Decorating Staircase Walls with Vintage Photos and Mirrors

I did a little post showing my problem stairway wall. Now that I have a better camera that takes in more “area,” I thought I would take a few more pics to give you a little better idea of how it looks…just in case you have this same awkward stairway wall in your home and need a few ideas.

When you walk in my front door, this is more or less the view…

Entry with Grandfather Clock


As you come on into the entry…

…you get a view up the stairway.

Here’s the view looking across the entry from the room I’d like to turn into a library.

Entry with Grandfather Clock


I had decided to cover this long stairway wall with lots of old family photos, but I knew I didn’t have quite enough to really fill the wall…

So, I started thinking about what would be nice to mix in with the pictures. I promise these aren’t as dusty as they may appear. A lot of the mirrors are the type that are permanently dusty looking and are made to look old.

Old Family Photos Displayed Up Staircase Wall 1_wm


I love mirrors and wall shelves….

Old Family Photos Displayed Up Staircase Wall_wm


So I headed off to Bombay outlet, which is unfortunately, now closed.

Old Family Photos Displayed Up Staircase Wall

I bought a couple more wall shelves (I already had two) and a whole bunch of mirrors in varying sizes, including the large one you see. I spent about $120 that day, which really isn’t too expensive to cover an area this size.

Old Family Photos Displayed Up Staircase Wall


As I uploaded these pics for this post, I noticed how the mirrors reflect some of the decor in the entry…a happy accident.

Old Family Photos Displayed Up Staircase Wall


One last shot looking up… I sure would love to do some picture molding up this stairway wall…underneath that handrail.  I’d also love to replace the handrail with a lot nicer looking one. Maybe one day…but for now it will do.

Oh, one tip…if you decide to do this to your stairway, start the first row of pics/mirrors/wall shelves about 2 inches higher up from the handrail than I did. I started a tad too low, so it’s easy to bump them when coming down if you aren’t careful. Other than that, this has worked very well here.

Oh…one more tip, have you discovered Ooks, yet?  A wallpaper hanger told me about these…you can find them at The Home Depot. They are great for hanging pictures, mirrors, (no matter how heavy) without putting big holes in the wall and without having to find a stud.

Hope this gives you some ideas for your problem staircase wall.

Entry with Grandfather Clock

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  1. I've got a stairway like that too, and I like your idea of mixing family pictures with the mirrors and shelves. And don't you just hate it that Bombay is gone? I used to get some pretty lamps and things there. They were always a "go-to" place when you were looking to freshen up your decor a little.

  2. Greetings from Nova Scotia!

    I'm an ardent fan of your amazing blog, as well as all things that you create for your lovely blog!~

    Thanks for sharing those lovely photo's!.., I also have a similar stairway;( Our Bombay company was re-opened by a Canadian business man,by the way; here's to hoping he'll one day expand back into the U.S. market, as surprisingly it was originally a Canadian company)..,

    If you would enjoy a wee peek at my B. and B. in Nova Scotia my dear lady,(though I know you are super busy); please feel most welcome to pop by at,

    I hope you'll enjoy our little house and garden tour!~ It's actually very pretty here, though most folks think it's cold here; which at times beginning later in the month it is..,Brrrr! (It is however quite warm in the summer here).

    I think I'd rather enjoy a little tea party,after waking up from a luxurient siesta, "BETWEEN NAPS ON your PORCH";THAN TO BE IN THE CHILLY WEATHER, HERE SOME TIMES!~ ALAS,I'LL HAVE TO SETTLE FOR BEING COSY BY MY OWN COSY FIRE!

    P.S.~I hope very much to partake in Tablescape Thursday soon; also I can't wait to see what you'll do next!~ For me it's literally like opening the pages of my favorite magazine!..,

    Cheers from silken Purse

  3. Susan, yet another lovely vignette in your gorgeous home. Love the added element of mirrors, it brings such good light and reflection to the area. you are one talented lady, Hugs Kathysue

  4. Marla at Always Nesting says

    I have a similar wall going up my stairs but I've been at a loss how to decorate. Thanks so much for the beautiful photos and ideas.

