Staircase ideas 2020 – looks for your hallway that will really make an entrance

Create a stairway from heaven with these brilliant staircase ideas
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  • The old saying goes that ‘you never get a second chance at a first impression’. Our staircase ideas will help you get things right first time. In most homes, the staircase is often the first thing you see when you walk through the front door. So whether it’s to make yourself smile or to wow guests, it’s worth taking the time to create a focal point.

    Perhaps the easiest way to make a statement with your staircase is to get creative with hallway wallpaper, paint and textiles. Paint the risers in a descending or ascending rainbow of colours, or stick on decorative tiles for instant impact.

    Transform your space in every way with our hallway ideas

    Use wallpaper or old maps to add interest to each tread or paint the whole shebang in a favourite colour. You could even paint the spindles and bannister rail to suit your fancy and position wall stickers up the staircase walls or on the facing walls on each half landing.

    If money is no object, you can go the whole hog and commission a striking glass staircase which is a great way to allow light to get to all floors in a dark house but requires a high level of maintenance. A spiral staircase is always arresting and a great way to gain access to upper levels in a tight space and are now available in all manner of materials and finishes.

    1. Make a dramatic entrance


    Image credit: Brent Darby

    Painting your woodwork black – or a very dark charcoal grey – can truly elevate a space to a more sophisticated level. Contrast with white walls for a fresh and modern look, or complement with a sultry navy blue or emerald green for even more drama. The stair runner adds a bright pop of colour and delicate pendant lighting accentuates the double-height ceiling.

    2. Grab them with a gallery


    Image credit: Brent Darby

    The stairway is the ideal place for a gallery wall. Choose matching frames and pictures with a theme. White is every gallery’s preferred blank canvas, but a wooden bench and handrail add a little warmth to balance the look.

    3. Style it simply


    Image credit: Kasia Fizer

    Using natural wood in a hallway can promote a Scandi aesthetic that leaves you breathing a sigh of relief as you walk through the door after a manic day. Adding a potted plant or two can also enhance that calming sensation. Try to keep accessories to a minimum so that the overall affect is uncluttered and fresh.

    4. Tile your risers


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The owners of this monochrome-themed home had considered a stair runner, but needed to stay on budget. Tiling the risers with a neat mosaic has not only saved them cash, but has created more impact and complements the decor elsewhere.

    5. Make it personal


    Image credit: David Giles

    Your hallway isn’t just an introduction to your home – it can also serve to give a flavour of your personality. This homeowner has used paint colours and artwork to get their bold, fun side across. A framed lunar calendar and a graphic skull print are just two of the conversation starters here.

    6. Carpet for comfort


    Image credit: Georgia Burns

    Carpet is a great choice for stairs – not only does it cushion your steps and absorb some of the noise as you and your family bound up and down the staircase, it’s also durable. Given the stairs are one of the busiest thoroughfares in your home, that’s key.

    We’d recommend a tough wool or wool-blend carpet for a staircase, and ideally in a lighter colour. A stairwell can often be poorly lit, and choosing a darker shade will make the space look all the more gloomy and narrow. This needed make the space dull – here, palm print wallpaper adds vibrancy.

    7. Create an ombre effect with paint


    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Start by painting the treads to match your there woodwork, then choose a paint card in a colour you love and buy tester pots in as many shades as you have stairs. Start with the darkest at the bottom and work your way up, using a lighter shade on each riser until you reach the top!

    8. Make a statement with your spindles


    Image credit: Chris Everard

    Bring your staircase to life by creating a fresh ombre effect. Paint each spindle a different shade using tester pots, but leave the handrail a natural wood. Finish the rest of the stairway in white to keep the space light and show off your handiwork.

    9. Roll out the red carpet


    Image credit: Rachael Smith

    What better way to make guests feel welcome than giving your hallway the red carpet treatment? This claret colour is sophisticated and works wonderfully with on-trend shades of grey.

    10. Wallpaper your treads with a bold pattern

    How to wallpaper stairs

    Image credit: Jake Curtis

    The trick here is to go bold and graphic, but to keep things neutral elsewhere. Here, white walls are a backdrop to a bright red. You could also use pops of primary colours, such as yellow green or the blue chair seen here.

    Like this idea? How to wallpaper your stairs – to add colour to your hallway

    11. Go country with pastels


    Image credit: David Brittain

    This is a different way of using wallpaper – alternating two complementary prints in pastel pink and green for a look that would suit a rustic cottage. If you’re good with a paintbrush, you achieve the effect with stencils.

    12. Commission some cubbyholes

    If commissioning a staircase, why not factor in some nifty open-plan shelving into the design for showing off your favourite ornaments and curios. A carpenter can build the design so it cleverly uses the otherwise redundant space underneath the treads and risers to great effect to create capsules for storage and display as well as being a functioning staircase.

    13. Match the treads to the walls


    Image credit: Crown

    Here’s a similar take on the same idea, but this time the walls have been painted in the second darkest colour. The choice of green is fresh and soothing and works well with natural wood flooring and furniture.

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