How To Decorate A Staircase Wall

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

This post first appeared here in October, 2019 – but I’ve gone back and updated it for you today.

How To Decorate A Staircase Wall example of a front entry staircase with art going up the wallPhoto of our home’s front entry staircase – the trim and wainscotting here are all Benjamin Moore White Dove paint.

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 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 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 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?

Eclectic gallery wall via Lisa Dawson.

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.

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.

black and white photos on a staircase wall

Example of our back staircase. Wall color here is Farrow and Ball Elephant’s Breath.

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.

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.

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, 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!

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 onlineand how to style a gallery wall.

Finally –

Interior design enthusiasts! Have you joined our fun and VERY helpful design oriented Facebook group?

In this private group – members share their own photos with specific design questions and dilemmas from their own homes and spaces.

We all chime in with our best advice!

We also spill our best sources and tips – it’s SO great for sourcing hard to find items and pieces.

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o help you even further with your home projects, download my FREE DESIGN CHEAT SHEET!

In it you’ll find all sorts of quick tips and handy interior design measurements.

It’s a must have “go to” for all of your home decor projects.

Sign up below to grab this, I know you’re going to find it SO helpful!


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1 Comment

  1. So many great tips for hanging staircase art. I love your silhouettes! Happy Monday, Sue!

    Published on 10.28.19 · Reply