Ancestral ArtistryAlthough the antique frames that line this wall look like they were accumulated over time, they were all framed over the course of a few months.
"When you are shopping for frames, the trick is to coordinate the frame with its picture — not to match it too closely to the other frames. That way, it will appear as if the photos have been in their frames for a long time," says homeowner Susan Wechsler.
She took these photos of her grandparents and great-grandparents from old albums, framed them in flea-market and eBay finds, and hung them in the hall of her home in a suburb of New York City. For an early 20th-century photo of her grandmother, Wechsler chose a wooden frame with the same pinkish-brown tinge as the picture; a silvery shot of her husband's aunt from the 1950s is framed in a much simpler metal frame.
When the family photos were all framed, Wechsler laid them flat on Kraft paper on the floor, moving them around until the various sizes and shapes fit together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and each frame looked good next to the ones surrounding it. Once she had struck a layout she liked, she traced the frames in their exact positions, taped the paper to the wall as a template and hung the pictures.
"This was time-consuming, but is definitely the most satisfying project I have completed in my house," says Wechsler. "My kids can identify their grandparents, great-grandparents and even great-great grandparents who are no longer with us, and everyone who walks into the house compliments the way the photos look."