From Stairwell to Hallway. The story of the gallery wall.

The gallery wall in the stairwell is outta here!

{15 months ago…}

I tried. I really tried. But this gallery wall has been a thorn in my side since day one. It makes me cray-to-the-zeeee!

I thought the issue was the wall color. So I painted the stairwell yellow to match my foyer (I also painted under the railing white).

The frames also ended up with a nice coat of white spray paint.


Still hated it. So I took all the little kitchy crap and shelves down. Maybe it will look better with just frames.


Even worse.

Then one day… I was just over it.

Totally over it.

This sofa table was moved to K’s room last week, leaving an empty spot at the top of my staircase.

See? No more table.

upstiars_gallery_during_02  upstiars_gallery_during_01

When I “borrowed” the table for K’s room, I didn’t really have a plan for replacing the table with something else in this now empty spot.

But two days ago, I’d looked at that eyesore of a stairwell gallery wall one. too. many. times.

And something just snapped inside me. Before I knew it, frames were a-flyin’ and I was a-huffin’ and a-hollerin’ and a-hammerin’.

Do you see where I’m going with this?


Orange Mocha Frappuccino! Er, I mean…


I gathered up all my supplies; frames, nails, hammer, level, chair to stand on, and I just started hammering and hanging frames.


Some people pre-measure and cut out newspaper the size of the frames and tape it to the wall.

Oh please, girl! Do you even know how fantastically lazy I am? I mean really? That would take way too long.

Plus, who cares if I screw up. It’s only a teeny tiny little nail hole. It’s not like the house is going to fall down around me.


Basically, the method to my madness consists of grabbing a frame, holding it up to the wall and eyeballing it, and then hanging that sucker up.

This honey badger don’t care! She just does what she wants.

And if it looks like gar-to-the-capital-bidge? Take it down, pull the nail out, and hang it somewhere else. Trial and error baby. Trial and error.

Finally, after a heart thumping 45 minutes, I was done.



I ran out of white frames.

So I started grabbing other frames to fill the gaps. Don’t worry chicklets. They will get painted white in due time. Like, either tomorrow, or whenever I decide to get back on board with this project and finish it.

Could be a day. Could be a month. You really never know when you are dealing with me.

But for now, this is the final result.


I freaking love it and think it’s so fantastic. I grin every time I walk by.

You are probably saying “oh no, girl. No no no. That does not look very good.”

Of course you are saying that! The ugly frames haven’t been painted yet. But trust me, just picture everything white. It will look fab.

And sorry the picture itself sucks so bad. I had a nice camera a year ago. And then I dropped it on the ground like 25 times. And now my photos look like that. Sorry.

Ben says when he can trust me with a camera he might consider talking about getting me a new one. I don’t blame him. I break every camera I own within a few months. Weeks. Days.

Once, when I was in middle school, my parents bought me a camera for my birthday. I was like 13 I guess.

In fact, here’s a picture of my sisters and I on my new gallery wall. Can you guess which one is me?

I’ll give you a hint. Back Right. Oh, sorry, that wasn’t a hint. O-well. And Merideth, please don’t kill me for posting this photo of you. Just tell people it was your “awkward phase”… 😉 In fact, I’m pretty sure it was everyone’s awkward phase judging by the photo from 1993.

Anyway, I just got a new camera for my 13th birthday.

I was tearing open the package to retrieve my very first, brand spankin’ new camera that was mine. All mine.

My dad says while I’m opening the brand new camera, and I quote, “Allison, be careful. Don’t drop it on the grou…”


The camera slipped out of my hand and smashed on the tile floor.

The rest is history. Me and cameras are mortal enemies.

I’m that way with vacuums too. Don’t bring up “oreck” and “Allison” to my mom. I’m pretty sure she had to purchase at least 4 of them before I moved out.

Where was I?

Oh, gallery wall… Here’s a view from the game room.


For those of you that are so nosy you are squinting at your monitor trying to get a good looksie at my family, I’ll make it easy for you…

This is T 3 years ago:
Adorable? I think so. Drives me bonkers? You betcha.

And this is K (again, 3 years ago):
Prettiest and most ornery 4 year old I ever did meet.

Us goofing around:

Ben and his brothers like 10 years ago, maybe more:
(Ben is in the middle)

Can we all get a collective “awwwww”?


I won’t bore you with every picture on my wall. I’ll save that for when I am totally done, the frames are all painted, and new pictures are inserted. That’s when I’ll bore you to tears.

Wondering about that big ol’ empty stairwell now?


I have some BIG plans swirling around in my mind for the stairwell. You will just have to wait and see what concoction I’ve got up my sleeve for that one.

For now, I’ll leave you with my purposely-asymmetrical gallery wall. I like everything to match, but I get bored with too much symmetry.


I’ve determined people either LOVE gallery walls, or LOATHE them.

What team are you on? Team LOVE or Team LOATHE?

Do tell!

Have a great weekend!

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  1. I’m on Team LOVE! This is gorgeous, and I love your method… I’m an eyeball it and hammer it in kinda girl too. Love, love it!!
    Laurie @ Gallamore West 🙂

  2. I think it looks splendid!

  3. I LUV gallery walls & did something similar myself, only I left bigger spaces in-between the paintings….plan to do more walls too!!

