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Staircases & AWESOME Photo Wall

by | Sep 1, 2010 | Decorating Inspiration, Details | 44 comments

Inspiration: <br>Staircases & AWESOME Photo Wall

traditional staircase design

I’m wee bit obsessed with stairs. When I was a first grader moving into a new home with my family, I remember my utter fascination with the stairs. I remember there were a few steps and then a landing and then a turn before you got to go up the rest of the staircase. I thought that was very cool. My obsession with design observation started early.

In another of our houses, we had TWO staircases going up to the next floor. One for fancy guests and one for the lowly family members. Oh, yeah, and we had an elevator that I rode in maybe once. I preferred the stairs. They were prettier.

And in my last house, we had three staircases, I was in stairway heaven. I could get a workout just running around my house. Remember my red stairs?

Inspiration: <br>Staircases & AWESOME Photo Wall

my stairway project, in process

In my current house we have one staircase (shown above in that horrid dark and blurry photo, I just snapped it real quick late at night so you could see it) and I am pretty much determined I’m going to make it entirely black and white, including the steps, once I get rid of the carpet.

So far, I painted (ok, my husband painted) the railing black. It was light orange oak. The carpet to black step transformation is going to be awhile.

Pay no attention the upper parts of the wall that are still painted that awful swine color. And notice there are no frames on the walls yet, this whole stairway needs some work, thus my inspiration photos today. I want a complete makeover complete with molding, black steps, photo frames and new lanterns. I don’t expect much, right?

When I ran across the stairway photo (the very top photo), which I found from Houzz, I squealed out loud because it was so much like the basic shape of my staircase and railing design. Minus the wood steps, the molding, the dark wood floors and the archway. But it could look KIND OF like that, someday.

Inspiration: <br>Staircases & AWESOME Photo Wall

Then when I saw THIS stair case and wainscoting from Sawdust & Paper Scraps (which I found from Today’s Creative Blog where all awesome blogs are discovered, lol), I was in complete stairway molding love. Molding everywhere, be still my heart. She did it herself too. Sigh. Why isn’t she my neighbor?

Inspiration: <br>Staircases & AWESOME Photo Wall

And after seeing the beautiful colors of frames on her gallery wall above the stairs, I completely and totally heart her. I don’t think she even says on her blog what her name is, so I guess I’ll just call her Awesome, for short. Thanks Awesome for letting me drool over your staircase and frames.

That is all.


  1. Lynn from For Love or Funny

    I’m always inspired by the images I see from the blogs I read. In fact, I bet my husband wishes I was a little less inspired to decorate and more inspired to cook! :)

  2. Tara

    love how you wrote this post…full of FUNNY.

    I love Awesome’s staircase, too!

    Okay…can’t wait to see YOUR staircase unfold on it’s journey!

    Thanks for sending us to Today’s Creative Blog…never heard of it!

  3. Mary Jean

    Your looks so great!!! I’ve been wanting to mine for over a year now! My problem is that my rungs are black iron. I’m worried that if I paint the handrail black it will be too much black. So, now I’m leaning on painting the handrail white and the posts black. I wish I had one of those computer programs where you could put the picture in and then play around with color. What program does that?

    Oh and that picture wall is TO DIE FOR!!!!! I’ll be thinking about that all day!!! Thanks for the day dreams! Have a blessed day!

  4. Our Red House

    When I was a child I always wanted a two storey house. There is a certain magic to them.

    I love what you are doing with your staircase. The black and white looks fabulous.


  5. Paula

    Ok, when I was 6… I thought it would be SO COOL to live in the Brady Bunch house: only because of the stairs!

    My home is the 1st home that I’ve ever lived in with a staircase. I’m so glad it has the turn/landing design – it really makes a nice entryway. I need to add a photo wall. One day. Sigh.

  6. Mary Joy

    I just love what she did with all the frames! I love frames and I love staircases. What a wonderful combination!!! Can’t wait to see how yours unfolds.

  7. Sandy

    I just cut out all my white wooden spindles and we’re replacing them with wrought iron. Yikes! Wonder if I’m doing the right thing?!
    I’ll post when it’s done and you can see for yourself.
    I love the board and batten style trim. I have chairrail with wainscoating in 2 rooms already, and beadboard down the hall, so maybe adding that to my foyer would be too much? I’ve been thinking it would be too much, but prove me wrong please!

  8. Lesley

    Can’t wait to see the final results. It sounds like it will be beautiful.

  9. Awesome

    Just kidding – but I couldn’t help myself. I hopped right over here after getting a couple comments about “seeing you on The Inspired Room” and I’m just tickled pink. Plus, your post made me laugh out loud which is how I always like to start my morning! Thanks for your sweet words, it made me smile.

    Oh, and my name is Sandra. But, I really like Awesome too!

    • Melissa

      Hi Sandra…you are AWESOME to me! :-) xo

  10. Anita

    Oh that is Sandra’s staircase! I love it too. You really need to check out her awesomeness in her basement. She did that all on her own too. She is seriously talented.

  11. tina

    Her name is Sandra.

  12. Janell Beals

    I’m intrigued with all your plans and you have a wonderful staircase to work with. But I keep thinking about your previous homes mentioned, 3 staircases, an elevator? Where did you live, I’m really intrigued with this part of the post!! Janell

  13. emily

    That top staircase does look like yours. I can see it. Can’t wait to see what happens when you remove the carpet … I’m dying to do it as well {but not until the baby can safely crawl up & down – there is something comforting about carpeted stairs breaking a long tumble vs. hard wood ones}.

