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13 Simple But Effective Ideas For Decorating A Staircase

Modern staircase

Some Easy Ways To Your Spruce Up Your Stairs & Landing

Depending on your house design, the staircase can be the first thing you see when entering a home.

Whether it’s a grand entrance or a humble staircase, there are some fabulous way to transform an otherwise functional & sometimes boring architectural feature of your home, into a welcoming & inviting area of the house that sparks curiosity.

Your stairwell needn’t be a bland cavernous tunnel leading upstairs.

These simple ideas can invite you to want to climb the stairs & discover what lies beyond.

These 13 décor ideas can turn an otherwise uninteresting staircase into a space that arouses curiosity & asks to be discovered.

1. Art Prints

large oil painting on staircase wall

One of the most popular & simplest ways to decorate any wall is with art & photographic prints.

These can be family snap shots or collectable art, depending on the style & feel of your home.

You can choose from paintings, prints or photographs in many styles & subject matter.

From original works which can be more expensive, but you are getting something unique, to printing out your own images or purchasing art from other retail outlets.

There's many styles of art & photographic prints to choose from nowadays too.

Canvas prints & artworks are always a winner, but there's the stunning quality of metal & acrylic prints, as well as more rustic wood block prints.

Depending on the style you’re wanting to achieve, unframed canvas wraps can look very contemporary & mounted prints with a floating frame have a very modern appeal.

Framed art & photographs are great for a more formal look, but again it can depend on the style of frame too.

There's a fantastic choice of frame styles from ornate & decorative, to sleek & slim aluminium or plastic.

Most print mediums will also offer a great range of sizes too.

Supersized or large art prints are a great way to cover a lot of wall space, which leads to the next idea ..

As well as large size prints, Canvas Cultures also have print sets & a great choice of styles too. They support the artist, which is what I like.


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2. Multi-Panel Prints

a pair of art prints on staircase wall

A staircase can be an awkward space to decorate due to having angular or curved walls.

Multi-panel prints are the perfect solution, as they can be configured & arranged to be hung to suit.

Typically sold in sets of 2, 3, 5 or 7 individual prints, many subject matters are available as well as different print mediums such as canvas or metal.

triptych art on staircase wall

These style of prints can be one image divided into sections & printed to each individual panel, or you could use different images which all following a theme.

Check out these free triptych downloads, you may find something to suit your staircase.

downloadable wall art

This way you're able to cover a good amount of wall space without things becoming too visually noisy or cluttered.

If you have a large staircase wall, using supersized multi-panel prints can be a real eye-catcher.

And this leads us to the next idea ..

3. Create A Gallery Wall

gallery wall at base of staircase

Similar to using multi-panelled prints, creating a gallery wall means you can arrange the individual pieces to suit the shape of the wall.

You don’t need to use large artworks to make a large finished design.

The great thing with gallery walls is you can use different types of artworks & subject matter to create one coherent layout.

You can even incorporate various frame designs & colours for something really quirky & funky.

You can even incorporate completely different types of wall art, & provided they're arranged in a pleasing way, it can be another original & unique wall display.

4. Mirrors

mirrors in stairwell

Sometimes the stairwell can be lacking in natural light.

A strategically placed mirror can be a wonderful way to bounce some light around.

I always feel mirrors are like artwork, as they're available in so many different styles, designs & sizes.

They can also be framed or unframed, depending on the look you're after.

Mirrors can be modern, but a large & beautifully ornate mirror is a wonderful way to add some elegance.

You can even use a number smaller mirrors to create a gallery wall.

The mirrors can also be various shapes or sizes, framed or unframed.

arrangement of wall mirrors for staircase wall

With a impressive range of styles, Casagear are worth a look.

5. Clocks

large wall clock near staircase

Clocks are another style of wall art that are more than merely functional.

There's a massive array of wall clock designs, from modern to retro, boho to industrial, & a really large clock can be perfect for that empty wall space at the top of the stairs.

A really large wall clock can also be a great statement piece.

You could even display the clock amongst other styles of wall art in a gallery design.


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6. Tapestries & Wall Hangings

set of tapestries hanging in stairwell

Tapestries needn’t be old fashioned, they come in many modern patterns as well as African, Egyptian & other culturally inspired designs.

Tapestries are a simple wall décor for creating a boho feel in any space.

Large wall hangings are very affordable & can add warmth to an otherwise stark or minimal stairwell.

Do a quick search online for modern wall tapestries & you’ll soon see there’s more out there than just the 1970’s inspired macramé!

7. Wallpaper

striped wallpaper running up staircase wall

Wallpaper is a wonderful way to uplift a drab or boring stairwell.

Using wallpaper just on the wall that runs alongside the stairs, will create a fantastic focal point or feature.


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Vertical patterns or stripes can make the wall appear taller & the reverse applies with horizontal designs, making the wall or staircase seem longer.

If you don't have carpeted stairs, you can even apply wallpaper to the risers .. this look isn't for everyone, but I think it can look really good.

Modern wall coverings are also far easier to hang & are available in a huge array of styles, designs & colours.

8. Wall Murals & Decals

decorative wall decals on staircase wall

Don’t want to get into wallpapering, then wall decals are a great solution for adding some interest & colour to a blank staircase wall.

Many creative designs can be made with decals & stickers, let your imagination run free.

There are many really big murals & they're fabulous because they can be easily applied to a curved wall as well.

Relatively simple to apply, they can be removed when you feel like changing the scenery.

Like wallpaper, you can also apply decals to the risers.


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9. Real Or Faux Panels

wood panelling on staircase wall

A bit more work required, but the finished result will look fabulous.

Paneling is a great way to introduce texture & natural elements to the staircase.

Larger stairwells & spaces are better suited, as using panels in a smaller space could feel a bit closed in.

Faux panels are also available in brick, stone, wood & many other faux natural materials.

Don't be put off by these "fake" panels though, as they look surprisingly realistic.

10. Shelves

recessed shelves in staircase wall

Shelving can be used on the wall leading up the stairs, but also if you have an empty space underneath the staircase.

You won't want to use wide shelves leading up the stairs of course, but even an inch or two is enough to place ornaments, nick-knacks & even lean some artworks.

shelving under the stairs of modern home

11. Plants

potted plants under stairs

Provided there's some natural light, plants are a fantastic way to not only add some greenery, but to soften the look of more modern or angular staircase designs.

Wider staircases will be able to accommodate small & moderate sized potted plants.

If you have narrower stairs, then trailing plants will work really well.

These trailing style plants are also effective for hanging from the wire balustrading systems, as this way they're not obstructing the actual stairs.

12. Anything You Like!

bicycles hanging under staircase

There's no strict rules when it comes to decorating your home & if you like it & it makes you feel good, then it's a winner in my book.

You could use anything from decorative plates, a collection of hats, musical instruments or a mix of eclectic items.

decorative plates displayed on staircase wall

It's a great way to create a bohemian vibe & if you have farmhouse décor, then vintage tools & the like would work a treat.


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13. Lighting

staircase lit with fairy lights

Last but not least, well placed lights can create a wonderful mood & ambiance & lift any dreary old stairwell out of the doldrums.

You can use ceiling lights, wall sconces, LED lighting under or on the actual stairs, or a combination of all of these.

LED lighting at base of stairs

Final Thoughts

The staircase is a transition from one area of the home to another, so why not make it interesting?

Rather than just being a functional element, the staircase can become an area of your home that can be a real conversation starter for visitors.

I hope you found value in this article & please share if you feel anyone else may find inspiration for taking their staircase to a new level!


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