Tips from an Architect’s Home: A Family Photography Display

I admit it, crooked pictures drive me crazy.  I always love looking at a family’s photo gallery, especially when the photos go back to the early days of photography.  But unless the pictures are glued to the wall, there’s always going to be a couple of photos that are crooked.

So when I decided to display our family photographs, I had a trim carpenter build this cabinet for a blank spot in the wall opposite my dining room.  The unit recesses into the 3 ½” framed wall space.  Since this was done after the house was completed, we opened up the drywall on one side and cut the studs where the shelving unit would go.  It wasn’t a bearing wall, so we didn’t need to add a header above the unit.  We did have a cold air return in the wall, but were able to shift it behind the wall to the back of a closet.

 The shelves are fixed, 9 inches apart and 5 ½” deep.  All the shelves except the bottom one have a groove near the front for the bottom of the photo frames to rest in.  The trim sticks out from the wall a maximum of 3”.  A cherry top finishes the unit and coordinates with other trim in my home.

I unified the look of the collection by using only silver and black accented frames.  Everyone who comes to the house spends a little time looking at the collection of photographs which include some childhood photographs of long gone relatives.  It’s turned into a nice photographic display, and never needs straightening!