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Every gallery wall example I have ever seen going up the stairs has been in a more open hallway design. I didn’t think it was possible with a narrow staircase like the one I have.

But then I saw this picture:
design*sponge Best of: Gallery Walls, photographer Rion Nakaya

…and now I’m convinced that it’s exactly what I want to do once I repaint the hallway and living room. There are walls on both sides which is what I thought made a gallery wall impossible (seriously, how can you look at that many photos when they are only two feet from your eyeballs?), but I think it works here. The dark frames, white mats, and largely black and white photos keep this simple enough not to overwhelm. Plus, the simple design also means it should be pretty easy to DIY; black frames and white mats aren’t exactly difficult to come by, and neither is spray paint. My photos from traveling to Prague, Germany, and study abroad in college would look fantastic displayed in an area like this. I think I’ll even keep some of the frames completely blank, making it look like I’ve got plans and places to go (something about leaving it looking unfinished is intriguing to me).

I am loving this idea so much that I’m wiping drool off my face. Or maybe that’s just a left over side effect from yesterday’s trip to the dentist. Who knows. Thoughts? Do you love gallery walls, or do you think they have been overdone? Do you think it would look too overwhelming in a narrow staircase, or do you think it is a fun twist from the focal point walls you’ve seen in the past?

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  1. Good morning! I myself am not a huge fan of wall galleries. They tend to make me feel very boxed in. But I have seen them done beautifully so Im sure if you decide to go this route it will turn out amazing.

  2. I, for one, love it. Maybe that's because I'm planning one, too, in our tiny and narrow hallway. Thanks for giving me some inspiration to see that if done right, it will turn out nice!


  3. That's almost exactly my stairway configuration, and I had it as a gallery wall before the fire. I LOVED it.

  4. I'm a big fan of gallery walls, and an even bigger fan of little gallery pockets (a term I totally made up for three or four picture gallery style hangings). you know, when the pictures or plates or whatever just seem to have been splattered in exactly the right spot and exactly the right pattern? Simple, but totally impactful.

  5. I've just hung my own b&w photo wall on 2 small walls that come off the hallway. I think a nice private sort of place is good for them, not in a main room or as a centre piece, but more a nice treat when you come around the corner and see them. Hallways and stairways would be perfect. I think you should for for it :)

  6. We did something similar to this collage along the stairway in the basement. It’s a less formal area, so it didn’t seem like overkill there. I’m not a fan of restaurants that have all kinds of trinket-y things all along their walls, but I think a few nice frames can really make a design like this work.

  7. How many pics frames and what are the sizes of the frames for the Hallway Gallery Wall? I want to do this project.

    1. The photo was an inspirational pic (not of my home); see the link below the image for where I found it. As for sources for picture frames, your best bet are thrift stores and Ikea. That’s where I get mine from. Gallery walls tend to differ from home to home, so I would suggest buying art you like and then playing with the dimensions until it starts to look just right (use command hooks to hang things if you don’t want to mark up your walls until you’re sure about placement). Hope that helps!