Let's Talk Stairs

Whether you are building or renovating, the stairs in your home need just as much thought and planning as any other room in the house. And it's not only the stairs that you need to focus on, but the surrounding nooks, crannies, stairwells and under the stair areas also require your input in terms of design choices.

Carpet runners

Carpet runners can suit both modern and classic style homes, but don't feel you have to commit to the traditional carpet runner route. Faux runners can be created with paint, adding a unique look to your landing and stairwell. Remember, you are only limited by your imagination.

Natural lighting

While a glamorous chandelier or hanging light pendant is visually appealing and can set the area off nicely, natural light surrounding the steps is always a bonus. If you are fortunate to have a window area, then you might want to consider adding a cosy window seat to admire the view. Natural lighting with bursts of sunlight will also work well for any plants you may wish to add.


With twists and turns, corners and crevices, the walls in and around the stairs are perfect to place decorative shelving in your home. You can add some special items such as your favourite books or your most beloved photos in frames to make you smile every time you happen to walk up or down the stairs.


If your stairwell is small, then wall sconces are perfect to add to the aesthetic. They can be purely decorative nursing plants or prints, or be more practical and hold lights, candles, and lanterns. The reality is that you can make the area as formal or as casual as you like, so consider filling the space with brass, gold, black or silver sconces to match your décor.

Strip lighting

While overhead light on the stairwell is a necessity for safety reasons, lighting can often be found in other forms. Strip lighting, notably LED lighting, is a welcome modern trend as it can really enhance the look of your stairwell while remaining incredibly energy efficient. LED strips can also be used to light the handrails as well.

Floating steps

Floating steps are a seeming miracle to the eye with their barely-there support. You can amaze your guests as they admire the steps wondering how they are suspended in mid-air. Floating steps work well in apartments, townhouses and homes and provide a touch of elegance to the design.


While photos are a typical feature in stairwells to personalise the home, you may also consider hanging a selection of your favourite art to update the style. Or you can forego the prints and just hang the frames, depending on the look you are striving for. Gallery walls can be painted or wallpapered as a backdrop and can work with even the brightest pop art prints or antique style paintings.

Under stair storage

The under stair area can be utilised effectively and turned into shelving, pull out cupboards and drawers, a reading nook, a playhouse, or even an office space, depending on how much room you have. With careful planning, the under stair area does not have to be wasted space and can actually be transformed into something magical.

Earth tones

As many stairs are made of wood, it is natural that you may want to continue with the earthy trend found in many homes dotted around the country. The brown of the wood banisters can be well balanced with beige and other earth-coloured tones to create a stylish and welcoming space in your home.


You only have to Google the term "paint stairs" to see all the different ideas that are out there. You can paint the stairs contrasting colours or aim for one colour or tone if you want a more traditional finish. You can also decorate the banisters and the handrails too. You can opt for black and white, all white, pastel tones or go bold for an eye-catching look. You can also choose to carry on the theme of your living area or consider it a blank slate and create something unique to welcome all those who enter your home.