We moved into a new house several years back and from the time we moved in, I wanted to do a stairwell wall gallery. This project quickly went to the back of the “to do” list because it was daunting. It’s one of those things that until you try it yourself, you can’t possibly know how much time, effort, and energy it takes. In fact, there are design professionals who will come to your house and design one for your space (if you buy their frames) if that tells you anything.
As much as I like the completed project, I’m not sure I’d ever want to do another gallery. It’s possible that I just that I went about the whole thing the wrong way. For starters, maybe I should have used five frames instead of twenty-three? I’m all ears for an easier method, but here’s how I went about this home project:
- The first thing I did was find frames that were the color and style that I wanted. I chose to go with black and gold frames to contrast with the neutral gray paint on the wall where they would be displayed. Instead of purchasing all the frames in one foul swoop, I purchased them over time as they went on sale. I kept my fingers crossed that the frames I selected wouldn’t be discontinued as I was collecting them. (That actually happened to me on the only other wall gallery I’ve evert done). After searching on various sites, I decided to go with the frames pictured below:
2. The next step was taking down the dimensions of the frames I wanted to use and drawing out the gallery. After selecting the frames I wanted to use, I took down the dimensions provided by the retailer where I purchased them. I then drew out my gallery on graph paper. This doesn’t seem like it would take long, but it took hours and hours and hours. I had to erase and redo the design many many times to fix the space that I had and also to get the look that I wanted. I also had to account for the change in elevation on the stairwell which is a bit tricky.
3. I then used packing paper to trace around the frames I had purchased. I then taped each piece of packing paper on the wall in the exact location where I wanted the frame to be hung. This is the tricky part. I thought I knew the dimensions of my stairwell, but found I didn’t because I ran out of wall. I then had to adjust each frame by about an inch. It was also hard hanging the packing paper high on the wall where I couldn’t reach. I was worried my husband wouldn’t be able to hang the frames that high, but he assured me that he could. After seeing how the gallery looked, I adjusted a few frames and changed the layout a few more times.
4. The last step was hanging the frames. I recommend having all the photos in the frames prior to hanging them. It just makes it much easier especially if you have any that are hung high on the wall.
Here are a few images: