I have finally gotten pictures that I can post. I have appreciated the comments so far without even having the ability to see anything! Now is the time to look and comment please. Thank you so very much!
This is the wall over the wash stand that I will hang the white lattice plate assortment.
These are the two walls in which the family pictures will hang.
Another shot of the opening on which I want to put the ancestors.
The smaller wall on the left side of the opening.
This is a shot of the room as a whole. As you can see I have a Santa collection in the corner cabinet, which I really would like to move it elsewhere if I had the room. Also upholstery on the chairs are going to be changed. Suggest?
11 answers
  • Mary Insana
    on Apr 26, 2013

    Take some pictures and post them, it will be easier to give suggestions if we can see everything you have :)

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Apr 27, 2013

    As a woodworker...who loves mahogany and walnut...I vote for the dark wood option.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett
    on Apr 28, 2013

    Since the pictures are of ancestors, I would vote for the dark wood frames. You want to give them the traditional look, not a cottage look, which is done by a white frame. You could also put in a few black frames or black frames with gold leafing if the frames are ornate... for interest.

  • Jeanette S
    on Apr 28, 2013

    I agree with the others....older photos seem to fit better in the wooden frames and with the tan paint, the darker would be pretty...and it will contrast with all the white! It should turn out lovely! And good for you for putting up family photos. Heck, if we can't hang family photos in our home, why do we bother with a home! Decorators sometimes forget to add that touch of "love and belonging" when they decorate!

  • Holly S.
    on Apr 29, 2013

    Thank you, Mary, KMS Woodworks, Cyndi, and Jeanette for your comments even though you had no pictures to look at! Now that I finally have some posted, please comment again if you can help. I really do think that you are all correct in guiding me towards the darker frames, but I have really come to love the look of the white on white tones. My head tells me darker frames, my heart tells me white, thus the dilemna.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Apr 29, 2013

    @Holly S. I am a believer that if you have vintage photos already framed, the original frame is a keeper- it keeps it authentic. I have heirloom photos and have mixed in modern frames - in my opinion it adds character to the wall and clearly states where the original heirloom photos/pics are. But it is a matter of opinion and likes, some people need everything matchy matchy, I on the other hand have always been eclectic, as I think it adds interest and character to a room. Let us know what you decide and maybe post a pic. Thanks for posting.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Apr 30, 2013

    Dark will match that big mirror...and provide some continuity for the whole room.

  • Cheryl
    on Jul 2, 2014

    You did a very nice job on the room. It looks great. I'm trying to imagine groupings of family photos in dark frames (which I agree would be the appropriate choice in this room), and I think the look will become oppressive. I would opt for still-lifes in antique gold frames.

  • Pam Newell
    on Jul 2, 2014

    On the upholstery keep it in the same time period.

  • Elizabeth Dion
    on Jun 15, 2015

    I think the dark frames would better accentuate vintage photos.

  • Heartbeat
    on Oct 18, 2015

    I agree with Cyndi, keep them in the dark frames

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