Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Home Pick

photo credit
My home pick for this week is... 


I've always enjoyed taking pictures, ever since I got my first camera for Christmas when I was probably around 10.  (By the way, I still have some of the pictures I took with that camera, most of them being pictures of my cousins who were around the same age as me... ah, the 90s...)  Anyway, it hasn't been until the last year or so that I've actually tried to get better at my photography skills - and I'm still not very good.  I don't have a great camera because I figured once I'm good enough where this camera is holding me back (I'm chuckling at my thinking that could ever be a possibility), then it would be worth my while to get a better one.  For now, I'll just do my best at mastering the camera I have.  

I don't edit photos.  Except for the basic black and white or sepia, red eye fixing, or cropping, I have zero abilities to edit pictures.  (Although I'd really love to learn, if I could ever find the time to figure it out!)  Anything more complex than these few things and I hand it off to my hubby.  

So, after all of that... why are photographs my home pick for this week?  It's simple.  They are a great way to make your home more... (are you ready for this?) homey.  It's an earth-shattering thought, really (not).   

Simply put, pictures tell more about your life and family than any other single decorative element in your home ever could.  Have you ever looked at those pictures of homes in magazines and said, "Now really, does someone actually live in that house?"  So many of these "ideally decorated homes" tend to have a bit of a cold feeling to them because it doesn't seem like there's a lot of living happening in the space.  Solution: pictures.  

So, how do you do it.  However you want!  (Really, it takes such genius to blog about all these wonderful things... haha)  But if you really want a few guidelines, here you go.

Posed pictures are good (and typical), but candids are even better.  Frame pictures of your family being a family... at the beach, playing wiffle ball in the backyard, building a snowman, eating cookie dough, having an American Gladiator themed wrestling tournament (don't ask :).  Don't just showcase the school pictures and family portraits.  Display your family being uniquely you.  

Edit pictures to create variety.  I know, I already said that I don't edit pictures, but anyone can get a pictures changed to black and white, or fix the red eye.  If you don't have a program on your computer, use one online.  If you don't know what to do online, ask someone to do it for you.  So many people are into photo editing now, it's not hard to find someone who could show you how to do a few basic edits.  

Rotate pictures seasonally.  Something I've been trying to do more of lately is keeping the same few frames in my living room, but switching out the photos throughout the year - particularly with the seasons.  For instance, my mantle right now has a variety of pictures from last summer (see pictures below).  Once fall is here, I'll switch these pictures out and insert some from last fall, such as when we went apple-picking and when we carved our pumpkin.  Doing this at the beginning of each season makes me even more excited for all the fun things the next few months will bring!  Another idea for rotating pictures is to get a digital picture frame.  One frame, tons of pictures.  Just like that! - as long as you remember to update it every few months and don't leave the same pictures on your frame for over a year... :/ (guilty).

This has been my summer mantle decor.

Pictures mostly from Summer 2010 (left to right): Jadon playing on the beach, Andy & I on a vacation day-trip, Andy & Jadon with a sparkler on the 4th of July, and (not from last year) Andy & I walking on the beach while on our honeymoon.

Photo walls are nice, but not necessary.  In our old apartment I had a portion of a wall covered in a variety of pictures of family and friends from throughout the years.  That was nice, but a lot of work (lots of frames, lots of nails in the wall, and seldom changed).  A less committed "photo wall" of sorts is a memo board.  These can be purchased practically anywhere (Wal-mart, Target, Christmas Tree Shops, Kohl's, AC Moore, etc.).  They are also really easy to make (stay tuned for a home pick in the near future).  If you want to keep it simple, get a memo board and every few months switch up your pictures.  (See photo below.)

A memo board from Jadon's room.  I took a bunch of scrapbooking scissors and cropped all the pictures, just to make it a little more fun.

All in all, pictures are fun, interesting, and inviting.  Let people know you have a life outside of cooking, cleaning, decorating, and entertaining!  Say cheese!!  

~ Carrie ~

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