17 Brilliant Ways to Style Your Staircase

staircase design ideas

Design: Emily Henderson, Photo: Sara Tramp

There was once a time when the staircase served as much more than just a practical means to get from one floor to another. They were a revered focal point of any foyer or living room with the ability to make grandiose statements with lavish chandeliers hanging down the middle and multiple landing pads.

And while few of us are as lucky as say, Cher Horowitz, to come home to a staircase like the one in Clueless, that doesn't mean you can't make your stairs look like a million bucks. Whether you're working with a winding staircase, a ladder, or just a few steps, scroll through for ways to make any of the above the focal point of the foyer or living room again.

01 of 17

Painted-On Pattern

staircase design ideas

Nicolo Castellini Baldisser

    A yellow and white painted pattern adds visual interest to this staircase, while the rounded arch at the top draws your eye up. A few key accessories at the landing tie the whole look together.

    02 of 17

    Wallpapered Risers

    staircase design ideas

    Andy and Candis  

    If you're not much of a Picasso, skip the paint and opt for a printed wallpaper instead. Adhering a bold print to the risers of your stairs will add tons of drama in the time span of an afternoon off.

    03 of 17

    Ombre Stairs

    staircase design ideas

    Pieces by An Aesthetic Pursuit


    We're just going to come out and say it, this is one of our favorite staircase designs ever. The rainbow ombre carpet on these steps is at once whimsical, gorgeous, and a total showstopper.

    If a custom-dyed carpet job isn't in your budget, consider painting your stairs with a fresh coat of paint to recreate the effect.

    04 of 17

    Paint-and-Carpet Combo

    stair design ideas

     The Official Fox

    When it comes to styling stairs, most opt for a fresh coat of paint or a carpet runner. Take note from this gorgeous stairway and do both. The yellow printed runner paired with the teal paint on the risers makes for a complementary color combo that gives this staircase a major "wow" factor.

    05 of 17

    Under-Stair Storage

    staircase design ideas

     Dwell Aware

    Don't forget the space under your stairs when styling your home. If you're lucky enough to have an empty space between the stairs and the wall, make the most of it with smart accessories. Add bookshelves and a bench to create a little reading nook or add in a storage unit to tuck extra clutter away.

    06 of 17

    Black-and-White Palette

    staircase design ideas

     Bespoke Only

    If your staircase features a simple black or gray color palette, brighten it up with the addition of a white lamp. It will instantly add warmth to the space.

    07 of 17

    Simple Stripes

    staircase design ideas

    Design: Blakely Interior Design; Photo: Andrea Pietrangeli, Bower Films 

    With a staircase this grand you don't need to make a huge statement to turn the area into a focal point. The addition of a simple, striped cream rug makes the area feel finished without going over the top.

    08 of 17

    Origami Steps

    The usual composition of stairs consist of an original riser or a simple floating step, but we love this custom origami-looking staircase. The indoor succulent garden just adds to the beauty.

    09 of 17

    Take the Winding Road

    If you have the opportunity to design a statement staircase (or redesign the one that came with your home) this wood and glass winding staircase is just the inspiration you need.

    10 of 17

    Contrasting Treads

    Stain and paint are both excellent options for refreshing a dull staircase, but mixing both mediums makes for a truly stellar combo. Stain the treads in a deep wood shade and contrast with a bright white paint on the risers for a clean and updated look.

    11 of 17

    Backlit Staircase

    staircase design ideas

     Team Trapp Stairs 

    Lighting is an important element in any room of the house, and this staircase is proof that you shouldn't skimp on this area either. A backlit design (where the light source sits between the wall and the stairs) will make any stairway the focal point of your living room or foyer.

    12 of 17

    Contrasting Handrail

    staircase design ideas

     Brophy Interiors 

    If you have only a few hours and minimal funds to give your staircase an update, try painting your handrail in a color that contrasts with the spindles. This color palette looks classic with a white base and a single graphic stripe in black via the handrail.

    13 of 17

    Special Spindles

    staircase design ideas

     Design: Emily Henderson; Photo: Sara Tramp

    If you're redesigning your staircase, every detail matters. Don't settle for just any spindle, as it's one element that can drastically change the final look of your design. These iron spindles combine both curved and straight designs to give the foyer a rustic, earthy look.

    14 of 17

    Closed Stairway

    staircase design ideas

     Leaf and Lolo

    If you have a stairway that leads to an unused door, use that to your advantage by turning the space into a veritable mini garden.

    15 of 17

    Printed Runner

    staircase design ideas

     The Rug Company

    The way the strokes on this printed runner transform up and down the stairs makes this staircase look like a work of art. And speaking of art, the look is only enhanced by the gallery wall featuring thick, black frames and complementary images.

    16 of 17

    Gallery Wall Staircase

    Staircase design ideas

    Design: Michelle Gage Interiors, Photo: Rebecca McAlpin 

    Honestly, is there a better place to hang a gallery wall than alongside a staircase? We don't think so. Hang your frames at an angle to ascend with the stairs for a look that's easy on the eyes.

    17 of 17

    Pattern Play

    staircase design ideas

    Ann Living

    Lining the wall alongside your staircase with a beautiful patterned wallpaper is an easy way to turn the space into an area that will catch every visitor's eye. Pairing that paper with an Art Deco-inspired sunburst mirror and iron accents makes this space even more noteworthy.

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