I’ve never been a big fan of the main stairway in our house.
Straight, narrow, and dark, it’s nothing more than a means to an end.
But even before I fell in love with a house with a bad stairway, I had a crush on gallery walls in stairways.
After five years in this house, I finally worked up the courage to try a stairway gallery of my own.
Why courage? For one, I’ve been afraid of overdoing it. For every photo I’ve seen and loved, there’ve been at least five that were just too much. Too many pieces, too much variety — there seems to be a fine line between cohesive and striking . . . and a bit of a headache.
The other thing that’s held me back is that I’m not much of a planner when it comes to hanging things. I’m more of a hammer-now-and-fill-in-the-holes-later kind of girl. Gallery walls require a more measured approach, like this:
Sometimes I wish I were more of a rule-follower. It would probably make my life easier.
But alas, no pretty, labelled, mock-ups for me. I did lay a few of the things I wanted to use out on the floor — does that count?
Seriously, I knew wanted an eclectic grouping, along the lines of this arrangement from The Inspired Room:
I started by laying out a metal piece that used to hang in my sunroom, and added a mirror from Ballard Designs. Staring at those, a vision started to form, and I pulled a small, framed, block print from my dresser, and a salvaged wood piece I’d found this spring. All they had in common was an aged aesthetic, and monochromatic color scheme. And it just seemed right.
So I hung them up. I know, I know, it’s all wrong, but that’s just how I roll. And I knew I could add to it and change it if anything wasn’t quite right. Sometimes I just can’t tell if it’s right until I see it on the wall!
To the vintage metal piece, Ballard mirror, and salvaged wood, I added a black & white photo my son took of the Eiffel Tower, in a a burlap-matted, black frame from Target.
For balance and texture, I also hung this bleachy-black basket:
Then I added another favorite photo from our trip this summer — this cool, ancient doorway in Cambridge — and framed it in a faux-wood IKEA frame that I transformed with some gold Buff n’ Rub.
Finally, I filled in the empty spots with a black-and-brown carved wood square I already had, and a pretty frame I filled with a print of the nest from my blog:
And it was done!
Before . . .
And after . . .
My blah stairway is now a pleasure to use!
Sharing at Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us Wednesdays;