A Stairway of Heaven

I am so excited to show you guys the (almost) complete stairway.  To remind you, this is what we started with.


Talk about a snooze fest.  This is so much better.

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We’ve already detailed how we did the chair rail and panel detail here, so finishing this project up was simply hanging our IKEA Ribba frames in a combination that we thought worked with the angle of the wall and deciding what pictures to put in each.

To draft the layout, I used my InDesign software to play with different combinations.  But you don’t need this software to do it, you could do it in Excel, Word, or probably a few other programs.  I just drew rectangles that we the same size as the dimensions of the frames (that info is online and on the package.)  Pro-tip: since I suck at math and didn’t want to draw the frames to scale, I drew them to be the full size but adjusted the “view” size of the page so that it was at 15% or something; way easier than math, I tell you. Once I got a layout that I liked, I started playing around with photos in different places to see what I liked best.

Here is an example.

Stair Wall Four

Then to convert this paper to reality, we created templates of each of the frames using some old holiday wrapping paper, found the center of the wall, and placed our center frame there.  Based on the drawing, we were able to determine approximately how far apart the frames needed to be from each other, and we taped up the templates where we thought they should go.  Here’s a photo with some of the templates on the wall.

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Once we had a pattern that we liked, we started assembling and hanging the real frames.    The plan was to have wedding pictures on the right wall (if you’re looking up the stairs) and to have a gallery of photos of us and the kids on the left  We also wanted to include a couple of maps and artwork of Hawaii that we had collected over time for this project.  We ended up starting with those in the entryway, along with a couple of photos of us in Hawaii, which I think works well since you can also see the “ALOHA” letters from the entry as well.

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The other addition that we made to this space is a new light at the top of the stairs.  The old one, a shell-like thing also from IKEA, just wasn’t cutting it anymore and I thought that a pop of color was just what this stairway needed. Enter this beauty from Shades of Light.

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I love the coral color, the geometric pattern, and the fact that it was made right down the road in Richmond, VA.

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Here are a few more close ups of the frames as you go up the stairs.

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As you might be able to see, there are still a few frames left to fill.  If you’re really observant, you’ll also notice that there’s no handrail on the left hand side.  Remember at the beginning of this post when I said that the stairway was almost done?  Well in addition to waiting on a few more prints for the frames, I have to work up the courage to tell you about the disaster that was the hand rail.  Spoiler alert: it all works out in the end, but I tell ya, it was REALLY touch and go there for awhile.  Promise, I will share the whole sordid affair shortly!



3 thoughts on “A Stairway of Heaven

  1. Love how you have executed your vision, Kate! It really looks fabulous…care to come to California and share your talents?? I have a bedroom that needs your help!

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