Tips for how to figure out a gallery wall arangement for a stairway || Worthing Court

I’m happy to report that I’m nearing the end of my foyer makeover!  If you’ve been keeping up with my to-do list (it’s at the bottom of the post), then you know that I’ve been referring to the wall going up my steps as a big honkin’ wall.  And that’s exactly what it is.  

This wall…it mocked me, intimidated me and terrified me!  But, I finally followed my own advice and came up with a plan.  This is the wall I’m trying to work with.  BTW – here’s your first look at the new chandelier.  LOVE!  You can see the old one sitting on the floor.

Blank stairway wall

I was torn between adding another board and batten wall to this side of the foyer, creating a gallery wall or simply adding two or three oversize pieces of artwork.  I was trying my best to avoid doing a gallery wall because they’re really hard for me.  In the end, I decided that’s what would look the best though, so I tried out several arrangements and lived with each one for a few days to see which one I would like the best.

The first thing that I did was to determine where I would want the bottom, sides and top of the gallery wall to be and then framed it out with painter’s tape.  This went a looong way in helping me to visualize what I was hoping to accomplish.  For reference, I started out in the bottom left corner at the landing, with the straight, horizontal, line being 36″ from the floor.  I then marked that same distance at the lower right hand side and ran my painter’s tape in an angled line down.  I then placed the tape up the sides, to the height that I wanted.  The last bit was to add the top pieces of tape.  

Use painter's tape to help determine the size and layout of a stairway gallery wall || Worthing Court

The first layout wasn’t quite right, so I squared up the right side a bit.  Much better.

Use painter's tape to help determine the size and layout of a stairway gallery wall || Worthing Court

Next, I raided my attic for frames that I thought would work.  They needed to be relatively flat because we are constantly hauling things up and down the steps and I’m hoping to avoid knocking anything down.  This is the arrangement that I actually wound up with.  Sort of a combination of the first and second taped out areas.

Using old frames to figure the layout for a stairway gallery wall || Worthing Court

The next step was to remove the existing artwork from all of the frames and to paint them all the same color – black.  That will help to give the wall a cohesive look.  If you compare this photo to the one above it, you can see that I switched a couple of the frames on the left side.  Boy, did I have a lot of nail holes to fill and touch up! 

Stairway gallery wall frame arrangement || Worthing Court

Here’s a look at what the gallery looks like from the top of the steps.  It took a bit of trial and error, but I think that I’m going to love the result!

Two story stairway gallery wall frame arrangement || Worthing Court

Now, I just have to fill all those frames up!  I have some ideas in mind, but it’s going to take me a while to complete.  Stay tuned!

Here’s where my to-do list stands as of today:

  • Caulk and paint the board and batten wall white, to match the trim.
  • Replace the chandelier, add sconces to either side of the doorway into the office and add a matching flush mount in the hallway at the top of the stairs.
  • Replace the area rug.  The current one just isn’t working well with two dogs.
  • Add hooks to the board and batten wall to the left of the office opening.
  • What am I going to do on the board and batten wall to the right of the office opening???
  • Build (maybe) two benches – one for each side of the office opening.
  • Do something on the big honkin’ wall going up the steps.  Gallery wall???
  • Add artwork to the gallery wall frames.
  • Made a decision about whether or not to add sconces to either side of the mirror above the gray chest.
  • Add an outlet inside of the coat closet.  That’s where our modem and router are located.  See that extension cord running around the wall beside the gray chest?
  • Add some sort of drapery or shade to the window at the bottom of the steps.
  • Replace the smoke detector in the upstairs hallway.
  • Add accessories!


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