Family pics in the family room

February 02, 2012

I finished up a project the other day that was a LONG time comin’ – and in the end it only took about an hour to complete. I don't know why I put it off for so long!

When we had our corner fireplace covered up with a more lovely corner fireplace (confused? Go here.) last fall, it meant I had to change up what was on the wall to the left of it. I decided to go with a small gallery wall because…well. It’s the only thing I could think of. ;)

I already had a mirror up there. All the art I had was too small or too big. And there was something missing from this family room that was really bugging me.

That would be pictures of the family.


I picked up the frames on a trip to IKEA last fall and they hung with the beautiful IKEA inserts for months:

(The Christmas family room.)

I went with the IKEA frames for a reason – I wanted the wall to be more streamlined, so I wanted each frame to be the same. And theirs come with a mat, all for a very decent price. (I think the largest ones were $11?)

Like in my office, I just hung them here and there till they were right. Yes, that means there's a few extra holes. Holes schmoles. Just make sure you cover them with the frames. :)

So this week I finally got to filling them…with photos from a recent Thanksgiving.

We spent the week in our very favorite place, New York City, for a very special reason -- my hubby’s marching band participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

It was just the BEST week. All around, we just had a blast. We brought both the kids, and some of our closest friends were there (who work with the hubs) and their kids. It was a week we’ll all treasure forever.

So I knew I wanted to fill this wall with memories of that week, even though they are a little out of season. Here’s my stepdaughter and I at Thanksgiving dinner:

The kids at the parade! (Brrrrrr.):

I was so proud of my hubby (for numerous reasons!!), but he worked with the Fox News staff and the band was asked to perform LIVE on the morning show. It was SO EXCITING!

This was hubs and the Bub afterwards in front of the studio:

We were all pretty giddy. And tired (they had to be there at 5 a.m.).

We have a “regular” Italian place in Little Italy that we visit at least once each trip. They know us at Da Nico and we know their incredible food:

(You can tell by our happy faces.)

I had to include this shot of my hubby as they passed us during the parade:

Giddy. :) :)

And of course, I had to add one more of my favorite shots from the parade:

macy's believe balloon

I thought it was fitting. :)

I also included a family photo (I forgot to take a close up of it) to complete the wall:

gallery wall dark frames

Yes, there’s a gigantic Christmas tree in our family photo, but I don’t care. :)

My plan is to change up this wall a couple times a year. Maybe a summer version and a winter version? We’ll see. Knowing me, these will still be up this Thanksgiving.

Because the frames were finally filled, I had to address the mantel. It has sat in an between state since January 1st when I put away all the Christmas decor.

I made a few tweaks today and got it presentable. The lantern is filled with a few rattan balls and other filler, the little bowl is from HomeGoods (found a couple of months ago), and the owl was a Meijer find last year:

 accessories for mantel 

decorating a mantel 

The candlesticks I’ve had foreva and are from Goodwill. I LOVE that little bowl – it’s got every color I use in this space – blues, reds, greens.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE THE NEW MANTEL?:

mossy letter

And now I have some family in the family room to go along with it!

It’s about time!:

corner fireplace redo

I’m still running through ideas for above the mantel. I see it in white, with some kind of wall treatment. I just don’t know for sure what yet. I won’t touch it till it comes to me. :)

And yes, the chair is angled that way because the TV is on the opposite wall:

dresser as tv stand

I love looking back to see how this room has changed over time!

Here it is early last year with with a few thorns in my side:

I worked with it and made it a cozy spot, but the TV was squished next to the fireplace (I was always afraid the cabinet would become firewood), that corner fireplace was just impossible, and the closed off furniture placement made the room feel so small.

Now it feels like a completely different room!:

red blue neutral family room

Well, I guess it is a completely different room. ;)

I’m getting an itch to repaint this room too! I LOVE this color (Sisal by Ralph Lauren, Home Depot) and it’s served us well, but it’s been this way since the day we moved in. (It was the first room I had ever painted!)

It sure was a lot easier to paint without molding and furniture everywhere though. I may talk myself out of this. We’ll see.

So there you go – my family is finally in the family room. And I have Christmas photos up on the walls.

SO with it. :)

P.S. I get asked about that ceiling fan a lot. To see more about it, go here.

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  1. I love your room makeover:) I wish we could do this but it stinks being in a rental or an apartment when you're not allowed to do anything. I love the pictures and the BELIEVE one is my favorite:)

  2. Love everything about it. What a wonderful story!

  3. I love your ability to mix so many colors into one room and make it look so streamlined! Everything looks great!

  4. Not only is it nice to have family photos in your family room, but they also tell the story of a day. That's like a bonus on the gallery wall!


  5. I love the warmth that family photos bring, and yours tell a story, which is even better. :-)

    You mentioned a wall treatment above your fireplace, and you might want to check this out - new blogger with a super cool fireplace idea with a lot of punch for little $$. :-) Not my blog, but I love the idea!

  6. I'm probably months late to the game, but where did you get the mirror that's above your tv? I love it and that would work great in the awkward space between my husband's enormous tv and our ceiling.

  7. The difference is remarkable!! The entire space looks so warm and inviting! It's just beautiful!

  8. I was reading this in my reader as I usually do and I'm such a slacker with the comments but I saw that lamp shade and had to get my butt over here and comment! I LOVE THE SHADE on the ceiling fan! The room looks great. I love what you did with the TV :)

  9. I love the way your frames look. I can't believe you just threw them up without measuring. They look perfect! Also love the balloon picture it adds a nice bit of color!

