HELP WITH STAIRCASE WALL
Anmarie Pizzoferrato
May 31, 2012 in Photo Questions
I have been ratting my brain trying to figure out how to arrange frames on the wall going down my stairs.....How many pictures are too many, too little, what sizes for the frames do I get? My wall is a nautral beige color if that helps....
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Emily Hurley
Hi Anmarie, I love walls like this too! This one in particular with the more organized shapes is beautiful.

One thing that might help you decide is to cut some pieces of paper in various standard frame sizes to tape and arrange on the wall to see how they might all look together.
4 Likes   May 31, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Anmarie Pizzoferrato
I'm all about straight lines, but I do like a little something to stand out....I was thinking of getting a letter "N" for our last name, but what colors should I do? I think that is part of the problem....I am not good with color schemes...should I do black and white photo's only? Oh my list of questions go on and on....as you can tell, all of this home decor is new to me...I want our home to have a comfy feel to it
2 Likes   May 31, 2012 at 3:38PM
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lefty47
HI -- I have never been a fan of having picture walls going up the stairs . It is awkward to view the pictures while standing on the stairs .I prefer having a grouping a bit at the bottom and some more at the landing and the rest at the top. And mix in some decor items - little plates or small paintings and not have just all pictures. For a more tailored look you can have black and white or sepia tone ( a little more rustic)or a mix . Some hobby or frame shops have grouping plans that will help you ,- but just do the paper templets ( news paper) the sizes of your picutres/items and arrange until it looks right to you - have a friend help. I like the letter idea - which could be from old signage . But the sample picture is good to follow - it has a good mixture and all the frames are close in common .
1 Like   May 31, 2012 at 4:24PM
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dlpippin
I personally think there are WAY too many pictures on this wall!! If you want a POP of color, do pictures in uniform sized frames, all the same frame, picture in black and white, or sepia, then in the middle of the grouping up the stairs, get a bigger frame, different type of frame so it stands out, and put a color picture inside! Good luck!
2 Likes   May 31, 2012 at 4:34PM
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PRO
Distinctive Interiors & Designs
Hi~ I really like the white matting around all the pictures. I would suggest taking out the bottom row of pictures just above your base board. Starting with the blue picture just to left of your landing. To right of that, the picture that looks like a drawing, then the bottom row of smaller pictures to the right of the drawing. This should give your arrangement a cleaner look & will enable your pictures to pop with your selection of wall color. I love the look!
1 Like   May 31, 2012 at 4:54PM
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PRO
Chroma Design
When executed well, a wall full of pictures can look incredible. To help it look sensible you need continuity. Same color frames, with one or two a slight departure from the others. Here, the white mattes add continuity and allow you to make different size photos become a standard larger size because of the outer dimension of the matte. The more pictures you have on the wall, the simpler each photo should be. Notice above, many of the photos are of just one person. In this digital age it is so easy to blow up a photo and cut it to isolate your subject. Look for subjects that are related such as people in or around cars, people eating, sports shots, or standing in front of monuments and pair them accordingly. Just don't be overly matchy.

I don't believe you need to, or even should have all black and white or all sepia tone. Having them all in color is good and a mixture of any of those three would be successful.

I suggest not using your initial. You are composing a mosaic. I think that would interrupt. Stick with three basic sizes, using the largest the least. Your smallest should be half or slightly less than half the size of the medium. This will help making an orderly mosiac. My preference is have several pieces that are just pleasant photos with no people. A close up of a leaf, a blurred passing automobile, or any abstraction will be a rest for the eye.

Emily Hurley was spot on about using paper cut outs to mock up your mosiac on the wall before you grab for the hammer!! Good luck!
3 Likes   May 31, 2012 at 5:54PM
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inkwitch
Agree with DIstinctive Interiors -- remove 2 bottom -- and remove the butterfly. It may work somewhere else on the wall. Also, break up the "matches" of people/scenes/ color. That makes it more unexpected and less predictable. Love the linear organization -- not too many people get it right. Just don't over-do it.
1 Like   May 31, 2012 at 6:53PM
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Peggi Worth
I think this wall of pictures is perfect. The dark frames & light mats tie all the pictures together whether color, b&W, or drawings. The variety makes it interesting.
0 Likes   May 31, 2012 at 11:05PM
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Susan Mills Design
A rule of thumb I usually follow is same subject can use different frames and different subjects use the same style of frame.
2 Likes   June 1, 2012 at 12:41AM
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ILevel
Too much, and too little of a "good thing" is relative. This was a Martha Stewart project after all! Considering the planning and customizing that went into this particular project, I think it's just about the perfect balance between structure and variety. There is a fun selection of personal images and variety of frames. I often do suggest for more modest means, that the frames be in a simple all black or all white so that if in the future you want to add, you won't have trouble finding a moulding that is close to the one you used years ago. This arrangement is based on a series of vertical columns. Here at ILevel we virtually never plan these things out but instead rely on our intuition to form a "constellation" of pictures that can always be added to.
5 Likes   June 8, 2012 at 9:24AM
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Mint Design
Ilevel is so right! There are no hard and fast rules here. I have seen a large Picasso off center with a combination of photographs and framed crayon pictures that looked terrific and I have seen a wall of like framed prints or photos that bored me to tears. It is a matter of person taste. I totally agree with Emily about the paper templates...I will atach a photo to illustrate and totally agree with Chroma about not using your initial. the only 2 rules I use are the paper templates and I use either picture moulding or an easy release hanger so they can be easily moved or switched should a better piece present itself...I will attach 4 photos here and 4 in the next post.... Hope this helps! :)
5 Likes   June 8, 2012 at 9:56AM
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Mint Design
here are 4 more....
5 Likes   June 8, 2012 at 9:57AM
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pro777
Корридор
0 Likes   September 27, 2012 at 12:21AM
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PRO
Renovations by AaronSherwood
We did 18 pictures on a kitchen wall and we tried various different ways of framing them. We started with the same frame colour and size. Then tried all white mats with 5" x 7" pictures, but with so many pictures it seemed to busy, so as you see in the picture attach, we took the mats out (placed them in the back of each frame in case of a future change) and enlarged the pictures to 8" x 10" and were pleased with the look. The faces really stand out and there didn't seem to be so many distractions, as there was when the matts were in the frame. We kept the spaces between the frames, all the same size so it would not seem messy. Also, you can always change your pictures as your family grows. It is hard to get a really good picture because of the angles, but you can get the idea. Good luck
1 Like   April 28, 2014 at 7:03AM
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Kim Cummings
i like Chroma Design's thinking and I like the staircase design. I'm about to do the same this month. Where do I buy the measuring plan ? does Michael's carry it? Martha Stewart once posted it in her magazine years and years ago. i literally went through every magazine today to find it and gave up. thanks to everyone's ideas. i too have a narrow staircase and although i agree that its awkward to view, I just gutted 2 rooms that were full of my art collection (framed art) to make one large kitchen, leaving me with ONE space for ONE painting!!!!! Ughhhhh! so.... I need to enjoy my collection the only way I can now, up the staircase .
1 Like   June 14, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Kim Cummings
mint design- you rock!
I added the 'why did she put this photo here' picture to show you that i have NO WALL space anymore. but my kitchen will be so wonderful. just can't believe that 7 paintings are homeless .
1 Like   June 14, 2014 at 9:29AM
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