How to Decorate a Staircase

Scandinavian living room with wooden finishes, yellow rail and space decorated around the staircase

We usually forget about a staircase while decorating our home interior, but there are many great ways you can enhance your design by decorating this component of your interior.

You can use paint, fabric, stencils or wallpaper, but there are also many decorative elements you can put up for parties or the particular holiday.

6 easy ways to decorate the staircase

Staircase carpeted with graphite color
Staircase carpeted with graphite color
  1. One of the easiest ideas to spruce up your staircase is adding a single color schemeusing paint. You can make your staircase match the color scheme of your home interior. It’s recommended to paint your wooden staircase in a tone that complements your carpeting, wallpaper or other elements of your house. You ought to use a paint primer on your staircase first, as it will help your desired shade show through. Keep in mind to place a painter’s tape between the wall and staircase, in order to create a barrier between the wall, the primer, and the paint. Use a paintbrush or a roller to apply a primer or paint and you should also prepare a paintbrush handy for painting the areas which are hard to reach. If you want to paint your stairs completely, be careful not to overwhelm the space. Instead, consider painting a certain part of your stairs by running a line down the center of the stairs using a ruler and measuring tape to trace the line beforehand. Another idea is to paint the stair risers or just the top of your stairs.
  2. Try decorating your staircase with wallpaper, which is the simplest way to get a specific design you want, like shapes or stripes. A wallpaper has a built-in adhesive on the back, so it’s also easy to apply to stair risers. Don’t forget to check the dimensions of your risers before you cut out your wallpaper and apply them to the risers. One of the best things about choosing a wallpaper is that there is a wide variety of options available for your wall without having to stencil or paint them on. You should clean and dust your staircase before you apply the wallpaper, as any dirt or debris trapped underneath it may cause ripples or bumps in the surface.
  3. Decorate with stencils if you want to apply a design to your staircase. There is a wide variety of shapes on the market, but you can make your own by drawing shapes on cardboard and cutting them out with an x-to knife. It’s advisable to find stencils that match with other decorative elements of your home interior. You can create an interesting design by putting stencils on your stair risers, keeping in mind to paint the risers white or cream first. Another option is to stencil the wall around your stairs. Don’t forget to clean and dust your staircase before you start painting or stenciling in order to avoid any dirt or debris to get trapped in the paint. You must put the stencil against your staircase and keep it in place with an adhesive spray while you paint.
  4. Consider adding patterns with fabric, which is a great equivalent for painting and stanciling your staircase. Also, fabric is less expensive than wallpaper and provides as many design options. Apply your fabric using a modge podge to the stair risers to create a striking design for your interior. It’s recommended to check the dimensions of your stair risers to determine how many yards of fabric you need to purchase. Keep in mind to apply a layer of modge podge to the back of your fabric, before you star cutting it, and allow it to dry. It will make it easier to cut and also stiffer, so you should take additional 45 minutes to allow the modge podge to dry. Then you can cut the fabric to the dimensions you need and apply a coating of modge podge to the stair risers. Now you should press the fabric strips onto each riser, removing ay excess fabric along the edges of the staircase.
  5. If you enjoy adding words or sentences to your home interior design, consider adding these to your staircase, too. You can spell out a quote running from the top of your stair to the bottom, or choose inspiring words to each stair riser. One of the ideas is to add words with stencils, or wallpaper or fabric that has words on it, as you can apply these to your staircase,too. One of the most popular ideas is to paint a staircase with chalkboard paint, which gives you the freedom to write whatever you desire on your staircase. If you have small kids, it will also give them a lot of opportunities to have much fun with chalkboard paint on the staircase.
  6. Another great idea to decorate a staircase is numbering your stairs by using the stencil to add a particular number to each stair riser. You should choose your favorite font that matches the overall design of your home interior.

How to decorate the space around your staircase

Scandinavian living room with wooden finishes, yellow rail and space decorated around the staircase
Scandinavian living room with wooden finishes, yellow rail and space decorated around the staircase

Start by deciding on a theme before you choose decorations for your staircase, because if you choose a specific theme, you can easily bring everything together. It will also give you an idea of what kind of photos, pictures, art and other decorative items to add to your wall around the staircase. If you have a chalkboard paint on your staircase, a great idea is to put up your kid’s artwork on the wall around the staircase to enhance this kid-friendly feel. Also, you can bring bright at colorful painting to your wall, which will add a fun vibe to space. If you feel overwhelmed with all the decisions, you ought to choose a theme according to other elements of your home. If you have a staircase just before your living room, continue its color scheme withing your staircase. It’s advisable to pick photo frames, paintings and other decorative items that are in the same shade.

Consider adding your family pictures to the wall along your staircase, as it can give your guests something to look at as they walk up the stairs. Plus, it gives your house a warm and homey feel, so a great idea is to print and frame your favorite family photos to your staircase. When choosing frames, you must take a color scheme into consideration in order to complete the staircase design and tie things together. If you crave for something more interesting, consider creating a collage without frames.

One of the most popular ideas while decorating around the staircase is lining the wall leading up to it with paintings and artwork. You should go to a local art museum or center if you want to purchase prints, paintings or other bits of art for your staircase. You can also create something like a shadow box or a painting yourself to put on the wall along your staircase.

You should find an interesting way to decorate the railing, which is always neglected while decorating the staircase. Paint your railing, especially if you have banisters running along it. You can paint each one a specific tone or create a gradient of one color running up your stairs. Another idea is to incorporate stencil to a wooden rail, which may be a fun way if you have stenciled your stair risers, too.

Consider using shadow boxes, which are enclosed glass cases that you can use to store items like books, figurines, and other decorative elements. You can find many kinds of shadow boxes in a nearby craft store. It’s advisable to fill them with elements that match your decorating scheme. If you want to make your own shadow box, you must buy a box frame and glue a collage of items in the back.
You should try adding decorative elements bought in a craft store. Consider plastic fruit, paper flowers or plastic things, which can be placed on shelves on top of your staircase on in a stair landing. You can match your wallpaper with those decorative items in order to tie the things up if you’re going for a certain theme.

How to add temporary decorations

Seasonally decorated staircase with wallpaper
Seasonally decorated staircase with wallpaper

If you want to enhance the particular season of the year, such as Easter, Christmas or Halloween, consider adding specific decor elements of certain theme to your staircase. Another idea is to change up the staircase design according to the seasons like spring or summer. If you have a chalkboard staircase, it allows you to write Christmas phrases in green and red chalk or draw pictures of rabbits and eggs for Easter. When it comes to decorating the railing for holidays, you can loop a garland down it or put Christmas lights around the banister. For Halloween, you may want to add black and orange crepe paper to your railing or colorful, pastel one in early spring and summer.

If you’re looking for a way to create temporary party decorations, choose balloons, especially for a birthday party. You can use a variety of colorful balloons and tape them on your staircase railing or the wall near the staircase. It’s recommended to blow up your balloons with helium, as you can easily rent a helium tank, which will make a fun and festive design that is easy to clean up after a party.

It’s advisable to change up paintings, photos or other artwork near your staircase by season. For Halloween, consider adding spooky paintings to your wall, while choosing landscapes of autumn scenes during the fall moths. You can pull out specific wall hangings and beautiful family pictures for Christmas to create a cozy and homey atmosphere.

Decorating a staircase can be tricky as many of us have a large expanse of wall that seems empty, but it’s shape and elevation change can make it challenging to decorate. You may think that your staircase is narrow and small, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get the same decorating treatment as the rest of your house.

You should take our staircase decorating ideas into consideration, as these will give your entryway a step up.

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