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Staircase Decorating Ideas: Easy Tips for Stairwell Decor

Going upstairs, going downstairs – wouldn’t it be nice to look at pretty décor along the way? (Life, after all, is about the journey!) Here, we’ve assembled our best staircase decorating ideas for stair walls, railings, end-of-stairs and more.

1. Chair + Table

Before we get into the decor, it’s worth calling out the stairs themselves here: A white wall + light hardwood steps and modern black railings – a.k.a. minimalism at its best. As for the decor itself, a well-placed chair and accent table pop against the white stair wall, and little details (like a mini planter and tray) make the scene.

2. Chair + Planter

This more formal aesthetic draws inspiration from the traditional style. Complementing an ornate handrail, a tufted high-back accent chair plus an antique whitewashed metal planter transform this stairway nook into a chic “sitting area.” In foyers and entryways: The perfect way to welcome guests into your home.

3. Bench + Lanterns

Another ultra-mod stair aesthetic we’re loving – this time, black steps on a white stair wall and white side rails. (Seen from the side, as shown here, this color palette pops.) In the cavity below, a neutral bench adds a little bit of warmth to the aesthetic, and two different-height lanterns add a little bit of vintage. (Tip: If you’re working with a low recession like in the under-stairs area pictured here, an accent chair may not fit; Go for a bench!)

4. "Step Up" to Bar Service!

This genius design has shelves in place of a wall, adding instant storage and, in this case, a bar area! Displayed here, trays, glassware and dishes line shelves, and under that, large, clean cupboard doors balance out the decor. Towards the end of the stairs, a small settee feels homey – and right at home.

Staircase Wall Art Ideas

The staircase wall happens to be one of the most fun places to showcase art. Try a gallery of bits and pieces; mirrors, canvas art, sconces, clocks and wall decor all look stunning together. Make sure to angle the gallery up, in line with the stairs!

How to Hang Large Art on Staircase Wall

Larger art requires a bit more planning but is still fun and easy to accessorize with. The wall along which your staircase ascends may be hollow, so look for studs with a stud finder before hammering or drilling. As always, measure the space and your art beforehand!

Even More Staircase Ideas

Whether you want to fill up a blank wall or empty floor space, here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Gallery wall. Perhaps the most popular stairway decorating idea of them all: A stair wall gallery wall. For homes with kids, this is a great chance to frame and hang up the kids’ artwork – and keep them inspired on the daily. For a more “adult” look, hang up a mix of mirrors, canvas wall art and wall decor. Even when you’re not ascending and descending, a gallery wall pops from the floor and entryway below.
  • Stair runner. Did you know you can put rugs on your wood stairs? This process for installing a stair runner will involve a little more work than placing a rug on a floor (you’ll need an industrial stapler, stair rods, floor tape and precise measurements – just to name a few). While it may be worth hiring a professional, the result of rugs-on-stairs is always a chic look.
  • Accent table, by itself. Tip: An accent chair doesn’t always need an accent table, and vice versa. If you’re working with a smaller stair area or floor space, remember this! Try placing an accent table by itself next to a stair base; Use it to place a vase of fresh flowers (or fake ones).
  • Shoe cubby. If your family tends to use the end of the stairs as a “closet” (for most of us, “dump” would probably be the better word), where shoes, socks and sandals are left in a scattered mess, you can look at this one of two ways: A) A battle you will surely always lose, or B) A chance to incorporate “stairway organizers.” Consider incorporating a built-in shoe cubby – but make it chic! Choose a material and color you love for shoe storage (you can even make this the same as the stairs itself, so that it blends in and looks like a part of the stair design); Implement it into an under-the-stairs nook, so that the next time the kids or spouse kicks off their shoes at the end of the stairs, they’ll at least kick them off into chic organization.

Stairway Decor


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