I’ve been stuck trying to figure out how to tastefully display family photos on the walls in my living room, entrance hallway and other wall spaces in my home – below are some layout ideas I think look really good.
Updated on January 16, 2023
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Family Picture Wall Ideas
Let’s look at how to display family photos-tasteful layouts and ideas for your walls. These are simple and aesthetic layout ideas that, to me, do NOT look cluttered at all.
To me, these ideas and ways of arranging family photos on a wall are very tasteful and look really nice.
I wanted a family photo wall layout that looked more like an accent wall with pictures – and that’s what the ideas in the example pictures below are.
I found some minimalist-style layouts that are more level and balanced – some are staggered – and some are a bit more of a “farmhouse collage” in decor style – but these are the family photo wall layouts I am considering for my home.
Before we jump in, let me answer a question I received from a reader.
She rents her home and can’t put nails in the walls to hang her pictures.
She asked me:
Hey Jen! What’s the easiest way to hang family pictures on my walls if I rent and can’t use nails? TIA Shana!
For Shana, and all others that can’t – or don’t WANT to – use nails to hang wall photos, here are a few options:
One option is to use adhesive strips or picture hanging strips, which are removable and won’t damage the walls.
You can also use putty (called “mounting putty”) to hang your pictures without damaging the walls – I’ll talk about using that kind of putty down below.
Another option is to use a picture rail or picture molding that you can install near the ceiling and hang your pictures from that using picture wire and hooks. This allows you to easily move the pictures around without damaging the walls.
I’ll show you some examples of that option in the pictures below.
Ok, let’s look at some tasteful layouts I think are just gorgeous!
For Living Room
I really like this simple, yet personal, family photo wall layout idea for my grey living room – I think it would look great over my couch!
I LOVE this family picture display wall idea for hanging photos in the narrow hallway outside our guest bathroom.
I was a HUGE fan of the show ‘This Is Us‘ so naturally, this design idea is one of my favorites.
I have a long, narrow hallway going towards my master bedroom and the wall is totally empty, bare and BORING.
I didn’t want to hang some favorite family pictures in a busy, overwhelming way – rather something more tasteful and simple.
I like this photo wall idea for that hallway, BUT… I’m not so sure about the large picture frames overlapping like that…
This next family photo wall decor idea I absolutely LOVE.
Just look at the layout in the example picture below:
Instead of using frames around my pictures, I can display the family photos WITHOUT frames and hang them on pieces of rustic pallet wood.
Isn’t it gorgeous!?!?
Over the Fireplace
Another idea is to hang your family pictures over your fireplace mantel in a gallery wall fashion.
Like this gorgeous tiled fireplace that is decorated for Christmas:
Here is how to arrange photos on staircase walls – this layout template works for just about all stairway walls to be sure your family photos are balanced and even:
Be sure to measure from the BOTTOM of each picture to the top of the stair it is over and use that same distance for all photos along that staircase wall.
Here’s some layout ideas for your family photos on your staircase wall that I think are tastefully arranged.
I LOVE that minimalist staircase photo wall layout above – simple and modern yet SO pretty… black and white pictures with NO frames.
If you like a more farmhouse gallery wall type layout for your staircase wall, this is a very pretty idea that I’ve seen on the stairway wall leading down to a small finished basement:
Here are some layout and design tips for arranging your family photos on the wall.
If you’re displaying family pictures over your couch in your living room, follow this design template and measurements:
For all other family picture wall arrangements, use one of these design layouts:
Large Photo Wall Ideas
Now, if you want to design a LARGE family photo wall, try this layout and measurements to keep it balanced with a more clean and modern look to it:
Make sure all of those distances between your family photos are equal so you achieve a modern and more minimal look.
Here is an idea of a LARGE family photo wall I really like (and that blue accent wall paint color is GORGEOUS!)
Other Design Ideas
Here are 20 more ways to hang and display your favorite pictures on the wall:
- Create a photo collage using frames of varying sizes and shapes.
- Hang a photo gallery wall using a mix of black and white and color photos.
- Display a selection of family photos in matching frames on a shelf or mantel.
- Use clothesline-style string and clothespins to create a hanging display for your family photos.
- Hang a collection of family photos in matching frames on one wall to create a focal point in your room.
- Use a large, decorative frame to showcase a single, special family photo.
- Create a timeline of family photos, with pictures from different eras arranged in chronological order.
- Use different shades of color in your frames to add visual interest to your family photo display.
- Arrange family photos in a grid pattern on your wall for a modern look.
- Hang a series of photo frames in a stair-step pattern for a unique display.
- Create a collage of family photos on a large canvas or piece of plywood for a bold statement.
- Use vintage frames to add a touch of nostalgia to your family photo display.
- Hang a series of black and white family photos in matching frames for a timeless look.
- Use clips or magnets to display your family photos on a metallic surface, like a fridge or filing cabinet.
- Arrange your family photos in a circular or diagonal pattern for a dynamic display.
- Use string lights or fairy lights to add a twinkling effect to your family photo wall.
- Mix in other personal mementos, like artwork or notes, with your family photos for a more personalized display.
- Hang your family photos on your staircase wall.
- Use shadow boxes or other dimensional frames to add depth to your family photo wall.
- Hang your family photos in a pattern or shape, like a heart or a star, for a creative and unique display.
Picture Ledge Layouts
One of my favorite family photo wall ideas is using a picture ledge or floating shelves to display your favorite photos.
Below are many wall arrangement ideas to try:
Pictures ledges can be used in so many ways – you use multiple long ledges to display LOTS of pictures or go with staggered picture ledges – see below:
Gallery Wall Ideas
More interested in a GALLERY wall layout instead of a minimal modern family photo wall?
Check out the gallery wall layout ideas below:
How To Hang Family Photos On Your Wall
The hanging part is definitely the hardest part of creating your family photo wall.
Watch below as Rebecca (an interior designer) shows the best way to hang your wall pictures so your photo wall is even, balanced and looks PERFECT.
Her method is unique and I use it all the time – it works great!
TIP: – there’s a very nifty app for your phone called Hang-a-pic that helps you design your layout, right down to where nail holes and picture hangers go, BEFORE you touch anything on your wall. It’s really cool.
More Decorating Ideas:
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