Ten tricks to transform your stairs

Ten tricks to transform your stairs

Updating your interior décor helps to boost the style and personality of your home. You may have ticked off some of the most important rooms in your home, such as the kitchen and bathroom, but the stairs can benefit just as much from a makeover. As they’re usually situated in the main hallway of your house, they hog a central position and are one of the first things you see when you arrive home.

There are plenty of ways to make your stairs look attractive. But if you’re unsure what to do to make them a show-stopping feature, here’s ten transformative tricks you can use.

Strip it

If you’re lucky enough to have an old or original wooden staircase, then why not make the most of this? Often the details and the beauty of the wood are lost under layers of thick paint. So, stripping it can bring it back to life. If you suspect there’s lead paint lurking in some of those layers, you’re best using a paint stripper rather than sanding, just to be on the safe side. Alternatively, you could bring someone in to do the work for you.

Choose a patterned carpet

There’s no need to stick to a neutral carpet on your stairs as a patterned one can really make it stand out. William Morris and geometric-inspired designs are having a moment, but stripey and chequered carpets are proving just as popular. Pairing your carpet with plain walls and balustrades will prevent your design from looking too busy. The cost of laying a carpet on a single flight of stairs is typically between £140 and £420, but it’s worth spending money on a good quality underlay to keep those steps comfy and quiet.

Make it feel wider with a runner

Fitting a runner instead of carpet can make a narrow staircase feel wider. A plain runner with a dark border will create a nice contrast on white-painted stairs but a simple trellis or diamond pattern can also add interest without overwhelming the space. Decorating with stair rods or clips will enhance the design, making your stairwell feel more expensive.

Lighten it up

Sometimes a lack of natural light can make your stairs feel dark and enclosed. So, why not lighten the space up? You could remove the carpet and paint the steps white or switch out panelled balustrades with glass panels. Adding decorative mirrors along the wall will bounce more light around, helping the space feel bright and open.

Go dark for drama

On the flipside, you might be looking to add more drama to your stairs. And painting them black or in a dark grey or blue will certainly do that. You could colour drench the whole area or go with white walls and a light carpet for balance and contrast. Alternatively, you might choose to add more opulence with gold leaf on the risers and hang picture frames in a matching style along the walls.

Decorate the risers

Decorating the risers is a great trick to employ when you’re looking to transform your stairs. You could use tiles or tile stickers to add patterning or you could try a rainbow or ombre design by painting each riser a different hue. You also utilise paint to stencil on a design or to add numbers or lettering to the steps. For something a bit different, you could stick on mirrored tiles or lighting strips or use up leftover wallpaper to create a new look.

Panel the walls

Why not frame your staircase with decorative panelling? Using a tongue and groove style creates a lovely cottage feel, while MDF shaker panels work well to enhance traditional and contemporary spaces. If you want to give your stairs a traditional appearance on a budget, then decorative moulding works a treat. For a quick DIY fix, you can use grab glue to fix the moulding onto the wall and caulk around the edges to get a neat finish.

Go bold with wallpaper

Bold and floral wallpapers might not be everyone’s cup of tea but when they’re added to a staircase, they can truly transform the space. If you’re worried about a pattern being too busy, why not go half-and-half? Simply install a dado rail halfway up the wall and restrict the wallpaper to the section above or below it. The rest can simply be painted or panelled.

Turn it into a gallery

If wallpaper isn’t your thing, there are other ways to brighten up the walls lining your staircase. Turning them into a gallery is one of the best alternatives. You can use it to hang your favourite artworks, so the space reflects your personality. Or you could put up pictures of family and familiar landscapes, so you can be reminded of good times as you walk up and down the stairs.

Change the spindles

It’s not just the walls you can use to transform the space but you can change the balusters or spindles that line the stairs too. Switching between wood-turned spindles and metal or chamfered ones, can transform your stairs from traditional to contemporary and vice versa. Although this isn’t necessarily a tricky task, spindles should meet building regulations and are a safety feature, so you might want to hire a carpenter to do this for you.

Ten tricks to transform your stairs
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