Ideas for Decorating with Antique Frames

Empty picture frames both old and new can be a great home decor item. Today I’m sharing creative ideas for decorating with antique frames.

While the frames that I share are antique or vintage, these ideas could be used for new or used frames as well.

Creative Ideas for Decorating with Vintage Frames

I am happy to be joining a group of blogging friends who share my love of vintage and antiques for a themed series where we share ideas for decorating with vintage.

This is an every other month series hosted by my blogging friend, Cindy of County Road 407.

Graphic for blog hop focusing on explaining how to use vintage items for home decor.

These are the other ideas for decorating with vintage items that I’ve shared in this series:

Today’s ideas are all about decorating with antique frames.

For today’s post, the ideas I’m sharing are from my family and from a friend.

After you enjoy the ideas that I share, enjoy those that my friends are sharing. The links to all of the ideas shared today are at the end of this post.

If you arrived from Our Southern Home, welcome! Christy and I have been blogging friends for many years and I adore her classic southern style.

Ideas for Decorating with Antique Frames

We’ll be visiting three homes today for ideas for decorating with antique frames: an 1857 farmhouse; a 1912 home; and a 1961 ranch.

Antique Frame Ideas from an 1857 Farmhouse

My cousin and his wife live in an 1857 farmhouse on a working farm that has been in our family since 1896.

1857 Ahalt Maryland Farmhouse

This is where my grandfather grew up and where my dad spent every school vacation. As a child, the highlight of my summer was going to “the farm” to spend a week.

Matt and Beth are the fourth generation to live in this farmhouse and to farm the land surrounding it.

1857 Ahalt Maryland Farmhouse

Beth and Matt are restoring the farmhouse and they are doing a wonderful job.

This fall we visited them and I noticed that Beth’s dining room decor includes antique frames and she kindly sent pictures to me to share today.

My cousin, Mike, lived in the farmhouse alone for many years and the home fell into disrepair because it was impossible for him to operate a dairy farm and also keep up with maintaining an 1857 home.

Matt and Beth did major wall repair, removed carpet, restored floors, and did a lot of painting in their dining room.

Dining room in an 1857 farmhouse in Middletown, Maryland

When I was a child, this room was used as a parlor and it was furnished with a sleeper sofa, a piano, and other antiques. My brother and I slept here as the five bedrooms in the home were filled with family who lived there.

When Beth and Matt showed me this room this fall, my eye immediately went to the fireplace and how Beth decorated it with antique frames that she found in the home.

Mantel in an 1857 farmhouse styled with antique frames, white pitchers, brass kettle, copper pot

To decorate this area, Beth also used a copper kettle and copper pot that she found on the farm.

The basement of the farmhouse is filled with things saved over the years as is the attic, barn, and the two stone houses behind the home.

The stone houses were originally a wash house and perhaps a kitchen. The second floor of each building is believed to have been slave quarters. Over the years these buildings were filled to the brim with things the family no longer used but didn’t throw away.

Beth has used all sorts of things found on the farm to decorate her home inside and outside.

For years and years, Richvale Farm was a dairy farm. Dairy farming is a difficult industry to be in these days, so Matt and his dad have transformed the farm into a crop farm that also sells steers.

Beth added a picture of a Holstein cow to honor the farm’s use for many generations.

1857 farmhouse mantel styled with two antique frames, white pitchers with Eucalyptus, copper kettle and a coper pot.

Beth used two frames that she found on the farm and painted as the centerpiece of her mantel decor. Aren’t these frames beautiful?

Two antique frames, one white, one gold, with a pumpkin, cow picture, and white pitcher filled with Eucalyptus

If you could see out the two windows, you would see one of the oldest barns in Frederick County, Maryland. You can see it, the other barns, and the gorgeous farm fields in this post.

Beth and Matt got married on the front lawn of the farmhouse and held their reception in the barn.

Dining room in an 1857 farmhouse in Middletown, Maryland

This room is so lovely and I’m thrilled that Beth let me share it with you.

Dining room in an 1857 farmhouse in Middletown, Maryland

Antique Frame Ideas from a 1912 Home

Next we’ll travel to Walnut Avenue to my mom’s 1912 home. This home was built by my great-great uncle and has always been in my family.

Mama restored the home herself with help from family. These posts chronical the restoration of her home.

Mama has no frame in her home that isn’t antique. When I visited a few weeks ago I took pictures of a few of her antique frames to share with you today.

My grandmother volunteered every election day and collected pins. Mama displayed some of Granny’s pins using an antique frame.

Framed Vintage Buttons

I love that these pins can be enjoyed and aren’t just in a drawer where no one can see them.

Framed Vintage Buttons

Next we’ll see a few frame ideas from Mama’s parlor.

The loveseat and matching chairs belonged to my great-great Aunt Lillian who raised my grandmother. Her farmhouse is still in the family and was built by the same great-great uncle who built Mama’s home.

Parlor Decor in a 1912 House

Granny’s mother, Nellie, and her brother, Nelson, both died of thyphoid fever when Granny was 5 years old. Granny was sent to live with Lillian, Nellie’s sister, and her two sisters sent to live with Emma, another sister.

Mama has one of Nellie’s dresses, her hat, and a pair of shoes. This is pretty incredible considering that Nellie died when Granny was five.

Mama found some of Nellie’s lace in a trunk and framed it with antique frames to display in her living room.

Antique Framed Lace

Mama used the same velvet to back these frames as she used on the frame to display her pins.

Antique Framed Lace

When I was a child, Mama painted this antique frame and added a mirror to it.

When my friend, Julie of My Wee Abode, was visiting this fall, Julie and I spotted this wreath in Williamsburg and I knew that Mama would love it.

