When working with clients to select art that is unique to their homes, I frequently suggest groupings of family photos. The beauty of this approach is that it can be built upon over the years and can create a very personal timeline and story reflecting memorable moments, growth, and change. It's truly personalized art that can be edited and adapted as much or as little as clients like.
I often recommend that clients organize photos into public and private groupings. Public groupings include photos that one wishes to share with everyone (extended family, visitors, and guests), and might be hung in an entry way, kitchen, stairway, or family room, and often remind visitors of fun holiday get togethers and special occasions such as birthdays or graduation celebrations. Historic family photos are often included in these arrangements, making great conversation pieces as well as nice remembrances of days gone by.
Private photo groupings feature cherished photos that remind one of a very special and personal family moment, possibly as part of the decor of a master bedroom, upstairs hallway, or home office. These often include wedding photos, baby photos, and vacation photos.
When it comes to color vs. black and white, both can result in very nice arrangements. I generally keep the grouping consistent, by using all color photos or all black and white photos in a single grouping. Frames can be varied to avoid giving the impression that the photos were all framed at the same time or that the frames came from the same place. Antiqued frames can be successfully mixed with more contemporary frames to keep the look a bit eclectic. In fact, collecting antique or vintage frames can become a fun and inexpensive hobby.
Another fun way to create personalized art is to frame kids' school projects - from preschool on up through high school. It's amazing how great a framed art project or craft can look, and it's a great way to create a permanent keepsake. Framing recent "works of art" or going back through old school projects can be a fun way to compliment kids' creativity and originality, and to encourage new works as well!