Celebrate the Everyday: 5 Meaningful Displays

Gabrielle Stanley Blair

Design Mom shares her simple way to celebrate the everyday in your family with ideas for five meaningful displays – from your child’s artwork to a map symbolizing your favorite family vacation. How will you celebrate the everyday?

1. Children’s artwork.

A family portrait drawn by your first grader, the series of sun-dye prints they made with Grandma — framed with a wide mat, even the most childlike scribbles will look museum-worthy.

2. Family photos.

Frame family memories to keep them safe and fresh in your family’s minds. Photos from your last vacation. Candid shots snapped when you had a family portrait photographed. A series of Polaroids. Any style or any size can work.

3. Memorabilia.

Why frame only photographs? How about the number that was pinned to your T-shirt during the marathon you ran? A handwritten letter? Postcards from your favorite museum? What about the program from your daughter’s first ballet recital, or the ticket stub from your first concert? Framing them tells your family that these personal landmarks, and the things you do together, matter.

4. Maps.

Hang a map of Illinois to show where you studied. Display a map of your hometown—the place your kids have spent a week every summer visiting cousins. You could display a map of Europe, with pins indicating where you’ve traveled. Or maybe put a map of India on the wall, to show where you want to travel. Maybe it’s an oversize world map, so your family can see the whole Earth, and consider how they fit into it.


Near our reading loft is a framed, handwritten image with two words: “Read instead.” It’s there to remind the kids that there’s a comfy chair and a good book waiting for them when they’re done putting together that fort. What quotes are meaningful to your family? Or the better question: What quotes do you wish were meaningful to your family? You get to decide. And whatever words you choose, if they live on the family room wall for a few years, they will remain with your kids for a lifetime.

Excerpted from Design Mom: How to Live with Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide by Gabrielle Stanley Blair (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015.