  5. Marla at Always Nesting says

    I have a similar wall going up my stairs but I've been at a loss how to decorate. Thanks so much for the beautiful photos and ideas.

  6. Marla at Always Nesting says

    I have a similar wall going up my stairs but I've been at a loss how to decorate. Thanks so much for the beautiful photos and ideas.

  7. Marla at Always Nesting says

    I have a similar wall going up my stairs but I've been at a loss how to decorate. Thanks so much for the beautiful photos and ideas.

  8. I love the vintage look mirrors. Now please tell me you have labeled your family photos well so that years from now they mean something to the people who may be connected. Nothing gets thrown out faster than old photos that nobody recognizes or knows the connection to.
    I see this all the time in my research for others.

  9. The Quintessential Magpie says

    Susan, I like the gallery effect up the stairs. I did that with paintings I had collected in our old house, and I loved it. I don't know that I have pictures, but I think it is a great look.

    I've been so upset about Bombay closing. It is such a disappointment. That store had great accessories, and many of them looked far more high end than their price tags. They just were always ahead of the curve in terms of what was going to be "hot." I miss them SO much. One of my favorite shelving units came from them… it is black with a faux bois back in wood tones. I love it as much as I did the day I bought it. I have some of my favorite collectibles/antiques on it.


    Sheila πŸ™‚

  10. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    That is a great way to fill in the area, Susan. I was devastated when Bombay closed here {I believe they are still alive and kicking in Canada though} ~ I'm pretty sure I shrieked out a "NOOOOOOOOO" when I heard that news. I used to love finding little things from them in store and online.

  11. Great idea — I love mirrors and if you have another picture to hang you can put your mirror someplace else. I, too, am sad that Bombay was closed — great merchandise at a great price!

  12. Glenda/MidSouth says

    Looks great! I have only one mirror on my stair wall. At one time I was going to do a grouping – don't know why I never followed thru with the idea. Yes, I was disappointed when Bombay closed also.

  13. Country Wings in Phoenix says

    Susan, this is positively beautiful. The mirrors give you many other images at different times when you will decorate, and with the little shelves you can move and change. It is such a lovely idea, and like you said $120.00 really is not that much to decorate a wall that size. It is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing today. I just love it.

    Country hugs, Sherry

  14. honeysuckle says

    Your photos look like they have just come from a magazine shoot! I love what you've done using the mirrors and the little shelves. It is a very artistically beautiful arrangement! Unfortunately I cannot copy it in my current house:(

  15. I've been dying to decorate my staircase walls. They might just give me the impetus to do it.

  16. Susan, your stairway wall looks so inviting. Makes me want to linger as I walk up those stairs. You've done a terrific job mixing in the mirrors and the little shelves. Mixing this all in make each piece more interesting. Love the contrast of the different shapes and the details on the moldings of each piece. Once again, thanks for sharing photos of your beautiful home. It's always a treat! ~ Sarah

  17. Oh Susan I just love it. Thanks so much because I've been wanting to do this same this somewhere in my home, but haven't had the guts. Now I can borrow, er, copy your idea and not be afraid. Btw, I'm having a giveaway for my new Etsy store – go enter!

  18. southerninspiration says

    Very pretty, Susan!! Do you think this would work on a curved wall??? I've got nothing on my wall going up the stairway, because it is curved and I've never tried anything up there……hmmm……


  19. Susan, you've been reading my mind, haven't you? I have 3 mirrors & 2 little sconce/shelves sitting out on my cedar chest along with a hammer, just waiting for me to decide where to hang them. I have a very similar stairway going down to my sewing studio. Thanks SO very much for showing us what you did with yours. It looks splendid with your treasured family photos mixed in with the mirrors.

    If I keep copying you like this, my whole house is going to look exactly like yours soon. (I WISH!!!) Only problem is mine is about 1/3 the size. LOL

    This is a very aesthetically pleasing way to dispay such a charming collection. Thanks for showing it to us.


  20. Anita @ Far Above Rubies says

    That is just fabulous!! What a great idea with the mirrors. I did something similar in another house, but only had one mirror. I love the combination, and the texture of all the pieces together. Beautiful!!

