Stairway Accent Wall Ideas, Layouts and Decorating Tips


5 Steps to the PERFECT Stairway Accent Wall – plus lots of pictures and staircase wall decorating ideas.

If you’re ready to turn that boring wall into a beautiful accent wall, these 5 steps will take you from planning to finished.
accent wall ideas for staircase walls

Updated on May 18, 2023

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Stairway Wall Decorating Ideas

Below are some GORGEOUS ideas for decorating your stairway, landing and staircase walls. From aesthetic accent walls to photo walls and gallery wall designs, you are sure to find the perfect ideas to decorate those walls on YOUR stairway area.

Plus – some super helpful decorating tips to make your DIY decorating project MUCH easier.

stairway wall decorating ideas

1. Planning

The first step to creating an accent wall on your stairway wall is to PLAN what you want the finished project to look like.

Gather ALL the items and pictures you want to hang.

Also, don’t feel pressured to BUY new items. When I was creating my accent wall, I went ‘shopping’ in my house. I found so many cute things that were just sitting unused in my closets and in my attic – all beautiful decor pieces, but sitting there unused.

stairway accent wall basement staircase

I also came across a few sentimental items I decided to display. For example, I found a really meaningful card my husband gave me WAY back in the day. I decided to frame it and add it to my accent wall items.

So feel free to get creative with it and display items that you love.

You can even decorate with old windows on your stairway wall!

stairway accent wall with old windows

Bottom line – WHAT you hang on your stairway wall is totally up to YOU. There’s no “right” or “wrong”, ok?

2. Lay Everything Out

Now that you have gathered all your items to hang, you’re going lay EVERYTHING out on the floor and start moving them around into an arrangement that will work on your wall.

Ideally, you want to measure the wall space you’ll be working with first so you have a good idea of how much space your accent wall items will take AND to help you figure out spacing BETWEEN your items.

stairway accent wall off living room

Try to break up colors and aesthetic of your items because you want each item to stand out.

For example, if you have multiple items in white frames, balance them between darker items so they aren’t all bunched together on your wall.

If you have one big item that you want to be more of a focal point for your wall arrangement, start with that item and work around it.

4 stairway wall ideas

3. Make Templates

Now this next step might sound unnecessary and time-consuming, but it’s really important.

Now that you have all your items arranged on the floor, take some craft paper, or printer paper or even newspaper and cut out a template of each item that is as close as possible to its actual size and shape.

TIP: If you plan to frame any of your accent wall items, be sure each are IN the frame before making your paper template for it.

stairway wall with pallet accent

4. Hang Your Templates

Now, grab your painters tape and start hanging the paper templates of your accent wall items on your wall.

This is truly the most important step because you do NOT want to just start making nail holes in your wall until you KNOW what your finished project should like.

I can guarantee that once you start hanging your paper templates on the wall, you WILL move some around do rearranging or your items to find the perfect balance.

When going up the wall on your staircase, try to keep all the bottom accent items the same distance from each step.

Like this:

stairway accent wall tips for hanging pictures on staircase walls

By keeping the distance from the each step equal, your accent wall will have a nice, balanced flow.

5. Hang Your Accent Wall Items

Once all your paper templates are on your wall the way you want them, it’s time start hanging each item.

If you’re hanging the item with a single nail, just hammer the nail in the wall through the paper template. Once the nail is in the wall, just rip the paper template off and hang your item.

4 accent wall ideas for stairway walls

Here are 5 tips for hanging your accent wall items.

  1. Use toothpaste – If your accent wall item has multiple hooks on the back or is awkward to hang, put a few dabs of toothpaste on the hooks or back of the item, place it firmly on the wall where you want to to hang and the toothpaste will leave little spots where your hangers need to go.
  2. Use painters tape – put a strip of painters tape (or masking tape) on the back of the item you want to hang and then poke a hole in the tape where the hangers are. Pull the tape off and place that piece of tape on the wall where the item will hang and put your nails through those holes.
  3. Use removable adhesive strips – If you don’t want to use nails, or you CAN’T put nails in the walls because you rent, use those adhesive hanging strip that are removable.
  4. stairway focal wall ideas

  5. Use mounting adhesive – Mounting Adhesive is like a sticky putty kind of consistency and it’s great for keeping accent wall items in place. For example, my neighbors accent wall is on the same wall as her front door. Every, single time someone would come in or out and shut that door, her accent wall items would move or shift. By putting a little bit of mounting adhesive between or hung items and the wall, it kept everything even and stable no matter how hard someone slammed that door.
  6. Use the nail in the ruler trick – Many frames have wire across the back for hanging which makes them a bit challenging to hang and get the right height. Take a wooden ruler and pop a nail into the center. Then, place the ruler on the wall in the area you want the frame to hang… and hang the frame FROM the ruler. Move the ruler around to find the right place for your nail to go in the wall to get the perfect height.

Video Tutorial

Here’s a quick video tutorial walking you through all the steps for planning your accent wall on your staircase.

More Wall Decor Ideas

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stairway accent wall ideas

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