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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Origami Steps

The usual composition of stairs consists 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.

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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 bright white paint on the risers for a clean and updated look.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Pattern Play

staircase design ideas

Ann Living

Lining the wall alongside your staircase with beautifully 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.