  21. Nancy @ Live love laugh says

    So beautiful! I love how your photos rflected the door, table rug and railing! I would love to do that, but I do not have a wall railing and need to put up molding. What is the rule on height?

  22. The wall is warm and inviting Susan! I do wonder if I am the only one who was envisioning you lying on your back in your entryway to get some of these shots though! LOL!

  23. I think you did a fabulous job hanging mirrors interspersed with the old photos. I wish I had an awkward stairway to do this to. Mine is more like a hallway-walls on both sides. I think this would close it in even more. Thanks for showing us the possibilities.

  24. I just love what you did with that wall with interspersing the family pictures with the mirrors. I wish I could do that. I have a curved half wall, but perhaps I can use your idea somewhere else. It's definitely beautiful.

  25. Julie Harward says

    That is SO beautiful!!! The clock takes my breath away…and the pictures are so very perfect for the stairs…Just perfect!
    I am having a "GIVE A WAY" on my blog….Come see πŸ˜€

  26. Lovely idea Susan!
    The mirrors really are the touch! Fabulous fillers!
    I know you must just adore this wall now!

  27. The grouping is just grand! What a nice way to display family photos! I love your table by the front door, too

  28. LUV what you have done with the vintage pictures and mirrors.

    You've done a swet job!
    Very nice and so very glad you have shared this.

    Enjoyed seeing this part of your lovely home,

  29. Thanks for sharing what you did on your straircase wall. I love the mix of old family photos, mirrors and shelves. I don't have a staircase wall, but need to do something down my long hallway. I do have chair rail and raised panels on the bottom half, but need to do the top half. You have inspired me, Susan.

  30. SmilingSally says

    Thanks for the great tip. I'm looking up Ooks right now!

  31. Just a dreamer says

    Susan, every posting of yours is like eye candy. What you have done to EVERY room in your house is amazing! When do we get to see pictures of the "new" library? Yes, the stairwell wall is perfect, similar to the one I use to have (alas divorce and I moved to GA). Anyway lady, it's lovely. You are incredibly talented, incredibly! Jackie "a huge fan"

  32. Cottage on the Hill says

    Love it Susan! I too have that exact straight staircase at the front door…However my builder never installed a handrail on the left wall. I think I will use your idea and embellish mine! Thanks

  33. I swear our houses are so fery similar. Thanks for this idea…I've been collecting some photos I wanted to display on the staircase so this gives me some direction.

  34. That is a pretty darn cool stairway wall you've created …

    (I used to love going to Bombay. I miss them)

  35. Fairy Footprints says

    I love your stair case, its so country and the light oak colors look so wonderful with the whites, its gorgeous, and I really do love all the pictures and the mirrors and the shelves hung along the stair case. I have always been a huge fan of stairs myself they are so elegant. Reminds me of a movie when I walk down them, with prince charming at the other end to great me.

    Lovely pictures,

  36. blushing rose says

    I like doing walls with art like this. Beautiful presentation.

    Popover & enter our TRIPLE GIVEAWAY if you haven't. Have a lovely day. TTFN ~Marydon

  37. i plan on a doing the same thing down my staircase i have started on the wall that faces you as you walk down the staircase.your vignette is very pretty.
    thank you

  38. Danielle @ Transforming Home says

    That looks great! Thanks for sharing!


  39. Susan…very nice…I love the mix of mirrors and photos…beautiful…

  40. Nesting Pleasures says

    Great idea! I may have to mimic/copycat the idea for my stairwell wall too! Love your sight! Keep it coming!

  41. Peg @ Bloomfield Farm says

    You and I must think alike. I have old family photos in my upstairs entrance hall, starting on the landing of the stairs. I intermingled the old, old photos with photos of my children growing up. Up the stairs to the landing I have my daughters' bridal portraits, but I love how you incorporated mirrors in your display. Great idea! But now where are we going to fit in the grandchildren's pictures?

  42. I think i have the twin to your stairs, except your's looks soo much better. thanks for the tip. i've been wondering what i could do and i love yours.

  43. Robin's Nesting Place says

    I have a similar wall and now you've given me some great ideas!

