I generally fall squarely in the second group. I am not one to own or display a lot of chotchkies, and I do not like being constrained by a built-in. Thankfully, our house only has one built-in, but it just so happens that it sits in the kitchen/dining room area, making it a central feature in our house. We have had numerous debates regarding what the intended purpose of this built-in was for, but the general consensus is it was probably meant to store fancy dishes.
The problem, I do not own fancy dishes, or at least none that I want to display on an open air shelf. When we unpacked, I threw some random picture frames up there, but was never really happy with the look:
(bad cell phone picture, but you get the idea.)
Despite not liking the look of the photos, I noticed that when people came over to the house they would gravitate to the pictures and ask us questions. "When was this?" "I remember that!" It was a great conversation piece, and I decided I liked using the built-in as a way to display pictures, but I wanted a more uniform look.
This weekend, I pulled out the hard drive where I store all my pictures and picked a bunch of my favorites. I wanted the pictures to tell a story, a story of our favorite moments.
I got the top contenders developed and created a big time line on the table. I went out and bought 12, very simple black frames to put them all in. Dan gave me some input of his favorite pictures, and here was the finished product:
(1) First photo we ever took together at the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Idaho;
(2) Our first trip together to the Florida Keys;
(3) Our engagement night;
(4) Our favorite engagement picture;
(5) The night Obama won the 2008 election;
(6) NAAC trip to Washington D.C.;
(7) Law School graduation;
(8) Our wedding;
(9) Roatan, Honduras and our honeymoon;
(10) Picking up Kadira for the first time;
(11) 4th of July in Idaho; and
(12) New York City for Book of Mormon.
I love how it turned out, but now I need to figure out what to display in the lower section. Maybe bigger frames? Some vases? I have no clue. So currently, our home phone line is sitting there along with other junk we randomly place on it at any given moment. (I know, who has a home phone line anymore? We do, apparently.)
(Photo courtesy of keeping it real- dog plopped in the middle of the floor requiring you to walk over her if you would like to go to the living room, shoes everywhere, my bag sitting at the head of the dining room table.)