Integrating Family Photographs Into Your Luxury Home Design by Laurence Carr, Interior Designer

Integrating Family Photographs Into Your Luxury Home Design by Laurence Carr, Interior Designer, Bergen County Moms

Memories are gold. They are the key to tying us to breathtaking moments of our past, giving us a window into our happiest selves. As visual beings, we lean on photographs as a big part of the way we recall our memories, and surrounding ourselves with cheerful relics of the past can contribute positively to the home’s overall energy. However, in order to get the most out of your family photographs, it is important to approach them as a part of your high-end home design, rather than something that sits on top of the design you’ve worked so hard to achieve. The best way for photographs to work their magic is to seamlessly blend them into the concept in every way.

I recommend that clients treat their family photoshoots with intention and forethought. This means planning ahead to ensure your photographs work well in the spaces they are planned for. Begin the planning process by walking around your space, noting where photographs could work well. Pay attention to aesthetic, but also to energy, identifying places where the energy could use a lift. Opt for a well-lit hallway, entryways, and family spaces, like a media room or playroom. Then, begin to think through what types of shots work well in each space. For example, fun, action-filled shots are great for a family room, whereas more artful shots or stills work well in an entryway.

Once you have your concept and general list of desires nailed down, get a little more specific. Think through the type of lighting you envision and set up a Pinterest board where you can save inspiration photographs. Then, using your board, create a shot list, not only including composition and lighting, but specific moments you want to capture. You can get as granular as noting that you want a shot of your kids running holding hands or leave things more open by expressing a desire to capture family play.

Once your vision has taken shape, proceed with hiring the right team to perfect and execute your family’s shoot. The best teams are able to take your vision and run with it, delivering photographs that exceed your expectations. Classic Kids Photography provides phenomenal services nationwide, offering gallery-worthy photographs perfect for your luxury home. On the East Coast, Stylish & Hip Kids is the premier service for modern, yet timeless photographs.

Send your photographer your Pinterest board and shot list a week before the shoot and schedule a quick call where they may ask questions.  

On the day of the shoot, try to relax and have fun. Being stiff, anxious, or uptight will tarnish the photographs and your memories of the day, thus disturbing the energetic frequencies of the photographs themselves. Plan to wardrobe your family in colors that are complimentary to your home’s color scheme. You may choose jewel tones to pop against a neutral pallet, or meditative greys and blues to enhance schemes that are a bit more soft.

When you receive your photographs, choosing how to display them in your predetermined areas is key. Photo collages or groupings allow you to showcase your photographs in a artful, interesting ways. These typically contain several photographs of varying sizes and a single decorative element. I suggest choosing an unexpected item that represents your family’s shared passions—I love large fossils, small, flush planters and even a small piece of family heirloom china.

If you have the right space, you may consider a gallery wall, showcasing dozens of photographs in a conversation-starting cluster. Keep these consistent, choosing uniformity in framing. I like to use black and white frames for treasured photographs, and colorful or bright metallic frames for playful photographs with kids. A generational display is a great way to get guests acquainted with your family, opening emotional space for dialogue. However, be sure to keep these groupings in hallways or other open areas, avoiding overwhelming guests with a display in a space meant for formal entertainment.

In addition to steering clear of formal entertainment spaces, avoid stairway displays, as they are overdone and tend to feel crowded. Also, ignore the temptation to add wall-to-wall photographs of your children to your master bedroom. A few small photographs on a dresser or even a framed hand drawing or piece of art made by the kids is fine—the goal is to maintain your bedroom’s integrity as a personal, peaceful retreat.

Photography done right can elevate a home’s energy and enhance the feeling of heart behind the design. The key is maintaining intention and a seamless blend between playfulness and artistic integrity. When integrated properly, great photographs can add the joy of play, the historical depth of ancestry, and cultural richness of travels, lifting the energy of your luxurious, love-filled space to new heights.

Laurence Carr is founder & CEO of Laurence Carr Design, an award winning interior design firm in New York City providing full service and e-design services to clients. She creates exquisite holistic interiors that promote mindful living and harmony, while attaining a level of sophistication through layering modern art, furniture, antiques and accents. Born in France, Laurence has 20 years experience in design, the performing arts, and fashion. She has been nationally published and is a frequent speaker and panelist in major industry related events.