  44. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    Oh I love all the mirrors mixed in with the family photos. I love to have the vintage family photos up, they make such a statement and I really enjoy seeing them. Your wall is stunning and I love the staircase. Hugs, Marty

  45. nannykim/spindlecottage says

    Looks nice in your home, but my little impish grandchildren would have a field day!! HA. Man, you got a good price for all of that–when you think about it you paid less than you would pay for 1 nice picture!

  46. While this is pretty, I think I would have the sensation I am going to bump into something or worse yet, knock one of those beauties off the wall. And I would never keep it dusted!

  47. Very pretty! Love it!

  48. Your home and blog is truly beautiful.

    I wish I had your talent for decorating.

    Thank you for creating such a lovely place to visit.


  49. Susan, the wall looks fabulous, love all the mirrors and pictures! I was SO disappointed when Bombay went out of business. I LOVED that store! YOu got a bargain for $120.00!!!! Thanks for sharing all this beauty!! XO, Pinky

  50. look good Susan!!! have a great week

  51. Oooooohhhhh! That is somekinda pretty! I would like to do that with my stairway wall. I would like all white mirros, but it will take some time to accumulate, so I better get started!!!

  52. Wsprsweetly Of Cottages says

    What a BEAUTIFULLY done stairway wall. It is one of the lovliest ones I have ever seen. That tiny shelf…so sweet! HOW I love this blog!! Great pictures! πŸ™‚

  53. Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training says

    It looks lovely! I too have a staircase by my entry. We’ve been in our home for 4 years and I’ve yet to decorate it but I was thinking a wall of black picture frames. I just started collecting black frames I’ve come across at Goodwill. I love how you used the mirrors to fill in the empty spaces.

  54. It looks lovely Susan. I could never tackle my wall like that! I notice some of the mirrors from Bombay too, I have them also. And a little table from there for the top of the stairs , I miss them too! Great for little decorating pieces..

  55. Just beautiful, did a magnificent job on this wall.
    Bombay was a nice place…Kirklands is a good place to shop for this sort of thing, too.
    See ya later for TT…
    xo bj

  56. I have been planning something very similiar for my staircase- mixing family pics and mirrors, etc. i wish my photos were vintage prints- after seeing yours i think i may have them reprinted in sepia tones and b&w. appreciate the hanging tip and the heads up about ooks- my husband will appreciate that tip- since i tend to put big holes in the walls. love your blog and your marvelous home.

  57. Christi @ A Southern Life says

    We don't have stairs but I love the look of yours. Very nice addition of the mirrors and wall shelves with those great family pics. Hadn't heard of ooks. Will have to check that out! Thanks!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  58. Very nice, Susan! Great idea adding the mirrors and I like the wall shelves too. It takes a lot of creativity and talent to be able to group these pictures and mirrors together in an artful way, without looking cluttered and you definitely have both…Christine

  59. Susan,
    Beautiful stairway. I had one like it while living in SC and had a simular wall fixed with pictures and a few mirrors. I loved it, just didn't work to well with three
    kids and friends going in and out. I could get buy with it now, since my house is a little more peaceful.
    Thanks for sharing and all your inspiration.

  60. Ruthie's Renewed Treasures says

    Perfectly stunning!!!! Love this collection!


  61. Susan,

    I love mirrors and wall shelves too…you did a nice display!


  62. Great idea for stairway wall. The old photos give it a very homey feeling and the mirrors add deminsion.

    Nice work & thanks for sharing the height tip.

  63. laurie @ bargain hunting says

    Susan, this is just as beautiful as the rest of your home. I love having something interesting and pretty to see while going up the stairs. I do have a question. Is the back of your clock as pretty as the front? It looks like the back of it is visible from the stairway. laurie

  64. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    You are a wonderful teacher when it comes to sharing your ideas with your readers. I'm always learning things from what I read and see. Thank you! Sue

  65. Susan,
    I have a stair wall but it's going down to the unfinished basement right now. I wonder if I could pull this off the same way. It's a large wall behind the wall in the entry that we just put up chair rail and trim. Maybe I will take a photo when I get my camera back and show you what I mean. This is a great look for any stairway. I think.

