Our Gallery Wall With Framed & Matted

Monday, March 13, 2017

When we moved in November, I was worried I'd miss our old apartment terribly. I'm intensely nostalgic, and since it was our first home together (a little apartment I loved), and we weren't planning on moving, I figured I'd be overcome with emotions once we shut the door one last time. But on our last night (exhausted, full of questionable Taco Bell), I was nothing but excited. And when we went to clean the place and hand over the keys the next day, I practically threw them at the landlord, thrilled to be moving into a place we'll make our own. A place we can paint! A place with hallways (an architect friend recently pointed out the importance of a good hallway to me, and after living in our one bedroom without any, I can't praise hallways enough)! A place we'll make memories and messes for quite some time, I hope.

We didn't bring nearly any of our furniture with us. Most of it was a mix of mismatched, broken, cheap finds from when we moved to the city six (!) years ago, hand-me-downs and my beloved dumpster finds (a habit Brian has been asking me to break with each of my moves); and we were able to sell other things on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and at our garage sale (we donated everything we made from all our hustling efforts to the ACLU and NIAC). I was excited to start with a blank canvas in every room, but with much more space than before, stumped on where to start. And especially on how to decorate. 

Slowly we started buying furniture (there isn't a console table on the Internet I haven't seen) but neglected the walls. We got them painted right after we moved in, so unless something proved itself worthy of ruining our hole-less, clean, (painting-is-expensive), walls, we weren't in a rush to make any moves. Deep down I've always wanted a gallery wall. But again, it'd have to be worth it, and I didn't have any ideas. 

When Framed & Matted reached out in the new year to see if we'd like help tackling the bareness, Brian and I jumped on the opportunity because we finally had an idea we'd been waiting to execute!!! What if we framed photos of our parents and grandparents (the most important people in the world to us, our biggest source of inspiration and our greatest supporters) at the same life stage as we are now — recently married, childless, young, very naive and very in love :)? Did these photos even exist? Brian's dad's parents didn't take many photographs (they didn't even take any at their wedding!), and mine live in Australia and Iran, and have moved around a lot — we weren't sure how we'd get the prints and if they knew where they were. 

But thanks to our mothers, aunts, uncles and cousins, we got everything we needed. And thanks to Framed & Matted we have a wall filled with beautifully framed images that make us happy to see every single day. 

The process was so easy. We gathered the prints (we had them printed in a variety of sizes at Costco and Central Camera Company) and then chose the frames after we laid everything out. There are five colors to choose from, multiple frames in each of those colors, and dozens of mat colors (you can single or double mat!). Since you're custom framing (for a non-custom framing price), you can pick the exact size of the frame and mat(s). It's all so personal, and since we were working with such special images, the whole process felt so intimate.

While the frames were being built (they're shipped within three days, to your doorstep in less than a week), we mocked everything up with painter's tape on the wall. Once the frames came, though, we scrapped that idea and started arranging and rearranging and rearranging again on the floor. Gallery walls are no joke! It felt kind of daunting to start. Those Pinterest beauties deserve awards.


I love, love, love how it all turned out. I think it's my favorite part of the whole place. The room feels so much cozier, and it's such a nice reminder of what matters most to see those faces daily. A million bajillion thank yous to Framed & Matted for partnering with us to help get this done. We love it so much! 

You can see all of their beautiful frames here, and don't forget Mother's day is coming up — the perfect occasion to get photos off our phones and cameras and into frames! 

P.S. If you're interested in trying them out, use the code MAKETHEMOST10 to receive $10 off your first order through April 1st!

(This post was sponsored by Framed & Matted. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)


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