Staircase Gallery Wall - Design Tips & Layouts
You’ve decided it’s high time to conquer that slanted, tricky wall space along your staircase by adding a beautiful gallery wall display, but where to start? What different layouts should you consider? How big should the artwork be? How in the world do you go about hanging the artwork in a strategic manner?
We are here to break that all down for you! First we will show several different layouts for Staircase Gallery Walls and then we will share useful design tips and hanging tricks.
Staircase Gallery Wall Layouts
Organic gallery wall layouts are a great way to add lots of interest and to showcase an eclectic collection of art. This design also allows you to “grow as you go”. You can begin with a base of 5-7 pieces in the most visible area of the wall and add to your art collection over time, continuing up the staircase. Organic layouts take some strategizing, but are easily adaptable to staircases.
Free Resource: For a deeper dive on designing a gallery wall including layouts, inspiration pictures and additional lighting + hanging tips, download our free 25-page Ultimate Gallery Wall Guidebook. Then come back here to adapt those ideas to your staircase!
Modern, clean, and simple, symmetrical gallery wall layouts are orderly and pleasing to the eye. Symmetrical staircase gallery walls do best with frames/artwork with the same dimensions and the same frame style.
Pro Tip: If you are framing smaller pieces like photographs and wish to incorporate a variety of sizes or orientations, use mats to “fill in” the difference to maintain the same frame size.
Staircase Gallery Wall Design Tips
Be mindful that unlike that large wall behind your sofa, staircase gallery walls will be viewed close up, so stick with small to medium sized pieces.
After you have collected the artwork for your gallery wall, it is always best practice to lay them all down on the floor, starting with the middle piece and working your way out. To mimic a staircase wall, lay a piece of string or painter’s tape on the ground at roughly a 45 degree angle to be your “centerline” and place the artwork over that line. You can swap them around as many times as it takes until you are happy with the result.
Pro Tip: If you are having trouble visualizing the added layer of the slanted centerline, you can start by laying them out as if they would be a “regular” gallery wall (non-slanted) as you begin deciding on placement. Then shift them to the slanted layout.
MORE DESIGN TIPS:
- With organic layouts, alternate between hanging frames vertically and horizontally
- Space out your larger pieces to balance it out
- Hang each piece 2-3 inches apart in each direction
- Start with the middle lowest frame and work your way out
Staircase Gallery Wall Hanging Tips & Tricks
Once you are happy with your layout, grab a measuring tape, pencil and painter’s tape and head to your staircase.
Your centerline parallels the angle of your staircase, 57” up from the floor. Mark that point at the base of the stairs, and make another mark at the top of your gallery wall area. Place painter’s tape on the wall from point to point. This will be your official centerline.
HANGING TIPS & DIRECTIONS:
- Start by hanging the largest and lowest middle frame, at the center point or middle of your gallery wall space
- Before proceeding, take a step back and view the first one’s placement from different angles, including from the top of the stairs, and make appropriate adjustments
- Pick up the next piece of artwork directly to the right or left of the middle piece and hold it up in the appropriate place
- Lightly mark the top and bottom of the frame you are hanging with a pencil, remove the tape from that area, and then hang that piece
- Repeat one by one, removing tape as you go until finished
- Erase any visible pencil marks
Pro Tip: If you are taking on an organic layout and need some extra assurance before grabbing your hammer and nails, this bit of extra work can really pay off. Using butcher paper or craft paper, cut out exact sizes of each piece of artwork. Tape each of them on your staircase wall and adjust as needed. Remove the centerline tape. Lightly mark an outline of each piece, and then begin hanging with extra confidence!
Staircase Gallery Walls Landing Ideas
Adding yet another gallery wall at the top of your staircase landing is a nice way to keep the flow in your home. The nice thing about staircase landings is that they are super simple as compared to the slanted variety we just covered.
Consider mixing it up with the layout. If you created a symmetrical staircase gallery wall, pair it with an organic staircase landing gallery wall. If you crafted an organic layout up the stairs, go for a symmetrical grid at the top!
We hope these tips were helpful for your own DIY staircase gallery wall project. Happy designing!
Looking for the perfect small print to complete your gallery wall? Shop 8x10, 8x12 and 11x14 matted (or un-matted) prints:
Want more? For a complete guide to designing your gallery wall, download our Guidebook for free by joining our email list:
Also in Blog
This collection is made up of the gallery staff's favorite fine art photographs by artist and photographer Maryanne McGuire.
Some of her collection are offered as prints on fine art paper or archival canvas. Others in her collection are offered in the form of "hand-colored encaustics".