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photo garland with polaroid photos on string

8 Unique Display Ideas for your Keepsakes and Memories

This past week on the blog I’ve been encouraging you to go through your old keepsakes and memories. And now that you (hopefully) have, it’s time to share some unique display ideas for them.

If you’re wondering what you should pull out of your old boxes, check this post out. It details why your home desperately needs more weird stuff in it. And it also gives you a list of places to go if you need some new but quirky homewares finds for your place that tell a story.

Because if your home isn’t telling a story about who lives there, can you really call it a home? The answer is no, you can’t!

So let’s look at some unique display ideas for the home that’ll help you showcase your precious memories.

1. Vision Boards

A vision board (or mood board) is a really easy but still unique display idea for your home. Pop one on the desk in your office, in the laundry, or the butler’s pantry (if you’re lucky enough to have one!). Choose the room you spend the most time in and make it reflect your dreams and memories.

The video above from Kikki K shows you some really cool ways to make your vision board your own. I love the idea of motivating yourself to set goals and achieve them. Throw in some photos, some pins, hang trinkets and treasure off of it, as well as postcards. It’s the simplest way to create something that screams ‘you’ and you can get as crafty as you like.

I’m in the midst of creating my own vision board for 2018 and will share if with you on Instragram when it’s done. I’d love to see yours if you have one.


2. Glass-Top Coffee Tables

The living room is the hub of my home. Despite what people say about the kitchen being where all the action takes place, for me it’s the sofa. And in front of it, you have prime real estate for styling up your coffee table. This is a unique display idea that you’ll have to invest some money in, but not tonnes.

What I love about coffee tables with a glass top and drawers underneath is that it allows you to display 3D objects, not just photos. And with an easy-access drawer you can pull in and out, you can change up the look as often as you like.

The coffee table above is the Liatorp from IKEA and it’s perfect for showcasing keepsakes in.

If you’re not keen on giving up your existing coffee table, why not consider getting a piece of glass cut to the size of the table top? Pop photos, letters and other flat treasures under the glass and look at your history every day!

white marble coffee table with plastic tray and keepsakes
Love this idea via Apartment Therapy.

3. A Memories Tray

I like the idea of spreading memories throughout your home, but sometimes it’s nice to group a theme of memories together. A trip overseas is a perfect theme to capture on a memories tray.

The tray itself can be any shape you like, as long as it works with your coffee table or sideboard. It’s more about what you’re putting on the tray that makes it successful.

Using the travel theme, consider a tray that houses a photo of you on your holidays in a frame from that country, an ornament you picked up while you were there, and a candle or diffuser with a scent that taps into the destination.

This tray idea is not only a fab way to see where you’ve been, but viewing it on the daily will inspire you to travel more. And travel is always good for the soul, don’t you think?

shadow box frame pottery barn kids

4. 3D Frames

You might have a stack of keyrings, coins, badges, or another smaller 3D objects you’ve picked up on your travels. Sadly, you’ve probably not seen them since you got back. Time to change all that, get them out of the bottom drawer, and display them on your walls.

This is a simple but truly unique display idea for your home and you can have fun putting the configuration of items together in the frame. Pack in as many as you like together or decide to let one be the hero piece. You might even want to create moments that showcase your kids or other loved ones, as seen above from Pottery Barn Kids.

You might even decide to have multiple frames together on a gallery wall. Which brings me to my next idea…

Gallery wall ideas dark blue feature wall from Pottery Barn on TLC Interiors
Love this gallery from from Pottery Barn

5. Gallery Wall

What I love about a gallery wall is that the more thrown together and haphazard it looks, the better! There’s no need to fuss over the frames looking symmetrical.

And the added bonus of a gallery wall is that you can mix and match black and white photos with coloured ones. You can mix and match photos with other artworks. And you can even mix different frame colours and styles together.

There is a skill to putting a gallery wall together, so check out this post if you need some pointers. But trust me, it’s a really easy way to display memories and the whole exercise doesn’t have to cost much if you shop for budget frames.

kmart peg board round shelf and leather strap shelf

6. Shadow Boxes & Peg Boards

If you have some larger keepsakes to display that won’t fit into a 3D frame, consider a cluster of peg boards and shadow boxes. Even just one of these in a hallway, for example, is enough to give you something to remember as you pass through your home.

Hallways are always an under-styled space of the house (get ideas for yours here), so why not try popping up an affordable option like the ones above from Kmart? The leather and timber materials used here will bring some warmth to your space too. And considering how affordable they are, you can shop, experiment at home, and not have buyers regret if it doesn’t work out.

ideas for displaying polaroid photos by west elm

7. Keepsake Garland

This is a concept more for photos, paper and cardboard items. Pieces that aren’t heavy, really. All you need to do is pin some string across the room and peg your memories across it.

This concept brings a sense of whimsy to a space. It’s great for kids rooms and other areas that aren’t to be taken too seriously. Keep in mind, of course, that the heavier the things you’re pinning on the string, the more weight it will bring. But for something as light as polaroid photos, thumb tacks will do.

I also like that you can add decorative moments to each photograph. The image above showcases this perfectly and is via Pottery Barn. There’s a full tutorial on their site on how to do this too.

unique display ideas for the home persoanlised travrl box

8. Travel Box

Last but not least is this adorable travel box. The one above is from UK website Not on the Hight Street, but you can get similar ones locally through Hard to Find.

This is not going to allow you to see the memory every single day. But I do like the idea of having this on a shelf, on the coffee table, or on a sideboard; seeing it nearby will inspire you to crack it out and look at your memories more.

I also love that it’s personalised and you can put whatever message you want on top. Of all the unique display ideas for your home in this post, this is the most individual.

photo garland with polaroid photos on string

Share your own Unique Display Ideas Below

Do you have some phenomenal ideas from your own home that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Pop a comment below and share the love with me and TLC readers, so we can all get styling up a storm at home!

Oh, and if you’d like to join my private Facebook group and chat to other interiors lovers, you can do that by clicking here.


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Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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3 Responses

  1. My method of displaying keepsakes and/or mementos is true to my eclectic design inclinations. I’m fortunate to have a large office in our mid-century modern home. I have three great “flea-market finds” 2′ x 3.5 ft. wood frames, which I’ve lacquered a rich emerald green. I also found three pieces of complementary mid-mod fabric to cover cork board that fits the frames. I located some fun brass and chrome push pins and display my treasures on the boards. They are great wall art as well as fun conversation pieces. The best part is I get to see all of my “sweet stuff” everyday. I do rotate the items every 6 months or so, I have much more than three boards can hold at once.

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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