Here’s a look at one of those long-in-the-works home projects that’s finally done and is giving me so much life these days. We live in a classic NYC pre-war building, and our apartment is referred to as “railroad-style,” where one long hallway has rooms jutting off to one side.
Before we even signed the papers to make this place ours, I imagined filling this long hallway with large photographs. The vast, never-ending wall seemed to beg for it. I wanted photographs from our different travels around the world, so I could be reminded of our adventures and transported whenever the next big trip seemed too far away.
I’m not sure what it is about completing a project at home that feels so satisfying, but every time I see these photos hanging on the wall, I get happy. Getting some of our photos off of a computer screen and into real life is pretty joy-inducing too. And I absolutely love the conversation piece these become when visitors come over.
To make this whole thing happen, I purchased five Ribba photo frames from my beloved IKEA, in the largest size I could find. And then one night, I spent several hours combing through thousands of photos from our various travels, looking for our favorites that were taken in portrait orientation, and also hoping for a combination of photos that would look nice together.
Once I had my photos selected, I put them on a flash drive and headed to Pro Image Photo on the Upper West Side. I’ve had a few different prints done there before, and when you’re in need of something done quickly (and aren’t I always in need of something at the last minute?!), you can submit your photos online and then pop in to pick them up. While there are lots of great online photo printing options, I really appreciated being able to go into a brick and mortar store and sit down with one of the designers there, particularly because a couple of my photos were taken with my iPhone, so I wanted to be sure they’d still look good when blown up.
They sized everything to match with my Ribba frames, and the quality of each print turned out fantastic. When I picked them up, the lady in the store said they were so beautiful, she wanted to print a few copies for herself.
Once I got the prints home, I could hardly wait to put everything together. And since I was using IKEA frames, there was certainly some work involved. But as Jordan powered through a couple episodes of The Walking Dead, and I randomly asked questions about what was going on in the show, I put together five photos from our times spent around the world.
Here’s a closer look at the ones I chose…
Amalfi Coast, Italy – This was our first stop on our honeymoon to Italy, and there were so many times when we would look out at that beautiful coast and ask each other, “Can you believe we’re married and actually here?” One of my favorite memories from our honeymoon was sitting on our hotel balcony staring at the colorful buildings built into the mountains which were meeting the sea and watching the lights in each one come on as the sun went down.Florence, Italy – We only spent one night in Florence, but we had an amazing time roaming through the streets admiring the architecture and eating the best focaccia bread we’ve ever had. While walking down one little street, we came across this bicycle tucked away inside someone’s garage, and it seemed to perfectly capture the old, rustic and yet refined vibe of the streets we were exploring. This is one of my all-time favorite photos.Agra, India – We had the chance to visit India in 2014 for a wedding. The Taj Mahal is one of those places you want to see, and once you see it, it far exceeds your expectations. We went at sunrise to beat the crowds, and I could have sat and stared at this building for hours. It’s that beautiful, dreamy, and peaceful all at the same time. And then to know the love that went into building it, it’s just icing on the cake.Rome, Italy – When I booked the hotels for our honeymoon, I tried to book boutique places with rooftops. My thinking was that even at times when we may have been exhausted from exploring a particular city, we could always come back to our hotel and enjoy really great views while we relaxed. This particular photo was taken from the rooftop of our hotel in Rome, Hotel Campo De’ Fiori, and I love the rustic detail it captures of another beautiful city.
Paris, France – When I first visited France in 2004, I did what I think most people do — I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower to get a view of the city. It wasn’t until years later that I was told the best views of the city can be taken in from the top of Sacre Coeur in Montemarte. So when Jordan and I had just 24 hours in Paris in 2014, we headed straight there. This photo captures just a piece of the view, along with the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and when I look at it, I remember all of the highlights of that trip — the sunshine, food, crowds, and sitting at the base of the Eiffel Tower at sunset.