8 Chic Ideas for Styling Your Staircase

Ashley Trudeau

In many homes, a staircase is the first thing our eyes see when we enter the front door. Yet it often gets short shrift in the decorating department. It doesn’t have to be this way, nor should it. Because a staircase serves as the primary place of transition between two living zones, it should draw the eye in with attractive features and thoughtful pieces. Read on for our tips to make the most of your staircase.

Install a runner.

A runner is a great way to add a dose of color, texture, and pattern to your staircase. It will also warm up a traditionally cold and utilitarian space.

Farrow & Ball "Cook's Blue" ($97)

Surya Athena Runner ($193)

Fake a runner.

PHOTO: Courtesy of AA+D

If you aren’t keen on the idea of installing a rug to serve as your stair runner, consider painting one on your stairs instead. The hit of pattern will add depth to your staircase without overpowering the typically narrow space. It also has the benefit of being easily updated as your tastes evolve and is a bit wallet-friendlier.

Decorate your risers.

Painting your risers is another great way to incorporate a complementary color into your space. In this staircase, a teal gradient effect makes a bold statement.

Add interest with wallpaper.

Hanging wallpaper in your stairwell is an instant way to add interest to the space and make the experience of ascending and descending all the more interesting. Go with something subtle like a quiet geometric pattern, or make an impact with a bold large-scale floral.

Walnut Wallpaper "Sakura" in Light Cadet ($116)

Saturate your stairs with color.

PHOTO: Henrik Bonnevier, design by Koncept, via French Fancy

We love the idea of using your stairs to carry a consistent color story through the home. Here, the designers chose to repeat the rich, deep blue used on the stairs in the rug in the adjacent room. It creates a sense of continuity and intention that is positively chic.

Benjamin Moore "Symphony Blue" ($7)

Add art and décor.

Just because you don’t spend much time in your stairwell doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it as much attention as you would any other space in your home. The staircase is often one of the first places you see when you walk into a space, so it should set the tone for the rest of the home. Decorating your staircase with art and décor will create an impressive entry to the spaces beyond.

Wisteria Pyramid Stud Mirror ($399)

Rethink your banister.

PHOTO: Rethink your banister.

Consider painting your banister a complementary shade, choosing complementary colors for your banister and balusters, or replacing your existing banister altogether with something more modern or architectural. This winning combination makes for an elegant and refined staircase.

Paint an accent wall.

PHOTO: Bolig

Don't want to make a major commitment like refinishing the floors or replacing the banister? Paint one accent wall. This simple trick will add a little cheer and interest without much effort or cost.

For more design inspiration by Ashley Trudeau, check out her blog, BohemeSF, and find her on Instagram.

Tell us how you style your staircase in the comments below!

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