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Staircase Decorating Ideas

tr f33fb8fd 23c8 4547 9c16 68c200b1954a 678265 9 elsie userview 2 copyWhether you’re designing a new home or renovating your existing one, you’re probably focusing on your main spaces, like the living room and kitchen or your bedroom. But equally important is your entry hallway and staircase area. While it makes up a small area in your home, it’s the first space guests will see, so it’s important that it makes a great impression.

Besides wow-ing guests, your entry staircase area also sets the tone for the rest of your home. An inviting staircase space that’s furnished with a comfortable bench, functional storage, and a stylish rug will create an instantly welcoming atmosphere. Staircase walls that are decorated with eye-catching art and a mirror will bring in a bright, colorful mood. Or consider a family home with a staircase wall that is lined with framed artworks by the kids, which signals a house that’s none too precious.

Naturally, there are plenty of staircase decorating ideas to consider. To help inspire you, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to deck out the space. From arranging a gallery wall to making the most of the small nook under a staircase, take a peek at our top tips for stepping up your stair game at home.

Round Out A Grand Foyer

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A curved staircase is an interior statement by default. It gives an entrance or hall area an instantly grand look and feel. Even so, decorating around a grand curved staircase can be a challenge, since it can be difficult to hang art on the walls and the curved landing space doesn’t allow for large rectangular or square furnishings.

To solve that, focus on accentuating the curved shape of the staircase. Opt for a sculptural pedestal table to anchor your space, a round rug underneath it, and a tall plant, all of which will help ground your staircase landing area. Top it all off with a captivating chandelier that has some height—like one with a cascading shape or long hanging details—and center it above your table to balance out the grand design of your curved staircase. It’s the key to visually connecting your landing space from floor to ceiling and creating a cohesive look.

Also, check out our foyer rug guide for tips on finding the right one for your space.

Create A Tucked-Away Bar

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Staircase walls aren’t limited to the ones running up alongside the steps. The wall and nook area underneath the stairs are often overlooked, but they provide a great opportunity to create a stylish tucked-away bar.

Whether you live in a home with limited space or a large family house, if you have a staircase with an alcove underneath it, make the most of it by hanging open shelving and furnishing it with a bar cabinet. It’s an easy way to add visual interest to an often unused space while also adding a functional use and plenty of storage beyond your living area. Just be sure to measure your space underneath the stairs and find a cabinet that fits within those dimensions. Or if you can’t find a bar cabinet, consider rolling in a bar cart, which will look just as polished.

Also, check out these ideas for decorating a nook under the stairs.

Pull In Practical Seating

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If your entry includes a spacious area at the base of the staircase, consider adding practical seating like a large bench. It puts a typically ‘dead space’ to functional use, and a bench always makes for a stylish perch for putting on shoes and as a catchall in an entry.

And don’t stop with the bench. Round out the staircase wall behind the bench with some wall decor and art to create an inviting and captivating spot in your entry. Decorating the bench with pillows and fill out the space around it with baskets, plants, and an umbrella stand. It all adds up to a well-appointed space that feels both elegant and practical.

Design A Modern Landing Zone

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For a staircase that runs directly into the front door, you can create an entry landing strip that works double duty just off to the side of the entrance.

Start by pulling in a practical bench, but opt for one with a streamlined shape that keeps the overall look minimal and modern. Pair it with an equally pared-down durable neutral rug and a tall and slender cabinet for shoes and other on-the-go accessories. Finish your decor mix with a few practical accents, like a mirror and an umbrella stand by the front entrance, along with a sturdy doormat. Keep to contemporary and modern designs with clean-lined forms, which also make for excellent options in narrow or small entries.

Make Some Room For Plants

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If you’re pressed for space with little to no staircase wall for art and decor, consider adding small plants and greenery in corners and around the base.

Plants have many benefits, which include providing your busy staircase with a bit of color, texture, and life. On a staircase with wider steps, a tall potted plant can act as a sculptural focal point that also fills out a corner. Or bring in a small side table at the base of your staircase and top it with a lively plant for a freestanding touch of greenery and color that draws the eye. Not to mention, opting for a tall potted leafy plant is also great if you’re renting a space and want to avoid hanging art, mirrors, and decor on the walls.

Add A Musical Touch

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The spacious area under a large flight of stairs can make for the perfect music space. Anchoring it with a piano, guitar practice space, or a bench and chair with a cello is all you need to transform it into an elegant music nook.

Like a bar setup, a music area is more permanent so be sure to take the correct measurements before installing any pieces. With a piano, top it off with a few small accents, like a table lamp, artwork, and a tiny plant to give the whole ensemble a more decorative look. If you’re using the space for guitar practice, consider a storage bench for holding music sheets and stands, and pile on some pillows for added comfort.

Step It Up With Art Collections

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A series of themed artwork hung along a staircase wall is the quickest way to enliven your space, especially if your steps are located in a hallway.

Choose a collection of art pieces with a cohesive palette, story, or subject matter to create a visual display with a uniform look. Think diptychs and triptychs as well as black-and-white photos, floral paintings, animal prints. Regardless of whether you’re working with a small staircase or a more spacious flight of steps, as long as the theme of the art pieces are connected, even a few coordinating art prints can have a big impact.

Don’t forget to also check out our tips on how to choose art to find the perfect pieces for your space. Then read through our guide for how to hang art to create a look that’s right for you.

Group Together Statement Pieces

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For a more formal and curated staircase look, add impact with captivating statement pieces. This can be a tall sculptural piece, a large-scale piece of art displayed on your staircase wall, an eye-catching light fixture that draws attention upward, or a boldly patterned stair runner which adds color and texture from the ground up.

The key to decorating your staircase with impactful pieces is to stick with one aesthetic. If your style leans modern, try contemporary accents with a sleek, streamlined look and bold, graphic colors, as in this stair hall. Or if your style is more traditional, keep to more classical pieces with ornate details and a richer, darker palette of woods, upholstery, and timeless rug patterns. It’s all about adding impact with captivating elements that reflect your aesthetic and design personality.

Also check out our ideas and tips for how to decorate a hallway.

Set A Fantastical Wallpaper Scene

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An eye-catching wallpaper will add a bold floor-to-ceiling look to any staircase wall. The trick to getting the look right is to choose a pattern that goes with the rest of your home’s decor aesthetic.

For a transitional family home, a more contemporary or neutral wallpaper will make for a backdrop that’s both easy to work with and look at. It provides plenty of versatility, so you can add any style of art over the wallpaper or pair it with a colorful rug, and it will still look thoughtful and cohesive. If your style is boldly classic, consider a toile or an elegant floral that brings a traditional, sophisticated look. However you decide to wallpaper, just remember that it should be a design and motif you—and the people you live with—will enjoy looking at every day.

Layer Your Stairs With A Runner

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Shift the focus away from your staircase wall to the actual steps with a stylish runner. It’s the perfect way to add big color, texture, and soft support to your stairs without having to worry too much about what’s on the walls. A runner alone can enliven your staircase with a timeless look that’s long-lasting.

The most important tip when considering a stair runner is how you’ll keep it in place. It is best to either nail the runner in place or add rods along your steps to prevent slips and falls. If you have children in the home, that’s especially important. There are stair runners in a wide array of styles, but if you’re not sure where to start, consider a natural-fiber runner, which is durable, stylish, relatively soft, and easy to maintain. Or if you’re keen on adding a pop of color, try a striped runner, which will pair effortlessly with any style decor.

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