Look to your stairwell for an often-overlooked spot to compose a memorable gallery wall. Art ascends with the stairs, inspiring uniquely shaped collections. Close proximity to the wall allows you to view framed pieces up close and personal. 

Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Designer Robert McArthur placed the main pieces from his tightly arranged collection at eye-level and in the center of the composition. “Keep the frames close together to unify the art,” he advises. To heighten contrast and visual interest, he mixed shiny metallic and matte black frames, and  painted the wall a light color. “It is a supporting actor for the darker framed pieces,” he explains. 

Stairwell Gallery Wall
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Designer Gregg Hodson began with the largest art piece as he built his stairwell’s striking gallery. “It’s large scale, so it breaks up the smaller pieces effectively,” he says. “Too many small pieces gets overly busy.” Hodson aligned the art at the top of the collection to “make it cohesive” and chose a combination of art mediums and frame weights to “maximize the texture and interest” of the grouping. 

Stairwell Gallery Wall
Photo by Meagan Larsen

Landon Taylor, lead designer with Ezra Lee Design + Build, chose a large, gold-framed oil painting to anchor a client’s stairwell gallery and built around it with a mix of framed paintings and round medallions that break up the composition’s hard lines. “The placement is more contemporary and the pieces are more traditional,” he explains. 


If you’re not interested in a hammer and nails, you can create the illusion of unique gallery walls with creative wallpapers.