Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Our Staircase Photo Gallery Wall - Finally Complete!

Way back in 2011 (holy cow, was it really that long ago?), I shared the reveal of the gallery wall in our staircase. It only spanned one wall at that time, and I figured eventually I'd fill up the other wall but it's never really been a priority. To say we've had some other projects on our plate since then would be a severe understatement. 

Below is a quick reminder of what the existing gallery wall looks like. (If you want to see a blast from the past, you should check out the first reveal post to what the wall color used to be!) The frames are filled with photos from vacations, but they were starting to feel pretty outdated.

Seeing as how we've taken quite a few other vacations over the years, I recently decided it was time to extend the gallery to the opposite wall, down the stairs that lead to our basement.

I wanted to take the same approach, which was a variety of different frame designs and sizes that would all be painted white or ivory. A couple weeks ago as I drove by an At Home store, I decided to pop in to check out their frame selection. There was conveniently a clearance event taking place, so I ended up filling my arms with as many frames as I could hold — some of which weren't on sale, but still cheap. I bought 9 frames for a total of $58, which felt pretty reasonable.

Along with two other frames from my existing stash, I now had what I needed to complete this portion of the gallery wall. The next step was deciding how to arrange the frames on the wall. The trick to doing this (which I learned from another blog long ago) is to cut out pieces of paper in the shape of the frames, then tape those onto the wall and play around with the puzzle. I didn't get really specific with measuring spacing, but just eyeballed it until it felt right. Once your have your layout finalized, you can keep the papers there to mark where the nails go. 

Then it was time to paint. Honestly it's been so long since I've used a can of spray paint for anything (seeing as how I've been obsessed with chalk painting everything the past few years). That said, spray paint was still the most effective and quick way to transform these frames. A couple of them were already white so I didn't bother to paint those. For the rest I used Krylon ColorMaster in Satin White and Satin Ivory, so that the two colors would be mixed throughout the arrangement. It's a pretty subtle difference, really.

The hardest part of the whole project might have been deciding which photos to print! Given the travel theme of the gallery wall, I finally narrowed down my choices from the vacations we've taken in the past few years. For the middle frame which was a unique shape, I wanted to feature some sort of travel-related quote. I settled on one that still tied everything back to home, which seemed appropriate: "Wherever you roam, there's no place like home." I just did it on the cheap by printing it out myself on linen cardstock. 

Last weekend I eagerly began hammering nails into the wall in anticipation of seeing my gallery wall finally come together. Then it was time to stand back and admire my work and take an excessive amount of photos from all angles, as one does. 

Just to give you the whole picture (pun intended), here's a wider view of the staircase. If you're interested in the DIY world map triptych, check out this post. And in case you're wondering, I have no idea why they didn't center the window on that wall when building this house.

It's a satisfying feeling to finally have "phase 2" of this gallery wall complete! And if I really wanted to I could probably add a row on top of these someday (since the other wall has three rows of frames). But let's face it, that might not ever happen.

I'm curious, do you have a gallery wall in your home? These large expanses of wall can be intimidating to decorate sometimes! 

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