The wall adjacent to your stairs makes the perfect place to display family photos or photos of any kind. Normally that wall is bare and needs some kind of design scheme. Most of us have more photos than we know what to do with making this a project a win-win. Anyone with a two-story home can tackle this with a minimum of cash outlay.


Staircase Interior


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fashion a photo exhibit adjacent to your stairway. There’s no one right way to do this so we’ve included some variations. Once you’ve decided on the photos, then you move on to the arrangement you like and the frames that bring the whole gallery together.

1. Decide on a Layout

If you have just one particular photo you want showcased, center the frame and hang it using a hammer and picture nails. But more than likely you’ll have a larger grouping of pictures destined for this area. Choose to arrange them tightly, staggered, matching the rise of the stairs, in a collage, in a vertical line or any other pattern you select.

2. Collect Frames

Make a statement with the frames. Smaller ones can accent larger ones. Black mats and silver frames around black and white pictures give the wall a cohesive look. White mats with gold frames appear more traditional. Study some of the designs on Pinterest to give you an idea of the many types and styles of frames available and how they look in a grouping.

3. Add a Few Empty Frames

Family photos evolve as the kids grow, get married and have their own children. Hanging a few empty frames (or keep the photo the frame came with) allows you to enhance your display whenever you want.

4. Lay Out All Your Frames

Measure an area either on the floor or on a table that’s the same size as your wall space. Arrange your frames there, including the empty ones, until you’re satisfied. Use sticky notes to number the pictures or describe them. You can also sketch your design to be sure you get it right. Or cut out the frame shapes from brown paper and tape those templates directly onto the wall.

5. Start Hanging

Leave at least 6 inches of empty space along the bottom of the wall. Nobody looks down there and it clears an area for foot traffic. Some experts say start with the photo in the center and work out from there. Whatever order you choose, hang the photos with picture nails and once you’re satisfied with the placement, use museum putty so they won’t move around.

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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and San Jose area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.