Staircase ideas – looks for your hallway to make a stylish stairway

Create a style statement with these brilliant staircase ideas
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  • In most homes, the staircase is often the first thing you see when you walk through the front door and ss the saying goes ‘you never get a second chance at a first impression’. Our staircase ideas will ensure you make the right impression first time. So whether it’s to make yourself smile or to wow guests, it’s worth taking the time to create a focal point to admire.

    Perhaps the easiest hallway ideas 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.

    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.

    Staircase ideas to inspire all homes

    1. Welcome pattern on the stairs

    patterend carpet on stairs

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Jo Bridges

    Not only will a pattern inject instant personality to a hallway colour scheme, it’s also highly practical too. ‘Patterns are perfect for high-traffic areas like hallways and staircases, where dust and dirt are repeatedly trodden into the carpet’ says Jodie Hatton, Residential Designer at Brintons.

    Before going on to say, ‘We need little moments of joy throughout the home, so hallway decoration should be equally as smile-inducing as your living room or bedroom. It is the first space you see when returning from your daily walk, so why not make it special?’. We couldn’t agree more with this sentiment.

    2. Create a statement with coordinated colour

    blue painted stairs with neutral stair runner with blue trim

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Merewether

    Be bold with colour to create a statement but be mindful to keep it coordinated to achieve a cohesive colour scheme that feels well put together.  If using a rich colour on the walls, such is the case in this striking blue hallway colour scheme, echo the same colour on the stair runner or carpet. Here a blue trim is enough to add a subtle yet impactful accent to a neutral stair runner.

    The natural rush carpet coordinates effortless with the natural wooden bannister and spindles, balancing the neutral elements with the more provocative use of bold colour.

    3. Finish with finesse

    staircase idea with stair rods on neutral runner

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

    Whatever your colour or style, adding stair rods is the ultimate way to finish a well-dressed staircase. The easy to fit option can be added at any point if you have a stair runner already iin place and just feel it needs a perfect finishing touch.

    4. Make a dramatic entrance

    Staircase-ideas-black

    Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

    5. Grab attention with a gallery wall

    Staircase-ideas-contrast

    Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

    6. Keep the style simple

    Staircase-ideas-simple-scandi

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Kasia Fizer

    Often a hallway can feel limiting on the style front, due to a lack of space – in which case, less is more.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.

    7. Tile stair risers

    Staircase-ideas-tile-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.

    8. Incorporate concealed cupboards

    small grey living room with staircase

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

    When space is tight you need to embrace every inch of space to fashion suitable storage solutions. This small living room idea shows how an awkward staircase can be utilised by making the underside become a concealed cupboard that serves as smart storage for the compact living room beneath.

    9. Uplift a scheme with colour and pattern

    yellow painted stairs in hallway with blue printed wallpaper

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    Rather than choose either a bold colour or a statement wallpaper to make a statement on your stairs why not use both? With a small space such as a staircase there’s only a small area to cover so you can afford to be more daring when it comes to decorating choices. A bold colour will feel less overpowering in such a limited capacity, it will actually amplify a small space. If using wallpaper on a landing, like a feature wall, only one roll is mostly likely required – keeping the budget low too.

    10. Make it personal with curated photos

    Staircase-ideas-personal

    Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

    11. Carpet for comfort

    Staircase-ideas-carpet

    Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

    12. Create an ombre effect with paint

    Staircase-ideas-ombre

    Image credit: Future PLC/ 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!

    13. Make a statement with your spindles

    Staircase-ideas-spindle-ombre

    Image credit: Future PLC/ 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.

    14. Wallpaper your treads with a bold pattern

    How to wallpaper stairs

    Image credit: Future PLC/ 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? Follow our guide how to wallpaper your stairs – to add colour to your hallway.

    15. Guide a path upwards

    white staircase with blue painted border

    Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles

    Use colour in a creative way on your stairs by painting the walls beside the steps, but only below the dado rail to create a border-like edge. This simple strip of bold colour helps to guide the eye upwards, to highlight the incline of the staircase. In this otherwise all-white hallway the limited use of a bold blue border prevents the colour from feeling overpowering in airy bright space.

    16. Soften the use of pattern with subtle colour

    Staircase-ideas-country-pastel-wallpaper

    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.

    17. Commission cubbyholes for savvy storage

    staircase with red walls and picture cubbyhole storage

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole

    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.

    18. Match the treads to the walls

    Staircase-ideas-crown

    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.

    19. Add a window for natural light

    arched window on staircase

    Image credit: David Giles

    If your stairwell is looking dark and drab consider putting in a window to flood the staircase with plenty of natural light. Thanks to Permitted development what  you can build without planning permission includes windows.

    20. Roll out the red carpet

    Staircase-ideas-opulent-claret

    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.

    How do I make stairs more interesting?

    There are many ways to make stairs more interesting. If on budget you can simply paint stairs, follow out easy step-by-step guide How to paint a staircase  to transform your hallway with little cost. You can be imaginative with wallpaper and tiles to add pattern to the risers, adding a slither of decoration with each step. Of course carpet is also a brilliant way to make your stairs more interesting, also more comforting underfoot.

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