Basement Stairwell Update.

You GUYS! This past week has been a flurry of activity for us with house projects! If you’ve been following along on Instagram stories, you’ve seen that the hubs & his dad have started changing the roofline to some of our windows!!!!! I shared a picture at the end of this post showing future roofline changes I was hoping we could make. Spoiler alert: it’s happening!!!! Well, at least for the windows – not sure about the front porch yet; but either way – can’t wait to share that update with you!!!

So while my husband and FIL were outside working this weekend, I finally got around to hanging pictures in our basement stairwell!

But first, let me take a quick step back to show you the progression of this stairwell. We started with dirty, white walls and a wooden railing. I don’t hate wood railings (obviously, haha), but we wanted more of an industrial look (like the shelves in our basement bathroom). I feel like we can have more fun with our design in the basement, because it’s mostly a play area for the kids. And apparently, mixing things up with interior design is my idea of fun… 😂 Anyway, here’s the before (note the box in drywall from the reinforcements done when removing some walls upstairs)…

Here it is after painting, and replacing the handrail with black iron pipe that the hubs spray painted black, along with a protective finish. Of course, the baby girl helped with patching holes from the original handrail… ☺️

Now onto the fun stuff – hanging pictures! This time I took a slightly different approach than my usual method. Since I didn’t have as much vertical wall space as our main floor stairwell, I decided to hang the pictures in a random pattern, with the frames as close together as possible. I started with general measurements of the space, arranged the frames on the ground until I was happy with the look, then added my pictures to frames. But once I made paper templates of the frames to attach to the wall, I realized I had to change the layout to more of a stepped design (as opposed to a more linear layout), or the pictures would be oddly sideways when hung on the walls. (Imagine the entire arrangement in the top picture on a slant, parallel with the handrail).

Seems like such an obvious mistake now, but learn from my mistake and take the actual space constraints into account if making a gallery wall in your own house, haha! Thankfully I had paper templates, so all I had to do was play around with the templates on the wall until I was happy with the arrangement. I ended up having to buy 4 more frames to be happy with the result, but that was a good thing because I got to frame more pictures, and I had plenty of extra prints to choose from! (Another tip for doing a gallery wall – always order extra prints so you can play around with the arrangement. It’s surprising how much changing picture placement will have an effect on the overall look/end result, since some pictures have more white space, etc.).

Also, since I had such a tight space to work with, I decided to use 3M velcro strips to hang the pictures. It was the BEST decision! So easy! Also, it reminded me of being in college. 😂 But with 3 strips per frame (1 on each side near the top, and about a half to 1-inch sized piece on the bottom of each frame), they are really secure! It’s so much of an improvement over just using a nail, that I went around to the other gallery walls throughout the house and started adding 2 velcro strips to bottom of each of those frames (it would drive me crazy when they would suddenly be crooked). Plus, you have to put a LOT of effort into prying the frames off the wall. So hopefully no more frames will be falling after a kid accidentally bumps into them (which has happened a few times in this house 😄).

Here’s the satisfying end result!:

And even more satisfying before and afters from different views (top right was taken during painting):

One more before/after:

So much better, right?! The kids have been having fun going downstairs and pointing out all the people in the pictures, too. And of course, Winston supervised me while I was hanging pictures… 😁

Anyone else love having a gallery wall above their stairwell? This is now my third one… Maybe I just have a problem? Lol!

The last thing I’d like to work on in this stairwell is updating the stairs themselves. The carpet has seen better days, haha. But don’t hold your breath to see that update – I can think of at least a dozen other projects I’d rather work on first…

4 thoughts on “Basement Stairwell Update.

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