Gallery Wall in the Long Hallway – Part 1

We have two verrrry long hallways in our house. No surprise that one is directly one floor above the other, but the one I’m tackling now is the recently painted downstairs back hall.

Truth be told, we have a very nice front foyer, but I guess most people think visiting via the back door is easier. Thinking about it, I tend to also visit people this way… I think I’m reluctant to appear “like a guest” (which is, um, supposed to be what a visitor is). Funny how we see things differently depending on which side of the door we are. I love when people use the front entrance.  (Follow up: any G-rated thoughts/comments are welcome, all others need not apply.) But I digress…

Our back hall has about a 16′ long wall space on one side, about 10′ on the other. Pre-painting, they have been served for the past seven or so years as family photo gallery walls. One side was less “arranged” and became filled as we went. The other was more symmetrical and somewhat planned. All were a mix of frame shapes and sizes. I don’t have great “before’ pictures, but this should give an idea of how it was.


It worked fine when you stood in front of it, but looking at it now, it’s pretty off balance.  And yet it worked…

Now with all due and proper respect to Miss Manners (who says such photos are reserved for “personal spaces”), our guests—including the kids’ friends—genuinely seem to enjoy the pictures. I likewise take pleasure in seeing such photos in other people’s homes and generally ask permission before perusing. We do not “entertain” business acquaintances in our home and if we did, they would likely not visit this area except to powder a nose.

So, with all pictures removed and walls painted, we get to start fresh. I’m sticking with the plan, but with modifications. I intend to use gallery shelves on the longer wall—liking the idea of being able to move things around more, clean and dust the pics more frequently, and add extras without adding more holes. I think ledges on both sides would be too much to look at, and would take away too much width of the hallway (even if it was just a perceived obstacle) so I’ll stay with a fixed arrangement on that side.

I’ve checked out all kinds of shelves/ledges, including the very reasonably priced RIBA from (which I have already used elsewhere):

And this popular DIY number from the insanely talented Ana White:



Ikea’s ledges are about $15 per 45″, Ana White’s are $10 for eight feet.  I’m no mathematician, but I think I’m headed to the lumber yard…