Have you ever given much thought to the stairs in your home?
Staircases tend to be a bit neglected when it comes to renovation and decorating plans, don’t they? I know I’ve never really thought beyond woodwork colour and carpet in the past. But staircases are often one of the first things that visitors (and you) see when entering your home, so they play a crucial role in the impression your property makes, and in setting the scene for your interior style.
There are lots of ways to give your staircase wow factor, from quick updates to a full renovation. These staircase design tips will help you to take your stairs from functional to fabulous.
A new staircase
For maximum wow factor, you can’t beat a new, statement staircase like those available from Fontanot UK. It’s not a small renovation, but replacing your existing stairs allows you to completely change the style of the space. This is a particularly good option for stairs that lead out of a living room, as you can complement the room’s style and extend it to other areas of your home.
If you’re tight on space, a spiral staircase is a very space-efficient solution. I think spiral staircases are perfectly suited to modern interiors and loft-style living, and there’s a great range of modern metal spiral stairs in the UK to choose from.
One of the easiest ways to give your staircase a new lease of life is to update the material used on the treads. If your stairs are wooden, you could stain them in a new shade, or use a light paint to create a crisp, clean finish.
Carpet is a great way to make a statement on stairs. Striped designs look really smart and can be used to add a pop of colour, or you could go for solid colour in a neutral shade to keep things more natural. When choosing carpet for stairs, make sure you go for something that’s durable and able to cope with lots of traffic. Shorter pile works best here. I would recommend avoiding really pale colours too, especially if you’ve got kids!
Another great option for staircases is a carpet runner. These are a great way to transition from a hard hall floor to carpet without creating the fully-fitted look. And when you want to update the space, runners can easily be changed without a complete re-carpet.
If you’re unable to completely replace your stairs, how about just replacing the banister?
Banisters tend to very much reflect the period in which a house was built, so if you’d like to move away from this era with your staircase design, consider using a good joiner to replace your banister.
If your staircase doesn’t receive much natural light you could also use the opportunity to make your banister more open, perhaps with more slender spindles or ultra-modern glass panels.
As with anywhere in the home, the right lighting can make all the difference to your staircase design. If your budget will stretch to it, adding lights to the stairs at floor level will transform your staircase while also making it safer to use at night.
Staircase lighting is usually in the form of wall-recessed spotlights on each or every other stair. You can also create a really dramatic effect with LED strip lighting – think of the colour possibilities! Open riser staircases look amazing with LED strip lights fitted underneath the treads too.
A simple coat of paint can give your stairs a completely new look, and as the area to be painted isn’t huge it’s a quick, low-cost update. You can keep it simple with the same colour throughout, or get creative with a design on the upright of your stair treads to create a bold focal point. You could even paint a runner design for a funky twist on a traditional style.
If you’re painting your stair treads, it’s a good idea to use a paint designed for floors, as this will give a more durable finish. Do consider safety though; a slippy gloss finish isn’t ideal.
Add storage or seating
Don’t just focus on the actual stairs and banister; you can create wow factor in the space around the staircase too. That tricky dead space under the stairs is perfect for some open shelving, or even a simple seat.
Once you’ve created your storage or seating area, you can add in accessories to stamp your style on the space. Which brings me onto…
Accessorise your stairs
By this, I don’t mean clutter up your stairs with trip hazards! Think more along the lines of a few well-placed items that soften the look of your stairs without creating clutter.
If your stairs are really big, by all means go for it with accessories on the treads. If not, focus on wall art and perhaps a strategically-placed plant on deeper corner stairs or landing areas. I also love having a pretty storage basket at the bottom of the stairs, so much better than a big pile of stuff waiting to be taken back to the kids’ bedrooms!
Have you got any staircase design tips that deliver on wow factor?