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Preserving Home Interior Memories: How to Store and Display Vintage Photos
Whether they’re family photos or decor items from long ago, your home interior pictures provide unique windows into the past. Over time, however, vintage photos, frames and prints can fade, crack or yellow due to age and storage conditions. If you want to ensure your pictures’ longevity, you’ll need to take certain steps to protect them. Here’s how to preserve your home interior memories by storing and displaying vintage photos so they stand the test of time.
Choosing the Right Storage Environment
Proper storage is key to preserving home interior memories. To find the environment that works best for your photos, consider a few factors:
- Temperature. Extreme temperatures create an inhospitable environment for photos, so aim for a room that stays between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. If your home may become too cold, you can easily install a space heater in your storage area.
- Humidity. Humidity is a big concern for photo protection. Aim for a relative humidity between 40-50%. To accurately measure humidity levels indoors, purchase an inexpensive humidity meter or hygrometer to help you gauge the RH of your storage space.
- Light. Removing stored photos from direct sunlight is essential to their long-term preservation. If applying this rule to your current storage area is impossible, invest in UV-blocking bags and archival boxes.
Storing Photos and Paper Prints
Even in an ideal environment, the wrong container can do damage to the home interior memories you want to protect. When storing photos and paper prints, use materials that meet the following criteria:
- Acid-Free. Containers containing acid can damage as well as discolor your photos. Look for acid-free materials like archival boxes, folders and photo albums.
- Light-Weight and Flexible. Stay away for heavy, rigid containers like oak frames, which can cause the edges of photos to crack and curl over time.
- Air-Tight. If a folder won’t close completely, skip it and opt for an air-tight container instead.
Displaying Home Interior Memories
Storing photos doesn’t mean they have to go unseen. If you want to display your prints and pictures, keep the following in mind:
- Frame Rare and Unique Photos. If the photo has sentimental, financial or historical value, opt for professional framing services.
- Choose a Good Frame. When it comes to framing, the details matter. Avoid wooden frames, which contain acid and can damage photos in time. Instead, select plastic or metal frames that aren’t acid-coated and have a liner between the photo and the backing.
- Place Your Frame in a Cool, Dry Space. Humidity, sunlight and extreme temperatures can ruin framed photos and paper prints. Avoid hanging frames near bathrooms, windows, radiators and sources of moisture.
Preserving home interior memories is all about careful storage and cool, dry conditions. With the right level of care, you can enjoy the same home interior pictures for years to come. By storeing and displaying your photos properly, you can ensure your vintage pictures remain vibrant and intact.