Use a stairwell's abundant wall space to display images of the people you love.

August 26, 2015

Think of a place in your house that you and your family pass by several times each day. That is the perfect place for family photos: Everyone in the household will have the opportunity to enjoy the montage as they move through the space.

Stairways are particularly good because of the large amount of open wall space they provide. And stairways often lead upstairs to the private area of the house, keeping these personal images from being too much in the public view.

Before hanging pictures, consider the lighting. If the stairs are dark, add overhead spotlights on a track. That will not only improve the view, it will make the stairs safer.

A montage like the one shown here allows a lot of flexibility. Pictures from different times, in a variety of sizes, and in various frames can work together because of their family ties. Yet you'll get a more cohesive look by keeping the mat and frame colors in a similar range.

For example, you might frame black-and-white photos using black mats and silver frames. In a traditional home, try a variety of gold frames with white mats. Get a more luxurious look by using double mats or special fillets to set off each image. Browse the possibilities at a good frame shop in your area.

To hang your display, try laying all of the photos out on a table or floor within an area that's about the size of your wall space. Rework the arrangement until you are satisfied. Use self-stick notes to number the pictures and make a sketch of the layout. Or, like the photo shown here, cut out paper in the shape of each frame and tape these up on the wall before installing the picture hooks.

Creating a beautiful display may take a bit of time and effort, but the results will pay off for years to come!


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