24 CREATIVE WAYS TO UPGRADE YOUR STAIRCASE

Stair Runner

Lay down a stair runner to add pattern and interest to your steps. The well-worn stair runner at this 18th-century farmhouse is a fond reminder of guests who have come and gone.

 

 

Beach Vibes

If you didn’t know you were near the ocean before entering this house, the sea-foam green staircase might be a huge clue. Built in 1855, this Maine home embraces its history and geography with pastel colors and vintage signs, and the picnic baskets add to the summery theme.

 

Wall of Art

Art lines this entire staircase wall, adding pops of color to the white and mushroom-colored space.

Bold Wallpaper

As firm believers that there’s no such thing as a “pass-through space,” the owners of this Catskills home planted floral wallpaper up the stairwell, which continues into the bedroom.

Nautical Vibe

A Garnet Hill rug and porthole-shaped mirror reinforce the nautical vibe of this family-friendly New York home‘s staircase, painted in Benjamin Moore’s Big Country Blue. The trunk was a flea-market bargain.

Black and Polished

The slick painted banister, along with a few other black touches, grounds the space and prevents the red, white, and blue palette from feeling kitschy in this Texas home.

Numbered Stairs

The family in this Texas home stenciled numbers on plywood, which they nailed to their stair risers (painted Black Suede by Behr).

The Great Outdoors

To open up the stairwell of this charming 1950s fishing shack, the owners covered the ceiling and replaced the outer walls with a screen of birch tree trunks, which were dried in a kiln for five weeks to prevent shrinkage.

Panama Souvenirs

A hammock, a hat, and market bags—all souvenirs from Panama—line this curved stairwell. The door frame is painted Fireball Orange by Benjamin Moore.

Colorful Accents

The owner of this Oregon home painted a sliding barn door a custom chartreuse to boldy contrast the nearby black and white staircase.

Rustic Railing

A nautical rope lends a hand as a witty alternative to the standard banister.

Elegant Opening

Designed by architect John DaSilva, the foyer columns at the entrance of this beach house‘s staircase nod to classic Greek pillars.

Deep and Dark

For the stairs leading to the second floor, the homeowner of this country cottage had an antique Turkish rug customized into a runner.

A Lovely Landing

The stair landing in this Nantucket cottagedoubles as a mini museum of regional tools, including a cranberry rake, a wire lobster trap, and glass floats. The caged pendant light was discovered at Val Maitino Antiques; the cabinets’ strap hinges are by Whitechapel.

DIY Stairway

Brass house numbers from Home Depot, wearing leftover aqua paint, bring wit to the stair risers in this North Carolina home.

Spiffy Stripes

A staircase runner by Woodard & Greenstein brighten up the front hallway in this Kansas home.

Home Art Gallery

Hang small artworks on staircase risers—as shown here in Tony Shalhoub’s home—for unexpected visual appeal.

Eco-Friendly Decor

In our 2010 House of the Year, we recycled one old book, Art Forms in Nature, into a hallway’s worth of prints to adorn the staircase walls.

Bring the Outdoors In

The owners of this quirky home incorporated an exterior wall from their former home, as well as the old outside stairs on which their daughter stands. A twiggy post doubles as a naturally convenient coatrack.

Traditionally White

In the foyer of this Washington, D.C., home, a vintage bronze-and-glass bell pendant, a 19th-century leather-topped table, and a Persian Tabriz rug match seamlessly with the like-colored staircase.

Rustic Details

This handrail—made from an oak log cut on the property of this Georgia cabin—lends a woodsy touch to the stairs leading down to the game room.

Wall Art

Instead of pricey artwork, the owners of this New York home focused on landscape paintings to adorn their staircase’s wall. A newel post offers a great display opportunity for a lantern, a trophy, even a pheasant.

A Cottage of Many Colors

Interior designer Lisa Teague set the palette for her whole house by brushing a spectrum of shades on the risers of her staircase—the first thing people see when they walk in the door. “I wanted to make a statement, but a subtle one,” she explains. To achieve a lightly

Spooky Stairwell

Acrylic paintings by Russian artist Nina Friday line the stairwell of this Vermont home, where the steps are painted Sherwin-Williams’s Naval.

 

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