Home Decor

9 ways to style your staircase

It’s time to step it up! Reconsider traditional runners and boring banisters as decor opportunities. Get some DIY tips to style your staircase.
9 ways to style your staircase

Photo, Jeremy Coulter. Design, Sills Hunniford.

9 ways to style your staircase

Achieve pretty with a pastel palette

If your staircase and its surrounds are all white, consider introducing touches of colour by painting wooden steps with soft pastels. This playful treatment to your risers can further lighten up the atmosphere of a holiday retreat. If you have windows lining the landing, the combination of natural light and soft hues will make for a whimsical transitional space.

staircase-pastel-colourful-painted-stairsPhoto, Jeremy Coulter. Design, Sills Hunniford.

Apply wallpaper to the risers

So you can’t decide on just one pattern? Instead of narrowing your options, try choosing a few. Wallpaper can be used off of drywall, and stair risers provide a creative space for exploring its versatility. Consider using scraps of wall coverings from completed rooms, or obtaining some fitting samples. Every step will undoubtedly make a statement.

stairs-patterned-wallpaper-eclectic-staircaseDesign, Patrick Cline via


Create a contemporary runner with paint and a roller

Would you like a runner, without the price tag and the labour of maintenance? Forget overpriced options that require the awkward vacuuming of carpet on uneven ascents; simply paint your own runner for similar aesthetic effect.

Get the DIY instructions from Painted Therapy.

staircase-painted-runner-contemporaryDesign, Debbie Christianson via the painted therapy.

Go graphic with your carpet

Don’t be afraid to draw attention to a flight of stairs, even if it opens prominently into your front foyer. Let it make its own grand entrance with a graphic pattern that will wow your visitors. You can make dramatic rugs and runners work, even with traditional and otherwise minimalist décor.

graphic-pattern-stairs-runner-contemporary-homePhoto, Greg Hadley. Design, Braswell Design+Build.

Stencil patterns onto a blank staircase

Stair stencilling is another do-it-yourself project that allows you to create detail by your own design. Trace with stripes, chevrons, polka dots, or whatever you please. Make your favourite pattern pop with two contrasting paint colours, or choose a muted scheme of hues for a subtler look. You may decide to use purchased stencils, or to section off shapes with painter’s tape. Mix up your motifs or miss every other riser. You are the artist behind those ascenders.

staircase-stencil-paint-stairs-contemporaryDesign, Amber B Interiors via


Give your steps depth with rich colour

Dress your staircase with a suave tuxedo finish. Choose an ebony-stained wood, or paint your steps in a bold colour to establish great depth. A dark staircase may recede in space, but it will certainly stand out. This treatment creates a unique architectural accent in bright and open areas of your abode.

staircase-bold-wood-railing-banister-classicPhoto, Todd Pierson. Design, Lisa Wolfe Design, Ltd.

Candy the banister with a colourful coating

The banister is not to be forgotten when it comes to stair décor. Brighten up a safe stairwell by giving the railing a vibrant splash. If you prefer to keep your interior scheme more classic, why not give this artistic treatment to outdoor handrails, from supported porch steps to fire escapes.


Chalk it up to playful taste

You can certainly make interior décor intentionally interactive. Give the kids a spot to chalk up, and they will never ruin your walls again. Chalkboard stairs can serve as creative outlets and uplifting art boards for every member of the family. Write out your favourite quotes or mantras, and celebrate occasions with “Welcome Home” greetings and “Happy Birthday” messages. Just apply chalkboard paint or chalkboard wallpaper to the front of each step.



Trim with washi tape

If you don’t have the budget for a complete staircase redo, washi tape can be a crafty accessory with an appealing price. While there are endless ways to use this adhesive tape, here’s one way to add character to your steps: simply stick a line of tape across each step for some subtle detail. Now, don’t stop there. Tack up some photos or drawings on the adjacent wall and frame them with colourful washi tape.

staircase-basic-washi-tape-budget-decorDesign, Gosto via

Looking for more ways to make your home stylish? Here are four stunning entryway ideas.


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