  10. It looks so cozy in your family room and the photos look great!

  11. How fun that your husband's band got to march in the Macy's parade! I teach high school and love seeing all the schools that participate. Our band is large, really large (over 600 large). Yep, we're a big school. Think your pictures are fabulous and who cares that you have a Christmas tree in one.

  12. Great job, as always! I'm going to try to squeeze in Ikea on an upcoming trip to Hotlanta. Good thing I got a big honkin' SUV to haul back anything I simply must have!


  13. Well I hope that the ikea frames had beautiful, generic landscapes instead of other families :)

    Seriously, it looks great. Changing the photos out sounds daunting to me, but I bet it will actually be fun!

  14. I love your cozy room, and I love that you have family photos up...those are my favorite kind to see in a home. :)

  15. Oh my, I've read your blog for about two years now. How did I never know your husband was a and director. I mean really! I am a MS band director in Texas and now I have another reason to love your blog!

  16. Your pictures are really really cool! (My fave is the Believe pic...GREAT shot!) How many people can say they've been in the Macy's Day Parade? I think it's great that you chose to hang pictures that you absolutely love to look at in a room you use all the time. Who cares what time of year they are, right? Thanks for the inspiration, too. I have a wall in our family room that's been bare since we moved in 10 months ago. Now I know what to do with it!!

    Have a great night!

  17. Every time I stop by there is always something that makes me crack up because I can relate all too well. I am so guilty of hanging and displaying picture frames with the store inserts in fact there are still a couple on my bedroom dresser now. Too funny.

    I actually did a post on my gallery wall today too.


  18. Too funny - I had my Ikea picture frames hanging forever before I finally got pictures in them last weekend!
    Love the family pictures - very sweet! :)

  19. Your family room is so beautiful and cozy. I love all of the changes you did. The family photos are the perfect touch...makes the room more personal!

  20. I think your pictures are picture perfect, reflecting a fabulously happy time in your lives, and I'd never, ever change them....unless a happier than that time comes along!

    Your ceiling MAJOR inspiration from your blog....I did my dining room ceiling fan with a lampshade like you showed....LOVE does EVERYONE who comes over....thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  21. Beautiful space! Did you make the "S" hanging above the mantel? If so, what did you use as your base?

  22. What a gorgeous family you have! I especially love the Hub and Bub photo.

  23. How exciting!!! What a wonderful experience that time in NY must've been. LOVE how you arranged the pictures. Have a super weekend!!!

  24. I love your mantel, and I like how you tucked those photos in there next to it. And seriously, how cool is it to be in the Macy's parade??!! :)

  25. I am new to your blog and enjoy reading your post and creative ideas. What a lovely display of your family fun!

  26. We love Da Nico's! Last summer we moved from the NYC suburbs to Texas and we were just talking about places we want to visit when we're up next summer and Da Nico's was near the top of the list!

  27. I LOVE your tv set up - the dresser, lamps, mirror above, and the flowers in the rustic box. LOVE!

  28. Your gallery wall looks amazing! You have such a beautiful family! What a fabulous trip for all of you, and I can't imagine how proud and excited you must have been for your hubby and his band!
    Oh, and I LOVE the red "Believe" star balloon photo! What a fantastic shot, and I don't care what time of year it is, I love that pop of red on the wall!
    You always do such a great job~

  29. Sarah, Love you/your blog! But I do't get it....most bloggers would be posting/bragging all about this amazing life event (with good reason!) the second it happened! Too modest! :)

  30. i have a lovely frame hanging with the target inserts. getting the photo enlarged to go inside keeps getting bumped down the to do list. glad i'm not the only one

  31. Your family room is beautiful. I really love your GW candlestick/side table by the chair. I get that you're wanting to see white above the fireplace. What if you had an awesome, chunky vintage frame for your mirror (painted white, of course):). Just a thought. Thanks for the inspiration!

  32. I actually did see the band in the parade. When they announced a marching band from Indiana, I just knew it had to be you guys! I bet it was awesome to be there! I love the way you decorate with things that you love. It always inspires me. Thanks!

  33. I have a wall arrangement of Target picture frames in varied sizes, colors and patterns (: currently they hold pictures of me an my fiancé...but I recently bought some of those large, full-color art books (like Van Gogh, Klimt) for around $4 each used from the library bookstore (they're supposed to go for $60+!) to cut out the pictures I like for framing. We'll see how that goes!

  34. I love all those pictures!

    What a fun event/special memory to display in your family room!

    It looks fantastic, and I really love your family room.

  35. I love that moss letter over your mirror. What a great idea!!

  36. Love the pictures. I want to do something similar to my very boring but very long wall. I am holding out until this summer though.

    Just wanted to mention we have the same bowl. I love all of the colors in it too! I also love the shape of it. It is perfect! May I say--What great taste you have!?!

  37. Your rustic wooden box filled with hydrangeas has such rustic charm. Pinned it!

  38. Mantel is beautiful! Kinda reminds me of mine :)

  39. Your living room looks great! I love the decorations that you have on your mantel and the S wreath.

  40. I would also like to know how I can get a letter like ur s in the mirror. Should I just make one? Moss and glue?

  41. wow! you have a beautiful house!

  42. Wow, just found your site and love it! I have the same question as other, how did you do the "S" wreath??

  43. Thanks so much! Here's the link to the mossy "S" --

  44. Love your living room!! Would you mind telling me the dimensions on the dresser below the TV? Our TV is approx the same size and I must do that!!


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