{Client Work} Staircase Gallery Wall

I was going to start the year with a blog post about resolutions but I decided to show you some pictures instead. Pictures of pictures, to be exact.

I have a lovely client in Arlington with a naked wall in her staircase. She had dreams of showcasing photos and artwork just like I did in my staircase, so she had me over to put together a gallery wall.

Here’s what her staircase looked like before we started.



As you can see, the walls are a beautiful color but they definitely need some art and photo love. A few weeks ago I instructed my client to buy a big bunch of black frames with white mats (she chose these from Pottery Barn but any simple frame with a mat will do) and have her favorite photos printed in black and white. I think the best site for printing photos is mpix because you get professional quality and it’s really inexpensive. Like, drugstore level inexpensive.

I moved some furniture out of the way in the living room and simply laid out the frames and art for the staircase. I prefer using this method for staircase galleries because it’s really easy to move things around and play with placement.


Sidebar: How freaking awesome are those bunnies? Those were done by artist Niesha Ziehmke and they’re a series of wood burnings she calls masks. This series, which uses animal heads on human bodies (and vice versa at times), is an exploration of how identities can change in stages of one’s life or even due to a new situation. Translation: They’re rad.

Once I was happy with the basic placement I simply started putting them up one by one! I moved things around as needed. There’s no “right way” to do it so just go for it. No fear!

Now the staircase is a whole lot more fun. What do you think?



There are a couple of holes saved at the top for frames my client has yet to bring home, and a couple of empty frames awaiting photos, but I love the way it turned out. And, most importantly, so does my client!


Your turn to try it!

8 thoughts on “{Client Work} Staircase Gallery Wall

    1. Apartment Envy says:

      Oh no! No falling allowed! I don’t know how tall you are, but I’m on the taller side — 5’6″ barefoot and then several inches added with shoes ;) So I haven’t ever run into trouble. If you don’t have a ladder for stairs then you could ask your clients to get one before you come over to do the staircase gallery perhaps? And definitely always have a spotter :)

  1. Jeni says:

    I’ve always loved this concept! I’m looking forward to inventing some new space of my own with this exact look. How special that the photographs are of of the family and not just overly manufactured prints @ IKEA.

      1. Cheryl Mah says:

        Does it matter how many pictures you use? Meaning should one use an odd or even number of photos? You used all black frames with white mats – should one always use the same color frame and mat or can you mix on the same wall?

      2. Apartment Envy says:

        Great questions!

        For a staircase gallery it doesn’t matter how many frames you use. The only rule is you want to go from the bottom of the stairs all the way to the top. If you only go part of the way up it will look unfinished and, well, weird :)

        For a standard wall gallery, I always recommend using an odd number of frames if you only have a few things, but if you have lots of things on a big wall then it doesn’t matter so much.

        On staircases I like using the same color frames and mats because I think it can quickly become very cluttered visually if you don’t. It’s mostly a personal preference, but you can never go wrong with keeping things cohesive ;)

        Hope this helps!

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