Staircases are one of the least considered spaces in a home, though the potential for them to be a focal point is tremendous: they’re often centrally located, connect multiple spaces and floors, and are frequently one of the best examples of craftsmanship in a residence. Read on as we divulge some of the easiest ways to add personality and style to a staircase.
1. Incorporate Storage
One of the easiest ways to—dare we say it—elevate your staircase is by adding storage under the stairs, in the treads, or alongside with some shelving. Under-stair storage is a particularly efficient use of space because this area can create some unusual, awkwardly shaped voids with low head height, while simple shelving on the way up is easy and straightforward to install.
2. Lay Down an Engaging Runner
Gone are the days when a wall-to-wall carpet crawling up the stairs was considered a stylish stair runner. An updated stair runner will provide contrast with the material of the floor or tread, and will allow the stair tread to be exposed at the edges, rather than running the whole width of the stair. Consider a bold color or pattern to really create a statement.
3. Go Green
Plants can bring life to any space, even in a staircase that doesn’t get much in the way of natural light. Plants are known to have many health benefits: they absorb harmful pollutants in the air and release more oxygen. They also boost your mood, making that climb up and down the stairs just a little bit easier!
4. Install a Dramatic Light Fixture
Good lighting is a critical component to any room, and there’s nothing drearier than a dark stairwell. Let a sculptural light fixture do double duty in the stairs, both lighting the space and acting as a functional piece of art, drawing the eye upwards.
5. Consider New Handrails
Whether it's a simple handrail or a paneled railing, a new railing can completely transform a stair. Swapping out an entire guardrail or railing can be a big undertaking, but even a coat of paint or changing the hardware can have a lasting effect.
6. Update the Stair Risers
Most people pay more attention to the treads, or the horizontal steps, of a stair, but the risers (the vertical part of a step) can have an even stronger visual impact. Don’t be afraid to go bold with patterns, colors, or unusual material like tile or wallpaper on the treads, which will look different depending on the angle from which they’re viewed.
7. Incorporate Artwork
Hanging art on any wall helps give any space personality, making it feel moved-in and considered, but artwork in a staircase is particularly significant because it can often be seen from many rooms and levels in a home. Think about placing the artwork where it will have the most impact, whether that’s on a stair landing or staggered as you ascend or descend.
Get the Dwell Newsletter
Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.