A few years ago(okay I just realized almost 3, yikes maybe I should change out some of those photos now) I started a photo wall on our stairs. I love having pictures of our family up all around us and the kids love seeing the pictures as we go up and down the stairs. I have to remind myself it’s a good thing when Lizzie wants to identify who is in each picture when we really need to already be pulling out of the driveway.
So in the three years since completing the stair wall we’ve had more pictures taken, had another kid,
9 months ago I bought some cool funky frames, and I discovered that some other parts of the house are a little bare of decoration. There is this great open wall upstairs between the guest bathroom and Lizzie’s room that you see when you reach the top of the stairs. When we moved in I put a candle holder on the wall for a bit, then we hung my miniatures tray when my Mom decided to purge her house of more of my stuff. Funny how it’s been over 10 years since I’ve lived at home and I still have random stuff in my old closet. This miniature tray is very cool and is actually an old printer’s tray but it still had all the stuff from when I was a kid. I had good intentions to start adding little things from trips with the girls, but it just never happened hence why the tray came down, along with a layer of dust. That odd circle thing is our AC thermostat. I am still out for debate on the Nest, so you probably don’t want my opinion on how my husband loves to turn the AC down to freezing temperatures without even getting up.
To drive Chris crazy I thought it would be fun to use our bedroom floor as a space to attempt a mock version of what the wall might look like. Everything focused around a picture from our spring family photos that I know will be one of my favorites for a while. I also tried to pull in some color with this great cross I found at Hobby Lobby. Did you know that Hobby Lobby considers crosses ‘Wall Art/Decorative Hangings’ so you can often find them 50% off?
Once I have a general layout that I like, I decide what photos should go in each frame. Sticky notes are a great way so you can also keep track of what size photo you will need to order/print. Please ignore the toys, bags, and vacuum in the picture. That is just the reality of my bedroom on a daily basis.
Next I trace all my frames onto tissue paper and mark where the nail would need to go. This is a great use of all that old tissue paper from birthdays and holidays.
Then I tape all the tissue paper templates up on the wall, starting with my focal piece. I knew everything would center around the big portrait, then the cross, and then the funky frames. I swore I took a picture of my colorful tissue paper wall
since it stayed that way for 2 weeks, but you will have to settle for semi-completed wall pic. This wall has an angle on the left so I wasn’t sure how things would work once I started hanging the tissue up. I was very appreciative of this step because I had overestimated the size of the area to the left of the main picture and had to move some frames around. It is nice to just put a nail exactly where you want it when you go to hang pictures, but make sure you hang a few frames as you go. Frames can seem a bit crowded once they are hanging versus just the tissue paper. I also had to rethink what went in some frames once I rearranged. I usually have a few pictures in mind that I want to use, but try to be flexible to what looks good with the other prints on the wall. Being so flexible often doesn’t fit well with my OCDness, but I hate nail holes so that side tends to win out.
I love my husband because he decided to take our photo wall a step further and installed a new light fixture to showcase it. I despise track lighting. I understand it’s usefulness, but never found that it fit our house. Fixtures can be quite the debate in my marriage and it often comes down to function versus aesthetic appeal. Nine years of marriage has started to wear on my husband and he is slowly coming around to understand my need for pretty fixtures and I let him install odd looking remotes for switches. Home Depot has come out with a line of track lighting that serves it purpose, but matches the softer looks of our other fixtures. Keep in mind that we have a chandelier hanging over the stairs just a few feet away. Here is how the wall looks when you reach the top of the stairs and turn.
Add in the beautiful lighting and I feel like I’m in an art gallery. Well done my electrician, well done!
A few close ups of the frames, cross, and light fixture.
Now let’s hope it doesn’t take me three years to update these!