Questions about how to decorate a staircase wall are something I get pretty often.
This post featuring our stairway wall first appeared here in October, 2019 – but I’ve gone back and updated it significantly with brand new staircase ideas for you today.
Photo of our home’s front entry staircase – the paint color on the trim and wainscotting here is Benjamin Moore White Dove paint. A decorative element like wainscotting goes a long way when it comes to adding visual interest on a staircase wall.
Staircase Wall Decorating Ideas
What are some great staircase wall decorating ideas?
Your stairs are an important feature of your home.
Rather than a purely pass-through space – 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 own 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 be converted into gallery walls to showcase your favorite art.
In fact, since this space is first thing your guest will see when they enter your home, this really is the perfect place to showcase your favorite pieces.
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 Decor Ideas
First you need to consider the actual design of the staircase wall itself.
Is this a small space?
Determine if there is a window?
What do you want the walls to look like? White walls? A color? Wallpaper?
Is the wall curved?
And, is there a chair rail or wainscotting?
Making A Staircase Gallery Wall
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.
Narrow staircases can be tricky, think in terms of where there is an empty space to work with and focus there first.
black photos frames from Amazon
2. Get some nice frames.
Everything looks infinitely better when it’s beautifully framed.
There are so many different styles on the market – but here are a few ideas to get you started…
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.
There are so many different ways to go about this and no one way is the right way.
It’s all about personal style
Example of our back staircase. We went with simple staircase wall decor where we hung family photographs with simple black frames. Paint color here is Farrow and Ball Elephant’s Breath. More info on our Antelope Print stair runner.
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.
This same advice applies regardless of your staircase design.
I recently found this picture hanging tool on Amazon.
This tool’s amazing for hanging pieces with two hooks on the back, because it marks the wall exactly where you need to place the hook or nail.
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.
Think vintage and antique mirrors -so chic.
This look can be achieved fairly inexpensively with sites and shops like eBay and Etsy.
Another good place to shop for pieces like this is 1st Dibs.
Look for frames that are all in a similar color or finish to give the wall a cohesive look.
Or, just go with one gorgeous ornate mirror as a large statement piece, you can never go wrong with this choice.
Framebridge’s set of frames for favorite photos.
How High Should You Hang Pictures Or A Piece Of Art 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 Wall Ideas Conclusion
Staircase walls are a lot of fun, and can offer a great canvas on which to express your personality.
Whether you choose a theme or create a collage of several different ideas, adding to your staircase walls will improve your overall home decor.
However you approach it, your staircase will go from a part of your home you overlooked to a major expression of your personal style.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to zhush up your staircase wall!
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If you’re looking for even more inspiration…
Be sure to check out these other posts below:
Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist Paint Review.
Top Three Best White Trim Color Paints.The Best Dining Room Mirror Ideas.
The Best Family Picture Wall Ideas.
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace Wall Color Paint Review.
Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray.Benjamin Moore White Dove Paint Review.
The Top 10 Paint Colors For Your Kitchen Cabinets.
The best creamy white color for your home.
9 Best Paint Colors For Your Living Room.
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So many great tips for hanging staircase art. I love your silhouettes! Happy Monday, Sue!