Step up to a staircase gallery

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Now, it’s not always easy to line up a couple of pictures on a straight blank wall. So we at HIBS100 take our hats off to those who attempt the tricky feat of creating a staircase gallery. Before you bang in that first nail, Chantele from Two Hearts One Roof has some clever tips.

 

Gallery Wall“I had always loved the idea of picture walls on staircases, after seeing one many years ago on Pinterest. But tackling a picture wall on a staircase takes a bit of thought, coordination and a tape measure, if you want it to compliment your stairs and flow well.

I had seen many different methods while researching how to do this, some involving large quantities of masking tape and giant sheets of graph paper, but the main tip coming up again and again was to do with a central focus line. So here is our quick and simple guide on how to create your own great looking staircase picture wall.

What you will need:

  • Picture frames
  • Command strips/picture hooks/plus hammer/drill if you need it
  • Measuring tape
  • Small spirit level
  • A second pair of hands is helpful

Hanging frames_0001

First step is to collect all your picture frames (or at least the largest ones you will be starting with). They don’t need to have prints in them yet, that is something that you can add over the following days/weeks/months. We bought our starting ones in Ikea as we liked the simple but good quality frames, and they are well priced (the large black ones were £13, and the white £6 – £10). Choose frames that will compliment each other, but in a range of sizes.

Next you will need to decide on your method of hanging. As we have solid stone walls we didn’t want to start drilling or knocking holes into them, so decided to use Command strips.
Hanging frames_0002Next you need to decide what height you want your central larger frames. These will run evenly spaced up your entire staircase, helping you get a central focus point and allowing the pictures to flow better with the incline of your stairs. We did a dry run, placing the first frame against the wall and testing which height we liked best. Once we were happy, we  measured from the bottom left corner to the step below,  then tested this measurement again with a frame at the top of the stairs, simply to make sure we liked where the placement would be at the other end. Two Hearts One RoofHanging frames_0003When the first frame is in place you will need to decide how much of a gap you want between your frames, use trial and error to see where they sit together best. Ours are almost on a diagonal, corner to corner, with around a 1.5-2inch gap between them. Once you have figured this bit out, you need to measure again from the bottom left corner to the step below, adjusting the height of your frame accordingly to make sure the measurement is the same as the frame below, to keep the streamlined look.

Repeat this process all the way up the centre of your wall with your large frames until you have a lovely, equally spaced and steadily inclining row. That’s the difficult part all done.  Now you can take the smaller frames and start adding them in around your central line. You don’t need to keep all the other frames in a specific pattern or orientation, as the central focus line will keep the wall looking ordered and sleek.

Picture wall on a staircaseWe decided to use black frames for our central line and smaller white frames around, to help give the wall even more of a pop and draw the eye upwards. We originally wanted all black frames but thought a whole wall would be too heavy, so this compromise worked really well. It is a work in progress and we still have a stack of white frames to add when we have images to put in them.”

Many thanks to Chantelle for sharing her tips and do let us know how you get on with your own staircase gallery. Happy measuring.

 

Alice Cullerne Bown is a blogger, author, journalist and fanatical cushion-plumper. She spent much of her childhood creating room sets in shoe boxes and now attempts to style her real-life home, despite the best efforts of her husband, two children, two stepchildren and two cats. She is addicted to home makeover shows and likes to Hoover while watching Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners. She blogs at DD's Diary, www.dulwichdivorcee.com, and you can catch her on Twitter at @DDsDiary

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