  66. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Hi Laurie,
    Actually, I love seeing the back of the clock when I come down the stairs because it looks so old and ancient…which is sort of a neat thing to see. I should take a pic of that to share. πŸ™‚

  67. Jo - To a Pretty Life says

    Your arrangement on that wall is gorgeous! I'm going something similar (though not as gorgeous!) on mine, with a mix of family pictures and artwork. I actually have a couple of mirrors that need a new home, so maybe they'll go up there too! Thanks for the inspiration.

  68. Oh I love it both ways but with the mirrors it is even more beautiful. Love that grandfather clock too.

  69. Oh Susan, I remember this stairway from RMS so well!! Back in the days when I thought all I had to do was peruse different decors! I love what you did to change up your arrangement of pictures with the mirrors and shelves. What I would like to know, however, is what is the pattern or ceiling texture? I really like the peak that you gave us of it. Is it something that is used in the South? I have never seen it before and it sure beats the popcorn effect and also some of the drywall continued through to the ceilings in the Southwest. (developers cheap tricks??)In and out of town, but always try to catch up when I am home. Hugs, Jan

  70. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Hi Jan,
    You know I think this must have been a southern thing back in the 80's when this house was built, because someone else once guessed I lived in the south just by a glimpse of the ceiling. I much prefer a smooth ceiling and that's what they are doing in all the homes here now…and have been for several years. But, back in 1983 when this house was built, they were doing "textured" ceilings. After they put the mud, or whatever you call it, on the ceiling, they squish a design into it that sort of looks like a free form flower. I don't like it, because it's a pattern on the ceiling, and to me, it could conflict with other patterns in the room. Mostly you don't notice it, since most folks don't look up at the ceiling when they enter a room. Some folks around here have even gone in and scraped their ceilings down to make them smooth, but it is very time consuming, back breaking and messy…so you have to reallllly want a smooth ceiling to do that. I'm just glad it isn't the popcorn stuff because, ugly though it is, it's easily painted where popcorn ceiling are a lot harder to paint, from what I've heard.

  71. We all want what we don't have most of the time..Curly hair/straight hair … Two story/one story … Smooth ceilings/textured ceilings! LOL Actually there is a huge business scraping off textured ceilings here and in the midwest. It may cost a little, but when the professionals do it…it's like a blink of the eye! I would have to have every ceiling of the house reskimmed to get rid of mine. Time to move?? πŸ˜‰

  72. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Miss talking to you, Jan! You are soooo right…we should just be happy with what we have, right? πŸ™‚

  73. open circle bracelet is beautiful. I would like to win it!

  74. Beth@The Stories of A to Z says

    I can now use some of your tips to redo my "redo" :). Your staircase is gorgeous and I love how you utilized the mirrors to fill in the space. Thank you so much for joining my party.


  75. Your stairway is beautiful! I love the collection of mirrors you have going up the wall. AMAZING!

  76. Love your staircase! Beautifully decorated.


  77. this blessed nest says

    what a collection you have. amazing staircase. the frames look perfect together. and they are all different shapes & sizes!!! i think thats the best part about your collection & the way you choose to display them.

  78. LOVE your idea of the mirrors everywhere!!

  79. Amy {The Red Chair Blog} says

    I love how you interspersed mirrors with the pictures–really neat effect!

  80. Lee @ says

    Very pretty staircase!


    I am popping over from the Gallery Wall party. I love seeing your work. (Mine is #10.)


    Gg – Notes on the Journey

    ps. Thanks for the 2 inches tip.

  82. I just found your blog and am going thru it with a fine-toothed comb – hehehehe! I have a stairwell just like this and my decorating style is almost a perfect match to yours. I love this idea, it’s very much inspired me to go thru the old family photo’s and begin collecting mirrors, shelves and frames. I love mirrors and have them EVERYWHERE in my house….this is so ‘ME’. Thanks!

    • Jan, welcome! So glad you found BNOTP! If you do your stairway wall, please send me a few pics. I’d love to see it! After all these years, I still love how it looks, so I know you’ll love it, too. πŸ™‚

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