  14. Vee

    Oh this brought back memories of the back staircase in my former home. I tore out the wall (back in the day when I was young and stupid) and had myself a fine open staircase in my kitchen in addition to the formal one in the front hall. I love your staircase (even with the swine-colored walls, which don’t seem to trouble me nearly as much as they are troubling you). I do think that the black railings look smart and I’m sure that the black treads will as well. What a lot of work ahead, eh?!

    • Melissa

      Well, you haven’t seen the swine in the wrong light, that is a sight to behold. I’ll have to share BAD pictures of the swine sometime so you can fully appreciate my pain.

  15. Sherry

    I love the wainscoting in the last picture. I would love to tear out the carpet on my stairs…I hate the vacuuming. Looking forward to seeing your changes. Hugs, Sherry

  16. Screaming Meme

    The magic of staircases! I love your progress! It is all coming together…:) Are you happy in your new home?

    BTW…I am writing an Ebook! I am so super excited about this! Fill you in later! Stop by and look at my client’s home! It is a gorgeous home! Hugs, Meme

  17. Jessica Washburn

    So I have to admit, I saw the post title and thought …”Another photo wall”. However, this is one fabulous photo wall!! LOVE IT.

    • Melissa

      Ok, changing the title to AWESOME photo wall!


    I love Awesome’s colored frames too… it doesn’t look too planned… I love it!

  19. Karen


    When I was in the landscape biz my partner and I worked for a lady who re-did her staircase exactly how you’ve described—it was amazingly awesome—maybe Awesome did it for them! :-)

    Loved your ideas and the photos.

  20. gina

    l♥ve the colors she mixed in with the white – what a fresh take on a picture wall!

  21. Jocelyn Stott

    Very nice. I too love stairs and I have always loved them surrounded by photos. I find that I look at photos more when they are near the stairs.

  22. katiedid

    Hahaha! LOVE the staircases too! You could totally do this!

  23. Bridgette at Picked Fresh Daily

    Thanks to You and Awesome for sharing that picture wall. Love it!

  24. Lori

    I’m most impressed by the notion that she did that herself! Having just spent the equivalent of sticker price on a new car having wainscoting installed and painted in half my house – and seeing the craftsmanship that went into all of it – I’m in awe that she tackled that as a diy project. Wow!

  25. Puna

    Whenever I read “photo wall” I have to come and check and it out. I’m so glad I did! I love how the frames coordinate with each other!

  26. Richella

    I do love that stairway in the top photo, and I think yours could look very, very much like that! I had my stair railing painted black at my old house, and I just loved it. Wish I’d thought of painting the stairs black as well. That would have been the icing on the cake.

  27. Kim-todays creative blog

    Love what your doing with your stairs…..I’m wondering if I could talk my hubs into painting ours. Hmmmmm.
    Is her photo wall amazing? Sigh.
    Thanks for the mention.

  28. Fiona's Mosaic

    I’m so ready to rip the carpet off my stairs too! My daughter’s boyfriend told me he would come help me rip carpet if I wanted him to. I DO want him to, but I have to move out the family and animals so I can do something with the stairs otherwise I will have kitty footprints everywhere.

    Bye bye kitties….or your going to like it here…. oh and by the way they are going to catch you up on your SHOTS! LOL

    God bless, Fi

  29. Jess

    I love this!!! Oh to have a beautiful staircase!! I adore Houzz. I could spend all my time there….

  30. Toni

    That is a gorgeous photo wall! My gosh. All my frames are black and white right now and I think the black may now have to go. Wow.

  31. Imperfect

    Those are two beautiful sets of stairs. And that picture frame collection is amazing. I am torn between wanting stairs in my home and thinking a ranch may be best for us. But I tell you what, if I do have stairs, I hope they look like those!

  32. Regina Williams

    Oh my I love the picture frames. I wish I had a gorgeous staircase like this. I would love to decorate one for Christmas!

  33. Deserae

    Wonderful photo walls and amazing staricases….can’t wait to see yours all done!!!!!

    • Deserae

      OOps! I hit send too soon and lost part of my comment! Guess what I was trying to say wasn’t terribly important!?!?! Anyways…I have a friend who has a staircase done in black and white and it is beautiful so I’m sure yours will be too!

  34. Emily A. Clark

    Amazing transformation! Beautiful use of a gallery wall going up the stairs.

  35. Londen

    Oh I have been drooling over her gallery wall for a while now. I must have left her 4 commens about it. The wainscoting is awesome too!

  36. Anna

    Love love LOVE the staircase, but those picture frames absolutely made my day. I DIE.

  37. Ann

    Thank you! I have wallpaper going up my maple banistered staircase. I never thought I could, or should use molding. The wall paper is about twenty years old, so it is time for a change. Do I have to continue the molding on both sides of the hall on the first and second floors? Ann

  38. Paula

    Aha! So there are many of us who are stair obsessed! I think I wanted to buy our current home because of the stairway with a landing and a turn in its direction. I also liked the “airiness” of the second floor hallway and how the rooms fanned out from various angles to the stairwell. Just this morning I was thinking (wishing) we could remove the carpet and put the same hardwood from the first floor, up the stairs… Love the photo gallery, someday. Enjoyed the ideas and all the comments.

  39. Tia

    I love your staircase but what I really love is the color of paint used on the lower walls (not the top). Any chance you would share the color?


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