Sarah Syhakhoun Photography » Blog

Our Home: A Welcoming Gallery Wall

When we moved into our apartment on June 1st of this year, we had a big blank slate with nothing but tan walls and one giant blue wall (my favorite color) and lots of possibility. We’ve slowly been decorating it to our taste and have finally completed one major project over the last couple weeks, thanks to my wonderful parents who drove two hours from our hometown to help this weeke

This major project I’m talking about? If you follow me on Instagram (my screen name is sarahsyhakhoun), you will have seen the various stages. Here are the photos I posted:

Prepping gallery wall

Cutting newspaper to size of the frames

Gallery wall layout

Hanging up for an easy to change mockup

Painting frames

Painting the frames a glossy, beautiful bright white

Gallery Wall layout

Figuring out what to put in each frames and if I like the layout

Gallery wall before and after


We’ve finally finished, meaning there is art or photos in each frame!   The frames are on a wall in our hallway which can be seen upon entering our apartment.  This is the view from the door:

Gallery wall in our home - great for displaying photos

I apologize for the glare in some of these and the angles – it was a tight squeeze!

Here are both sides:

Gallery wall in our home - great for displaying photos

I absolutely adore gallery walls because they can tell so much about the people living in the home.  Ours is filled with wedding and engagement photos, photos of friends and family, items from our wedding, quotes that we love, and art/photos that we love or have taken.  How could I be a photographer without photos on display in my home, right?

Gallery wall in our home - great for displaying photos

Balloon photo: Stock.xchng,  Coffee greeting card: Urban Outfitters, Two wedding photos: Leah Maria Photography, Recipe card: advice card from our wedding

Gallery wall in our home - great for displaying photos

State art: DIYed

Gallery wall in our home - great for displaying photos

Wedding Prayer: wedding gift, “You are my home” art: DIYed, Flower photo: taken by me

Gallery Wall in our home

Wedding photos: Leah Maria Photography, Cat photo: taken by me

Gallery wall in our home - great for displaying photos

Garden photo: taken from a magazine ad, Wedding photo: Leah Maria Photography

Gallery Wall in our home

Caricature: from our senior prom, “You and Me” greeting card: Urban Outfitters, Peony photo: Taken by me

Gallery wall in our home

Abstract art: from a magazine ad, Vintage chef art: found at a thrift store, Save the date: from our wedding bought at Magnet Street

You can see a tiny sliver of the Christmas card that started this long journey we’ve been on for almost seven years in the bottom left corner of the photo above.  I will fill you in on that in a future post.

Gallery Wall in our home

Red “S” art: DIYed for our candy table at our wedding, 612/651 print: bought at the MN State Fair

Gallery Wall in our home

Strawberry photo: taken from a magazine, Two engagement photos: Leah Maria Photography, “North Shore Road Trip” art: purchased on our mini honeymoon to Duluth

Gallery wall in our home

Wedding invitation: DIYed, Pink lemonade wedding photo: Leah Maria Photography, Buddha quote: from a poster my husband had from his bachelor days (we are Christian but this Buddha quote is all about living in the present, which we work hard to do) 

Gallery wall in our home - great for displaying photos

As quick and neat this post makes this process look, it is a lot of work!  However, the payoff is SO worth it!

If you are thinking about tackling a large gallery wall (ours has over 40 frames), here are some tips:

  • Use newspaper to mock up a layout
  • Lay out the frames on the floor before ever putting any holes in the wall ( I ended up completely changing the newspaper layout once I saw the frames on the floor laid out)
  • Try to incorporate a few colors to tie everything together (we used aqua blue)
  • Use a variety of frames to keep things looking collected, not purchased at once
  • If you paint all the frames the same color, you can make the cheap dollar store frames look as nice as the higher quality ones
  • Ikea is a great option for this project since so many frames are involved
  • Keep frames close together (about half an inch) to make the frames appear as one solid grouping
  • A few larger gaps are okay and can be filled in with other thing if you want (photo strips, small momentos, little collectibles, etc.)
  • Try to pick a place for the frames that is a high-traffic area: both you and your guests will want to walk by any chance they get!

If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them in the comments!  I absolutely love this project and love our apartment 100% more now that I walk in and am greeted with all the things I love in my life.


Val - July 24, 2012 - 5:44 pm

I love your gallery wall! I love to see art the minute I walk in the door, it makes coming home so inviting to me!!
Ambitious project, beautiful result!!

[…] love the walk into the office where I get to gaze in our gallery wall (which I honestly look at in amazement twice a day when I brush my teeth and whenever I walk by […]

Kim Wolf - November 19, 2012 - 5:51 pm

This is absolutely amazing! I would love to try and do this with one of my walls that has been bare for the last two years. I haven’t been able to find anything to put on it, and this would be perfect!

Monique - November 30, 2012 - 6:11 pm

Your gallery wall is amazing!!

Cara @ Chic Meets Healthy - November 30, 2012 - 8:23 pm

LOVE your gallery wall! I started one in our hallway with IKEA ribba frames, and have been wanting to expand it – but I’ve been a chicken! After seeing yours I can’t wait to add more!

[…] to die for. I’m pretty proud!  I am pretty indecisive when it comes to art, so having both a gallery wall and a giant chalkboard that I can switch up at a moment’s notice is perfect for […]

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