East Coast Hallway and Frame Galleries

One of my favorite places in our house is our upstairs hallway. It has a lot of wall space, so I was able to fit lots of pictures of our babies! I really can’t get enough of seeing their old pictures, because they’re growing so fast (cliche, but true).

When we moved in the hallways were all tan, so I painted them Stonington Gray (same color as the dining room). The hubs got the stairwell for me because, heights… ☺️

We also changed out the light fixtures for these. And changed the doorknobs and hardware with these (note: there are cheaper versions on Amazon, but these were the only locking versions I could find – got them thanks to this YHL post). What a DIFFERENCE changing light fixtures and door hardware will make!! I still notice how sharp the oil rubbed bronze knobs look. I also painted the doors and chair rail Snow White (same as the trim in our den, powder room and everywhere else).  Another before/after series:

To make a frame gallery, I always follow these basic steps:

1) Measure the space on the wall.

2) Arrange frames within in the space constraints on the floor.

3) Arrange, rearrange, repeat – until I get a frame/gallery layout that I like. Then I place the actual pictures I want to display on top of the frames, until I like the arrangement. Tip: I’ve found a mix of close-ups and pictures with lots of negative space work the best in large galleries (some busier pictures are okay, but look better surrounded by less busy pictures). Having some pictures matted also helps. I make sure to only include pictures that I LOVE, especially for galleries that have frames that are hard to reach (like in a stairwell). This is the hardest step, but taking the time to get it perfect is well worth it!

4) Create a template for every frame, drawing an “x” where the nail should go. This takes time, but I save my templates (and typically use the same RIBBA IKEA frames), so over time it’s not too bad.

5) Take a picture of your arrangement for reference, then tape the templates on the wall to recreate the right spacing and arrangement. I don’t get too crazy here, but have found using a level can go a long way. Especially for the outer edges of the gallery (the inside pictures don’t have to be perfect if the edges look crisp). Overall, don’t make yourself crazy, because you may have to slightly readjust as you hang pictures.

6) Hang your pictures! Nail in the center of the “x” and pull your templates off the wall.  You may have to slightly adjust placement for some pictures as you go along, but I’ve found that I’m always covering my original holes (and I plan to keep these galleries for years, so am not worried about a few hidden holes).  Again – a level is your friend (especially a 3-foot level to ensure you’re aligning the top or side edges of adjacent frames).

I just had to show a closeup of our little Yorkie – miss that mischievous pup!

My intent with the stairwell gallery was to have a straight left and top edge, with a bottom edge that gradually stepped down (along with the white, stepped frame separation). The gallery on the opposite wall has a few inches between the black and white frames, intended to visually give a band of separation.

Our “wall of Disney” is in our downstairs hallway, visible from our foyer and powder room.

I also love seeing the first birthday wreaths on each kids’ bedroom door.  I recently re-capped E’s first birthday!

And here’s a ton of pictures from different angles (sorry for any duplicates, I just really love this space, haha)!  Also, note how the other walls are either blank, or have a single, larger item to help balance the busier gallery walls (with the exception of the long wall across from the gallery/shark wall – there are 3 large wedding pieces, but it’s a long wall so one item would look odd).


I can’t wait to add a stairwell gallery in our basement.  Any other people think about how much wall space they will have when house shopping?  Or was I the only weirdo that was giddy about it when walking through our house for the first time?!  Haha!

8 thoughts on “East Coast Hallway and Frame Galleries

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