How To Decorate A Staircase Wall

Questions about how to decorate a staircase wall are something I get pretty often.

How To Decorate A Staircase Wall


Staircase Wall Decorating Ideas



Your stairs are an important feature of your home.

Rather than a purely utilitarian part of a house, staircase walls can be easily transformed into a beautiful interior design feature.

Even if you don’t have a grand, spiral staircase, most stairs have a large staircase wall.

For example, the photo above is from my front foyer.

The three silhouette paintings of my kids are my favorite pieces.

So showcasing these in the front foyer on the staircase wall was a perfect fit. (If you’re interested, there’s a lot more info on these three silhouettes in this post.)

With a little planning, staircase walls can easily be converted into gallery walls to showcase your favorite art.

Moreover, gallery walls are a fun decorating idea that can add instant personality to your home.

But before you break out a hammer and nails, here are a few things you should do.


Staircase Wall Design

First you need to consider the actual design of the staircase wall itself.

Determine if there is a window?

Is the wall curved?

And, is there a chair rail, wainscotting or wallpaper?


1. Pick a focus.


This doesn’t necessarily mean picking one theme that every item on the wall ties into. But if you’re thinking you want to have several items hung on your staircase wall, you’ll want to plan around a focal point.

For example, if you’re thinking of hanging family photos, lay those out first.

Or, if you’re planning on hanging a large canvas, start there. Focus on where or what you want people to see first and build out the artwork or collage display around this.



How To Decorate A Staircase Walldesign by Philip Mitchell for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House


Making A Staircase Gallery Wall

2. Get some nice frames.


Everything looks infinitely better when it’s beautifully framed.

For instance, two of my personal favorite sources for great-looking frames are Framebridge and West Elm

Whatever you choose, the point is to really make your pictures pop.

Don’t feel like all of the frames need to match either!

Gallery walls look great with matching frames, but they can also look good with more of a hodgepodge of styles.

It’s up to you depending on what kind of vibe you’re going for.


How To Decorate A Staircase Wallimage via Architectural Digest


How To Arrange Photos On Staircase Walls

3. Measure. Then Measure again.


Before you actually start hammering, be sure to measure your area at least twice!

A major key to beautiful wall art collages is evenly spaced, carefully measured pictures.

The last thing you want is to spend tons of time building out your gallery wall, take a step back to enjoy your handiwork, and realize the spacing is off.

Measure the back of the frames you choose to make sure you’re hammering where the nail holes need to go for the picture to hang straight.

Make sure you’re double-checking your math as you calculate the distance between different frame sizes and thicknesses.

And when you’re finished use a level to make sure everything is hanging straight.



How To Decorate A Staircase Wallimage via Traditional Home




4. Think outside the photo and art frame box!

Decorating the wall of your staircase is such a great way to add your personality to an under-decorated area of your home.

Gather up your favorite pieces and display them!

One last idea is to create a gallery wall using only mirrors.

This look can be achieved fairly inexpensively with sites and shops like eBay and Etsy.

Look for frames that are all in a similar color or finish to give the wall a cohesive look.


picture frames on Staircase Wallimage of Patricia Altschul’s foyer via Vogue.Com


How High Should You Hang Pictures On A Staircase

Measure the staircase wall at 56 inches from the bottom stair.

Repeat this process on the top step and in a couple of spots along a mid-stairway landing.

This height marks the average eye level and should serve as the center focal point for your most important art or photo.



Staircase walls are a lot of fun, and offer a great canvas on which to express your personality.

Whether you choose a theme or create a collage of several different ideas.

However you approach it, your staircase will go from a part of your home you overlooked to a major expression of your personal style.


For even more ideas for your walls, don’t miss this reader favorite on how to deal with your largest blank walls!

PS: How to find beautiful art for your home online.





*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click a link and purchase something, I may get a small commission from it at no cost to you. For more info, please read my disclaimer. I only refer things that I truly love and hope you will too!