Photo Collages: Choosing Photos

So the perks of crazy nesting breakdowns are that things actually get done.  Even if a week after the baby comes, I go back to not caring about laundry piles or drawer knob smudges.  That entry way project I suddenly obsessed over earlier this week?  It happened. The devil would have broke free if it didn’t, of course.  Regardless, the transformation makes this mama very happy. 

As I get older, I’m realizing two very important things about our home and how it makes us happy.  I find that “too much stuff” clutters not only our home but my brain, and that if I don’t really love something, it needs to go.  Obviously, the latter could be considered a luxury when it comes to bigger items.  We’d all love to have our dream kitchen, our dream couches, our dream dining room table.  But there are so many easy and inexpensive ways to make our spaces represent our personalities and to bring in things we love so that the corners of our home speak our story.  Plus, I just flat out like change.  It keeps me inspired.

So the entry way.  I was done with the muddy color, the big sofa table I’ve never loved and clunky dark frames arranged too symmetrically on the wall.  I wanted something fresh, light, happy and colorful, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.  We painted the walls a fresh color, gave the front doors a nice yellow coat, and donated our table to our local women’s shelter and replaced it with a bench from our dining room table–one we only use when we pull the leaves out and entertain lots of people. 

Old dark frames were spray painted two different shades of white (Valspar Paint + Primer Spray Paint in white and off white, two coats on each frame).



New photos were ordered and finally, a few inexpensive things were purchased to brighten the space: a welcome rug, some succulents and an orchid.




It feels so much happier. 

Several of you have asked about how I choose photos for our collages and frames.  When I started collecting favorite photos to be included in Bloom, I realized how long the process takes, digging through folder after folder looking for my favorite images.  Since then, I’ve kept a “Favorites” folder on my desktop.  Every week, as I download and edit pictures, if there are any I especially love, I move a copy into the favorites folder.  Within this folder, there are other categorized folders–family, landscape, still life, color, Florida, holidays, home, motherhood, etc. I’ve found this makes choosing photos for freelance work or other assignments so much easier as well.  I’m choosy with these folders too.  I only include photos I love, love, love. 


So this was my go-to place for selecting new photos for our wall.  Other things I considered were making sure the entire family was represented, mixing up people photos with landscape and still life, mixing horizontal/vertical images and most important, creating a wall that tells the overall story of our family–the people, places and things we love most mixed with important moments.  After all, this is the first thing people see when they walk into our home.

Ideas for Mixing and Selecting Photos for a Collage:


A couple other details that add interest to a photo collage:

* Include a few “rounded” edges to soften up a block of rectangular frames.  The little octagon mirror and the oval frame were both picked up from Goodwill for a dollar each and included in the spray paint job.  I love how they break up the lines a bit.

* Go beyond photos and include other meaningful items in a wall display.  Years ago my dad gave me several old brass keys, and they fill in the spaces of a wall collage really nicely. 

* Don’t be afraid of assymetry.  I’ve only learned this recently but wish I would have thought of it sooner.

Hope that helps.

Have a great weekend.





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  1. Awwww…love this! So cohesive! Great job~Laura

  2. So, so happy. Inspired to spruce ours up too.

  3. Love it!

  4. I love how Nella’s smiling face always brings a smile to mine. How lucky you are to have such a ray of sunshine in your life!!

  5. finn snuck a peek at my phone … & remarked, “i wanna home li’dat someday, k? mama?”
    apparently you have my sweet little boy’s approval. good night, friend. have a fabulously productive weekend!

  6. finn snuck a peek at my phone … & remarked, “i wanna home li’dat someday, k? mama?”
    apparently you have my sweet little boy’s approval. good night, friend. have a fabulously productive weekend!

  7. love love love this. thanks for the advice and the inspiration! love seeing your home, wish we could visit! love all your pictures!

  8. COULDN’T have come at a better time!! We just moved and I’ve been stressing about which photos to put where, and how to display! Love the idea of an organized Favorites folder!!! Thanks for some great inspiration!

  9. COULDN’T have come at a better time!! We just moved and I’ve been stressing about which photos to put where, and how to display! Love the idea of an organized Favorites folder!!! Thanks for some great inspiration!

  10. Just precious – the shots of Nella drawing. I love what you did with the entry way. I’ve been on a brighten everything kick as well and I’m itching to repaint the house in a lighter, brighter color. And no, I’m not pregnant or nesting. :) Wishing you lots of luck with the upcoming birth.

  11. I love the fresh vintage feel. Really bright and welcoming!!!

  12. Beautiful! I am doing the exact same thing in my stairway and have been collecting frames for probably a year! I painted up the first batch in the Spring, but have yet to hang them. Finding the oval frames can be tricky, but I really like those ones.

  13. I think I will try to do something like this tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Happy weekend Kelle!

  14. Sometimes I sortof hate you because I wish I could just whip up cute things like this! Two months ago when I was down to the wire and should have had nesting feelings, I felt lucky to accomplish the laundry and feed my toddlers.
    Adorable photo collage though. I love the white. And the yellow front doors too. :)

  15. a. that is one super fabulous before-and-after (and thanks for the tips!)

    b. what a great happy-artist smile

    c. I covet your afghan.

