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Decorating Ideas for Stairs | 15 Examples We Love

Decorating Ideas for Stairs | 15 Examples We Love

Are you looking for decorating ideas for stairs? Home décor can show your personality and style in various ways. Unfortunately, while many people take the time to decorate their kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms, they forget about decorating ideas for stairs.

15 Unique Stair Decorating Ideas 

Decorating the stairs in your home can be a terrific way to bring attention to this forgotten area. But, you don’t have to let this transition space remain dull and drab any longer. These 15 unique stair decoration ideas are perfect for dressing up your home and showing personality.

Read Next: Interior Design vs. Interior Decorating

Incorporate Lighting 

Decorating idea for stairs to incorporate lighting into the wall to illuminate each stair as shown in a floating wooden staircase with white walls

Supermpop/Shutterstock

The staircase in many homes can be dim, depending on the floor plan. If your staircase isn’t front and center in your entranceway, it can be difficult to see that area during the evening or dark mornings. 

By incorporating lighting, you not only make the space easier to see, but it can attract attention to the craftsmanship of your custom-made stairs or handrail. Some ways to include additional lighting for stairs are: 

  • Light bulbs along the stairwell built into the wall
  • Lights built into the stair risers 
  • Faux battery-operated pillar candles 

The choices for lighting a staircase are many. However, you are sure to find one that will work with the architecture of your home and your design tastes. 

Use Inspirational Phrases

Inspirational phrase decals attached to the end of some stairs for a piece on decorating ideas for stairs

Jlgw/Shutterstock

Who says that inspirational phrase art needs to go on the wall? Adding your favorite inspirational phrase to the stair risers can add character and flair to your home. You can let your creativity fly when choosing an inspirational phrase to add to your staircase.

These words of wisdom can be encouraging, uplifting, motivating, or comforting. Not only can you customize the saying, but also how it appears on your staircase. 

  • Place one word on each step for short phrases.
  • Use each step to include numerous words for longer quotes
  • Mix and match multiple words on one riser and let words you’d like to highlight stand out on a riser alone

The text style and size can vary depending on your stairs and your design tastes. 

Try Built-In Storage

Stair decorating idea featuring built-in shelving below the staircase as part of the wall

Victoria Grankina/Shutterstock

Your staircase is functional already since it allows you to move to a different floor in the house. So why not incorporate storage with it for more advantages? 

Adding storage spaces such as shelves and drawers can improve the functionality of this wasted space and add a terrific design touch to your staircase.

Some homeowners use this space to install bookshelves to showcase them in an orderly manner and save space in the home. The overall design of your staircase will help you determine which storage space will work best for your home. 

Install Custom Spindles 

Stair decorating idea featuring a close-up of a railing spindle made of metal next to ornate wooden stairs

A-photography/Shutterstock

No one said your staircase has to be boring. One of the best ways to dress up your stairs is to install custom spindles. Spindles that carry an alternative design are sure to grab the attention of anyone visiting your home. 

Custom spindles will come in various materials to match the current décor in your home. Try one of these materials for a different look to your staircase: 

  • Detailed wood 
  • Metal 
  • Stone 

You can also find a variety of designs for spindles, ranging from square, round, twisted, and more.  

Add Plants 

Stair decorating idea featuring small plants in pots sitting next to books on the open staircase

United Photo Studio/Shutterstock

The use of plants in a home is a terrific way to decorate space, no matter what décor you use. Plants align seamlessly with modern, traditional, country farmhouse, chic, and others.

You can’t go wrong with using plants to help dress up an area, including the stairs. 

Depending on the location of your staircase, you may have to choose artificial plants if there is limited natural lighting. Even so, there are many ways to add plants to give your staircase a homey, comforting feeling.

  • Use small decorative flower pots on every step or every second step
  • Install wall flower pots alongside the staircase 
  • Hang macramé planters along the stairs for a more bohemian vibe

Stick with white, black, or grey flower pots for a more subdued design look, or use bold, bright colors to add vibrancy to your stairs. 

Incorporate Color 

Scandinavian-style stair decorating idea featuring a white staircase with white walls and white railings with colorful spindles in green and blue colors

Lois GoBe/Shutterstock

Who says your staircase has to be all one color? Many trendy homes sport a staircase with multi-colored spindles or colored stairs for a bold decorative choice. 

You can choose one bold color for all your spindles to stand out against a mute wall or alternate colors hues for a stylish touch.

Try matching the colors of your staircase with other items in the home to help pull focus to these decorative touches. Staircase color can help round out a home décor theme. If you have a coastal vibe throughout your home, choose these colors: 

  • Seafoam green
  • Sky blue
  • Sandy brown
  • Grey
  • Coral 

Display Photos

Decorating idea for stairs featuring black and white family portraits attached to the wall

Gladskikh Tatiana/Shutterstock

Don’t forget the wall space in your stairwell when decorating your home. This area can be a terrific way to showcase prized family portraits. If your staircase lines a wall, this is ideal for using photo tiles to create a gallery wall in your home.

If there isn’t much natural light in your staircase, this could be the perfect spot to hang your treasures. In addition, this place allows for minimal UV damage. 