It looks great hanging on this mirror.

Mantel Decor in a 1912 House with dried floral wreath on an antique mirror with silver candlestick holders and white candles

Mama created a gallery wall in her stairwell filled with family pictures and a few documents.

Antique Framed Family Pictures on a Stairwell

The first picture is of Mary Louise, my grandmother’s first cousin, who died as a young child. Mama got this at an auction and had to pay more than she wanted to prevent an antique dealer from buying it.

Antique Framed Family Pictures on a Stairwell

This frame is identical to the framed mirror in Mama’s parlor. These are my great-great grandparents, Susan Rittenhouse Thompson and John Thompson. These are Nellie and Lillian’s parents.

Antique Family Photos

I love the style of this antique frame. Pictured here are Nannie, Granny’s older sister; Lillian; and Creed and Maggie Scanlon. Creed and Maggie’s dad built Mama’s house and they grew up in it.

Antique Family Photos

Mama taught at Waynesboro High School, the school where both Creed and Maggie graduated.

Mama has both Creed and Maggie’s high school diplomas hanging in her stairwell.

Creed graduated in June 1917 and Maggie in May 1913. Mama also has their high school year books.

Antique Waynesboro High School, VA high school diplomas

Antique Frame Ideas from a 1961 Home

We’ll next visit the home of my dear friend, Suzanne, who lives in a 1961 ranch. Suzanne loves antiques and vintage and has incredible decorating style.

In her hallway, Suzanne creatively lined both walls with empty vintage and antique frames, framed family pictures, and art.

Hallway lined with frames hanging on the wall

I love how Suzanne displays small framed family pictures and also small pieces of art inside empty frames.

Suzanne and I used the mountain and lake painting below when we teamed up for this blog post.

Frames lining a hallway's walls

When I visit Suzanne, I love to look at her family pictures that she has displayed here.

Now let’s discuss the Civil War soldier.

Collection of vintage frames lining the walls of a hallway

This is William Henry Ramsey, Suzanne’s husband John’s great-great grandfather.

In the Civil War he was Lieutenant Colonel, 57th Virginia Infantry, Steuart’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, I Corps.

William Henry Ramsey, Lieutenant Colonel, 57th Virginia Infantry, Steuart's Brigade, Pickett's Division, I Corps

Suzanne and I live about 20 minutes from the Civil War surrender grounds in Appomattox, Virginia.

I was visiting there a few years ago with family and I spotted William Henry Ramsey hanging on the wall in one of the museums there.

William Henry Ramsey, Lieutenant Colonel, 57th Virginia Infantry, Steuart's Brigade, Pickett's Division, I Corps

I immediately recognized him after admiring the print of his painting for many years in John and Suzanne’s home.

I so much enjoyed sharing ideas for decorating with antique frames. Special thanks to Beth, Mama, and Suzanne for allowing me to share their homes.

If you are hopping in order, next on the tour is Ann from Dabbling and Decorating. Ann lives in my second favorite state, Vermont, and I love how she decorates her home with antiques and vintage. She also has a Maine home that she inherited from her parents that you don’t want to miss.

More Ideas for Decorating with Frames

Click on the links below to see the ideas that my friends are sharing.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. I am so glad they are fixing up the old farm place in Maryland. I often wondered what happened to it, cause last I heard it was falling apart. Glad to see it is being taken care of! Love it, and I love the picture frame idea, those are such a good ideas to do with the frames!

  2. You family has a treasure in that old farmhouse and I’m glad to know they love it and are keeping it in the family as a working farm. How fun to hear about your days there and sleeping in the Parlor. Who gets to say “parlor” these days anyway?! All of your ideas were great. Especially the pins. How cute! Thanks for being in our group. Loved this post.

  3. Paula, this post is just amazing, I love seeing people’s family homes and histories. The farmhouse is such a treasure for your family, it’s just beautiful. The hallway with all the family photos is so very unique in that the smaller ones are showcased within the larger ones. Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us.

  4. This post was like a walk through the best museum, Paula, wow, it’s all amazing. I can’t get over how many family pieces you guys have and how you each treasure them at your individual homes too. That is so cool! The farmhouse is gorgeous and I’m excited your family will have the chance to enjoy it for many years to come. Hugs, CoCo

  5. Wow, Paula, so much history! Loved it, and loved all the frame ideas from the different homes. I loved the idea to group smaller frames in a larger frame for a family history wall. You live in such a history rich area; Williamsburg is one of my favorite places & I need to get back there!

  6. Love this post and the ideas of decorating with antique frames. I have a few and this has given me some great ideas. I loved seeing your cousin’s home. I too live in Frederick County Maryland so it was especially nice to see a “local” home featured. They are doing a lovely job with the renovation. Your mom’s house and decorations are very nice as is your friend’s. How interesting to have seen the picture they have hanging in their home in a museum. Thanks again for a great post Paula. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Paula, as usual you have shared such a wonderful post with meaningful treasures, memorable stories and vintage eye candy! I love it all but your Mother’s staircase with antique family photos in gorgeous old frames is my favorite. That farmhouse is so special too! How blessed to have it in your family! I love the history you have shared with each home. I have a few very old pictures of my gr. gr. gr. gr. Grandparents that I have been meaning to put in an antique frame for quite some time, and this has inspired me to get with it!

    So fun hopping with you!

  8. Thank you for sharing about your family history a bit! I love great decor, but great decor with a story is so much better!!! We also have a print from family Civil War soldiers. We have an idea of where we would like to hang it once that room is finished. We have very few items from our ancestors, but a few precious pictures are cherished!

  9. Paula, does your mama’s house have a small bedroom under the stairs ?
    Thanks for sharing the photos. Hope you are doing well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.