  16. Love your stylish and crafty ways! Looks awesome! Sweet pics of the girls, too! Thanks for the tips! :) Happy weekend!!!

  17. Love, love, love the way you share Nella’s fabulous smile. The world would be so much better if we could all stay as joyful as that.

  18. Love this! & Another great way to change up an existing space is to paint your frames! I did that with ones I had been collecting for my (small) collage wall. It ended up working out perfect!

  19. You are one crafty mama!
    I’m saving this for later!

    -Melissa Juliet

  20. Beautiful before and after! (I love comparison shots!) I have a collage going down our staircase and have used a lot of the tips you suggested. It is one of my favorite places in the house!

  21. Hmm. I do love the photos and boots and hearts. but I was hoping for more stalactites.

    maybe next time?

  22. This is beautiful! am feeling like this at the moment and am making changes here and there. What I love most about this post (aside from the yellow doors!!) is that most beautiful Nella smile. She radiates joy in that photo and I felt it deeply. Love you all xox

  23. Love that the happy plant from the dollar tree is in the before AND after (in the window above the door) . Most definitely a keeper :)

  24. Yes, I’m loving the asymmetrical collage walls these days…I got the inspiration for my living room one over at young house love. Theirs is AWESOME!! Love the way your entry way turned out. It is very fresh and current all around. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Aaahhhh!!!! I love the paper on the floor for coloring!!! So doing this, and these tips are incredibly helpful for making a collage! I’m adding this to my list of definite projects.

    And de-cluttering….always a goal, always overwhelming…Oy.

  26. Wow! Looks beautiful! So ready for Spring and change. Spring clean starts next week for me. I have had my grand babies 2 1/2 and 7 month old for the last 20 days while my daughter and SIL went to Hawaii on vacation. I have lots of beautiful photos of the babies to frame.

  27. Lovely. I love a good inspirational post, and ths one did the job. This past week was devoted to my mantel… We are ready for Valentines!

  28. Wow, you’re a mind reader! I had just been wondering out loud to my family if we should include a photo collage wall in our new flat…Changing the subject, I went off to check your blog – ask and you shall receive, I guess. German mom-in-law loves the mixed in round frames. THANKS for the tips!!!!


  29. Really enjoy your posts – they are always so creative and inspiring !!!
    Thanks for them … ^___^

  30. Thanks for the “how to” on choosing photos. For others, I can do it no problem, for my own house….not so much! I love waking up Saturday morning, getting coffee, sitting down to surf the web & discovering you have posted a new post! Perfect way to start my day! Have a wonderful weekend!!

  31. looks cute – im inspired! and thanks for the tutorial on choosing photos… great tips :)

  32. What a beautiful and inspiring space! It’s amazing what a huge transformation just a few little changes makes. Thank you for sharing…your home is beautiful.

  33. Beautiful Kelle, as usual! Your home is such a welcoming place — so warm and cozy, you can feel it from the pics you post. Questions for you, where do you print your photos? Do you use an online service or local studio? I fell like if I’m going to have images on the walls that I’ve captured displayed as art work. I want them to be good quality. And do you prefer matte finish over glossy? Thanks dear :)

  34. I adore the redo! So bright and fresh. Why have I never considered spray painting all the frames to match? Why?! It’s perfect.

    Also love the favorites folder idea! And your succulents look gorgeous.

    I always love your posts and photos. Such an inspiring girl, you are. I can’t wait to see your beautiful February boy. Much love!

  35. I love the transformation! Hooray for the nesting devil within you!

  36. Love!! Your entry way is beautiful, Kelle. And happy. I love. Have a great weekend.

  37. That entry looks great! I love how the white frames and yellow brightened up the area… though honestly I probably would have just repainted that existing table because it seems to have more potential for storage. I do like being able to put the boots underneath, though.

    Great tips for a photo collage – gonna keep those in mind.

  38. I am in love with the typewriter as part of your entry! Since I have been writing, I have become a little obsessed with all things typewriter. I need to look for one!

  39. I’ve noticed your style slowly changing over the last year or so. It seems to have gone from a more heavy, traditional style to a lighter, vintagey vibe. I like it :)

  40. This is beautiful! Great tips! Maybe after a year of living in our house, I’ll put some photos up with this as inspiration! :o)

  41. God, Nella’s giant smile is SO CUTE!

  42. Those frames look so awesome!


  43. I love nella’s smile! The makeover looks wondeful, you are so crafty. We just got to florida(jax). Any chance you can put the sweet seat back up as a sponser some point soon? Looking forward to photos of the new baby boy soon!

  44. I would never have thought to use two different shades of white, it looks

    so clean and natural with the yellow doors!

  45. I would never have thought to use two different shades of white, it looks

    so clean and natural with the yellow doors!