Try Decorative Tiles

Spanish-style ceramic tiles on the bottom and the sides of a staircase for a piece on decorating ideas for stairs

SvetlanaSF/Shutterstock

The stairs in your home don’t have to be dull. One terrific decorating idea for stairs is to move away from simple wood steps and try decorative tiles. Many homes use tiles throughout several rooms, so why not try using them for your staircase? Try decorating your stairs with one of these tile options: 

  • Cement
  • Ceramic
  • Glass 
  • Granite
  • Limestone
  • Marble
  • Metal
  • Mosaic
  • Porcelain 
  • Quarry 
  • Resin
  • Travertine 

Of course, the costs for tiling your stairs will vary, depending on the materials and availability in your area. 

Add a Colorful or Patterned Stair Runner

Colorful and patterned stair runner with gold accents on a white marble staircase as an idea for decorating stairs

SvetlanaSF/Shutterstock

Do you want a decorating idea for stairs that isn’t permanent? Do you need something you can change at a moment’s notice? Try adding a colorful or patterned stair runner to your staircase. A runner has many functional advantages as well as being decorative.

For example, it can make your stairs safer and more comfortable, as well as helping to minimize noise from foot traffic. You can change stair runners each season or holiday, making them a customizable decorative feature to your staircase.  

Install a Decorative Chandelier 

Decorating idea for stairs featuring a dark stained wood railing with carpeted stairs and a glass and metal chandelier as the decoration to bring life into the room

Oscar0/Shutterstock

Although lighting can be an issue for many staircases, decorative chandeliers do more than just light the space. Chandeliers can incorporate elegance, sophistication, and class into your home while making it easier to see the details. 

Chandeliers come in a wide array of sizes, styles, colors, and materials. They provide a welcoming feeling while not damaging your walls or taking up floor space. 

Chandeliers aren’t all grandiose crystal structures, either. The styles can include more modern shapes and designs to suit any home décor while providing a decorative touch to your staircase. Consequently, any lighting option that hangs from the ceiling is considered a chandelier. 

Incorporate Decorative Statues 

Decorating idea for stairs incorporating gold metal ducks into the side of the stairs as accents in an otherwise white room with wooden stairs

Fluff Media/Shutterstock

An easy way to add a decorative touch to your stairs is by involving art statues or sculptures. These objects can complement the theme throughout your home by mirroring other decorative accents, such as a color scheme or similar materials like wood or metal. 

Remember to keep the sculptures on the smaller size as you don’t want them to restrict the space on the stairs for movement. Items that are too large can pose a tripping hazard if you aren’t careful. If there are children in the home, these items should not be too heavy to cause injury.  

Use Newel Caps

White railing newel caps in the Colonial style with metal spindles for a piece on decorating ideas for stairs

WichitS/Shutterstock

Newel caps are the tops of the main newel posts that begin and end your staircase. These can easily be removed and replaced to add a decorative touch to your stairs. The options for newel caps are many.

They come in various shapes and materials, making it easy to customize your stairs with minimal effort. Some popular materials for newel caps are: 

  • Ceramic
  • Glass
  • Metal 
  • Plastic
  • Wood

Try using different newel caps for different seasons for a simple change up the décor in your home. 

Display Art 

Stair decorating idea featuring a hand-painted canvas of an ocean landscape hung on a white wall with a black railing with natural light wood stairs

Karen Culp/Shutterstock

The walls that line your staircase are an ideal spot to showcase your favorite painting or treasured artwork. In addition, many homes where the stairs are against the wall will have ample space to hang art to help bring personality to your home. 

Often, stairs won’t have windows nearby, making the UV light minimal in this area. The reduction of sunlight is the perfect location to hang artwork that is sensitive to fading. It’s always nice to have something beautiful to look at while using the stairs rather than a blank wall. 

Install Holiday Trimmings

Garland wrapped around an ornate wooden and brass stair railing for a piece on decorating ideas for stairs

Goldeneden/Shutterstock

The holidays are a fun time to dress up your home with trimmings but don’t forget the staircase. The spindles make it easy to include garland, ribbons, bows, or other simple decorative touches without much hassle. 

These additions can weave through the spindles, wrap around the railing, or along the base for various decorative styles. Don’t make a mistake to think that trimmings are only for the Christmas season.

There are so many different ways to decorate your stairs for Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve. You can use various items to pull off the complete holiday look, such as decorative bunnies on the stairs for Easter or faux pumpkins on Halloween. 

Include String Lights 

String lights wrapped around a metal railing for a piece on stair decorating ideas

Christina Butz/Shutterstock

You can’t go wrong with a simple string of lights for your staircase when you want to add a decorative flair to your home. Not only will these tiny lights help illuminate an area that may otherwise be darker, but they will also provide a warm and welcoming feeling to visitors. 

String lights are typically inexpensive and easy to maintain. You can often find them in soft white, but don’t disregard the colored options for those holidays. For example, orange lights are perfect for Halloween, while blue and white can be terrific for New Year’s Eve. You can include these lights in several ways: 

  • At the base rail through the spindles
  • Wrap around the handrail
  • Wrapping around each spindle
  • Hanging down from the handrail 

Things to Consider

When looking for decorating ideas for stairs, you may want to consider these elements: 

  • Avoid items that could cause tripping hazards
  • Don’t be afraid to be creative 
  • Budget can help determine decorating options 
  • Cleaning and maintenance of decorative features 

When deciding on decorating ideas for your staircase, it can help narrow down your choices by taking these four points into account.  

Which Stair Decorating Idea Will You Try?

Finding decorating ideas for stairs does not have to be complicated or expensive. There are many ways you can add color or style to your home by using simple materials or items for your staircase. Try out some of these 15 décor ideas today and see your staircase come to life. 

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