Colour photos certainly have a vibrancy to them and we are so used to seeing them that when we come across black and white photos it can stop us in our tracks. Whether you are a professional photographer or an enthusiast by choosing to take a photograph in black and white - or maybe in this digital age changing it to add unusual tones - the resultant image can have a way of making you stop and really look again at the subject matter.
This picture was actually taken in colour but with the magic of a digital camera was easily transformed into black and white. But colour is fairly new to photography; how many of us have albums or boxes full of small monochrome photos recording family high days and holidays. I have lots of photos handed down to me and there are a fair number of photos of my paternal grandma and they are often in the same location but different clothing. I have come to the conclusion that every time Grandma got a new dress she had to be photographed in it!
The desire to look into one's own past can arise at any age but here's an idea to marry your findings and decorate your home. Have your black and white photos scanned at high resolution to bring out every detail, even better if you have the original negative, print them off and frame them. Then arrange into a collection on a wall in your home. My father had a series of large pictures of royalty (passed down from his parents) going up the stairs. This is often a forgotten area of the home and what a way to liven it up and bring your history and relatives from a bygone age together.
Maybe your colour scheme is cool and neutral. Again, black and white photos would enhance the mood rather than detract from it. Even bright colour backgrounds would act as a lovely foil for a collation of monochrome images.