  4. Your new gallery wall looks great! I’m starting to think about redoing mine. It will have to stay in the stairwell though…we have no other wall big enough in the entire house except bedrooms 😉

  5. How are you a blogger with a broken camera? Remind me not to let you touch mine at Blissdom 🙂 Ha, ha….no, really – I think you and I do gallery walls pretty much the same. I have one and I just plopped the pictures up there and added a little here and there…my hubby goes nuts cause he measures everything and I’m an eyeballer. That’s a weird word, huh? Anyway!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  6. Team LOVE! I love being able to turn my head to the right while I’m working and be able to see the wall that you’ve put together. I like it much better than the stairs too – very nice job!

  7. “Oh, it runs backwards? Hey, watch out! says that bird.” LOVE the honey badger reference! And girl, I eyeball errrthang. I think it looks fantastic!

  8. You just made my day with the Zoolander line…that movie is pure gold. “WHAT IS THIS? A CENTER FOR ANTS!”

    The gallery looks great and will be a stunna’ once all the frames are white. Keep at it girl!

  9. I am on team LOVE! I just don’t have one in my house yet. But it is coming. I have been collecting frames – just need a few more and then I am ready to start putting it up and then spray painting :

    Love yours! I want to find some unique pieces (like your Hepworth sign and star) to include too.

  10. I don’t like them at all! Ha! Never have…and I have one of sorts! It has art work…not portraits of people I know. And a lot of “verse” pieces. Like “Imagination is better than……” Things like that!
    Anywho…your wall looks nice all except that bottom left picture…think you should take that one out. Just saying!!

  11. I like it much better. I’ve wanted to do a gallery wall, but i’m sure mine would turn out a mess. They just always look so nice on other people’s blogs. And i’m an eyeball hanger also!

  12. team LOVE! I’ve been pinning ideas for months now, have the collection of frames piled high on a shelf…just don’t have the courage to get started. This may inspire me, I like how it’s imperfectly perfect! Do you think the frames always have to be the same color???

  13. Team Love! I’m building mine too, all black frames. Thought about doing all pics in black and white, but decided against it. Fun!

  14. I think it looks great as is!!

  15. I actually prefer it with the original 8 pieces; the mismatched frame types are a bit busy when there are so many. Gallery walls are so much harder than they look!

  16. I like ’em! I even like them when all the frames don’t match, which is exactly what I did in my kitchen.

  17. Ohhh my gosh you make my giggle… you decorate like me !!! lol. I’m with you on not loving the stairway gallery, and i’m reserving judgement on the wall until you spray pain them all white.

    Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

  18. I like it! And I’m sure it will look loads better when all the frames are painted white. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the stairway!

  19. Cindy Conner says:

    And I thought I made lots of pictures! WOW! I love what you have done here. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  20. I kinda like that they arent all the same white, gives it more interest. Im sure it will look great all white but Im kinda diggin the not matching-ness. Awesome idea

  21. I have all my photos framed and I’ve been considering the stairwell but I haven’t been convinced it is the best place for a gallery. I like the one wall approach better – thanks for sharing. Now I’ll need to stop and think a bit more about where the perfect wall will be!

  22. Im definitely on TEAM LOVE!!! Im a eyeball it kinda chic too! The wall looks great.

  23. You crack me up Allison. This is hilarious. I like it on the wall instead of the stairwell too. 🙂 Are you back in Austin?

    Thanks for making me laugh.

  24. Allison, Your Gallery Wall looks spectacular!!! Thx for commenting on my DIY Club features. I appreciate your input. I have been a follower of yours for some time now and would love if you would follow me back. Heather

  25. Love! And you are hilarious!

  26. I’m in the LOVE camp!! In the midst of doing a gallery wall on the wall in our living room that the TV sits against. It is still a work in progress too, except that I have pieces of paper stuck to my wall so I don’t forget where I want the frames I havn’t hung yet!

    Your wall looks awesome by the way, I can see why it would make you smile everytime you walk past.

  27. I love the pic of Ben and his bro’s in matching khaki’s. And you in that awesome sweater. LOVE IT!
    We don’t have a single pic of us hanging in our house. Except for the absurd Christmas card photos on our fridge. Maybe it’s because we refuse to take normal pictures of ourselves. Or maybe it’s the lack of kids-does that change something in people-have kids, will nail up photos? It seems to be a pattern in those that I know with rugrats. Hm….Something to think about….

  28. I’m leaning towards “team hate”, maybe that means I’m “team ambivalent”. I think the problem is that they were popular so long ago, I had one around 1980, but that hasn’t been long enough ago for me to make it seem cool again. I’ve been seeing them around the blogs lately and can’t help but get a cluttered feeling. One that is just art or printables is better but then I’m weird in that I don’t like pictures of people on my walls.

  29. Team love! In fact if I quit having technical problems with the photo editing I will have my very own gallery wall post. (grumbles about online photo editing) I may just have to start playing with photoshop instead of messing with the online programs. 😛

    Love the arrangement of your frames. I think it would look even better with a few more gold or black or other color. All white or not I agree it looks better there than the stairs.

    PS: You and your family are adorable!

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