We have a split-level entryway in our twin home — which, by the way, I despise. First of all, the person that decided that a 4×5 space was sufficient enough to enter into and take your shoes and coat off did not have children. (I will admit that the real-world dimensions of the space may be bigger than my perceived mental measuring tape.) We come home and perform an assembly line: “Okay, you go!” as child 1 takes off his shoes and coat and rushes up the stairs, while I stand waiting at the storm door, then send child #2 in to do the same, before I enter and try to juggle a baby, purse, lunch box, and diaper bag. On those occasions when we all try to stand in the entryway together, someone is at risk of falling perilously down the stairs. Sure, we may only fall down 7 stairs rather than a full flight, but I’d rather the chances be more slim (especially since I’m somewhat famous for falling down stairs). Another peril of the split-entry is that in the passage from upstairs to downstairs, your socks will get wet, specifically in the winter and spring seasons.
Okay, a lot of my split-level hatred is due to the fact that our house is a small twin home design. Sometimes, the architects did it right. I have a friend whose split-level entry is rather roomy and even includes a closet on that level for coats and shoes. All I know is that when we look for our next home, it will NOT have a split-entry.
Now that you’ve suffered through my lamentations, onto the home decor and gallery walls!!!!
Separating the upper-level living room from the staircase in the entryway, there used to be a railing. Since we’ve redone our flooring, the railing didn’t match, and it seemed rather unsafe for children because it was getting loose. For a long time we talked about replacing the railing, but we couldn’t decide what to replace it with. About a month ago, my husband came up with an idea: drywall a half-wall up there. Duh! Many split-entry homes simply have a half-wall going up the upper staircase side. The moment I stared at that spot, picturing the new wall, was the moment I realized I will finally have my entryway gallery wall.
My husband is a rather talented dude for not having any professional instruction in home repairs or construction. He built, drywalled, textured, and painted the wall, and created a trim piece for the top ledge. This is my blank canvas (via a crappy phone photo for your viewing pleasure):
We still have some trim left to do along the stairway and the top ledge, but you get the idea.
I’ve loved gallery walls for a long time. I also love the unique things so many crafty people include, and somehow it all works together. Let me expand on my love for gallery walls! (As always, click the photo to follow the source/link!)
This gallery wall includes things, which I think is great:
This one also includes a mix of family photos and things you may not ordinarily find hanging on a wall. See that little concave, rectangular shaped piece below the flowers? I have been trying to decide how to repurpose a back-of-the-toilet tray that once held seashells. I suspect this piece was once the same thing:
This one is my favorite, for the mixture of colors and frames that somehow fit together:
And I especially love the unique items in this gallery wall, and the center monogram:
I love the angles that a staircase allows – your items don’t have to be perfect or symmetrical. I love when mismatched things somehow match.
But…I have a fairly small wall space to work with. AND I don’t want people to walk in and see a cluttered entryway…I already mentioned that we’re working with a tight space. And how do you decide which photos to hang? And how do you decide how many? And how do you find cool little things to include, like the vinyl monogram above, or the doorknob hook, or the keys, and just know that they’re going to work out together?
So maybe I could go with something more clean, steamlined, and safe? Like these:
I plan to work on my gallery wall this weekend! I’ll keep you posted.