  46. Thank you Kelle for sharing!! It looks so happy and welcoming…I adore the photo you have on IG of Lainey admiring the new photos on the new wall. So important for them to see the meaning of family through those gorgeous photos…
    Happy weekend to you

  47. Looks great & I love the white frames! Feel blessed to have stumbled upon your blog for the first time last night! Spent “nap time” today enjoying it very much! Both your daughters are beautiful & blessed to have you as their mother! You were also blessed to uplift others with your beautifully written words!! Can’t wait to read more!! From your newest reader! Will definitely donate & share with my friends!

  48. Kelle, I just love your blog and this post was one of my favorites. I even pinned it for future reference. I think you gave some really great tips, pointers, advice…on how to create a meaningful photo gallery.
    Thanks a bunch for sharing!
    Oh, by the way (cuz I know how much you love Michigan) it has snowed everyday for the last three days here in GR. It’s just beautiful, cold but beautiful.

  49. Happy happy happy…that’s all;)

  50. Oh, I do miss the smell of crayons. We have graduated to markers and pens, thank you very much!
    Thanks for the great tips on the photography and arranging.

  51. I’m in the middle of doing a photo wall up my staircase, thanks for the suggestions.

    One question – where do you order prints? I haven’t had much luck getting good prints. Thanks!

  52. Love this! Thanks x

  53. I have to try the spray paint idea. Really, never used spray paint in my whole life. I’m curious now :)

    Love the new frames, but I don’t know how you can delete old photos. I couldn’t do this, I’ll probably need another house in a couple of years.

    a 17-year-old girl from a sunny sunny sunny northern Italy

  54. I loved the phrase from your post “as I get older”…I think it’s neat that you are embracing that term–hey, it happens, right!
    As we find contentment in regards to that aspect in our lives, it can’t help but be reflected in our homes! As a new gma, I’m here to tell you the best is yet to come! Thanks for sharing your insights. I’ve tried to be inspired to share a few of mine at
    Best wishes to you. Mary Wilding

  55. Very fresh and cheerful! I used to have tan walls and now have a pale gray-blue, too, maybe it is the new neutral! I love your tips about photo collages, thank you for the inspiration!

  56. Oh honey, it looks SO SO good! YAYYY! I have never thought to paint the inside of a door. I have done a fare share of goodwill frame finding and painting but alway stuck with square, now I will have to add some rounds to my wall as well!

    Nicely timed for the coming spring and new fresh baby! Bright, airy, and well worth the visit from devil-nesting-mama…she may be fierce but she gets sh*! done!

  57. Oh I wish I had the time! Gorgorgous Emily!

  58. Even tho I always read, I don’t often comment, but I have to say I LOVE the transformation! Actually I think what “got” me, was your comment about too much stuff cluttering not only our home, but our BRAIN! That is what I’ve been saying for some time now & I think it is so true! I really enjoyed you sharing the photo choosing process too Thank you! Looking forward to hearing about baby #3–My oldest daughter is expecting #3 later this month.

  59. I recently did over my entry too. I painted the walls a cheery yellow, got a chest to replace the cluttered entry table (I can stuff all the crap in the drawers), a trunk for shoes), and a cool coat tree (we have a severe lack of closets). The best part is a huge metal ampersand I hung on the wall, surrounded by initials of the family. It makes me smile and makes a great first impression.

  60. Is that the space that you started to paint the other night at midnight while waiting for your roasted brussels sprouts? :) It just is perfectly happy. 😉

  61. Wow,the white frames really make a difference! And I love your ideas for photos- i never would have thought to include location/detail shots (which i would definitely use in scrapbooking and photoalbums though) but was a little worried about having a sea of faces on our wall- especially since we dont have our portrait taken too often so the pics tend to all be from the same day (which honestly just looks kind of creepy and weird)

  62. Kelle,
    Thanks so very much once again for all of the inspiration, great ideas, and showing us that “it can be done”!

    Love, love, love the photo frames! Also love the door and the new rug.

    It’s awesome how much of “you” shines for in all that you do! You sure have taught me a LOT, and I thank you so much!

    PS The pics of the girls are adorable!

  63. LOVE!

    Bug & Ruby’s Gram

  64. Love the changes to the entryway. Thank you for the photo organizing tips. Will be cleaning up my pictures this month.

  65. I am not gifted at doing this in any way. Thanks for the tips! Very helpful!

  66. Love it… love the yellow doors too! Cute photo of Nella coloring looking at you! And sister reading in the big bed :)

  67. Did you see this, Kelle?

    I had no idea it had gotten so much attention.

  68. Kelle….
    I love, love, love that last picture of Nella!! I think I can hear her giggling!! 😉

  69. Would be please come and “nest” at my house? Pleeeease???

    You continue to amaze me. I love this new look.

  70. Awesome ideas, Kelle!

  71. So I’m a few days behind due to the flu and funerals. But I gotta say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new entry way. So contemplating an overhaul of my own now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  72. Thanks for sharing your ideas! I want to do a photo wall in my house. Love the favorites folder idea.

  73. I just had time to come back and read this post, LOVE your tips for the collage! Thank you so much for sharing =)

  74. Thanks for those photo collage tips. I like!!

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