Decorating Ideas for Staircases & Walls

Updated February 21, 2017

Staircases are typically one of the most visuals areas of a home because they can take up a significant amount of space and are usually situated near the front door or main living areas. Decorate the walls surrounding the staircase to complement the style of your home and the rest of your decor.


Paint the walls or put up a decorative wallpaper if the wall doesn't extend to other parts of your home. For example, paint the stairwell wall red if you're using red as an accent colour in the other open areas of your home. Paint a border that runs up the walls in a design that complements your decorating style, such as scrolling patterns or geometric shapes. Patterned wallpaper, such as stripes, flowers or circles, can make the space visually interesting as well. Use colours that show up in other areas, such as the carpet, drapes or the main decorating colours in the surrounding areas. Another way to dress up the stairwell wall is to add wainscoting or another decorative material to the bottom portion of the wall that ascends at the same rate as the stairs.

Wall Decor

Hang mirrors, artwork, family pictures or other items on the walls surrounding the stairs if the walls don't have a busy wallpaper design or other details that would make it overwhelming. You can hang pictures or artwork that stays at eye level as you go up the stairs, or decorate the entire wall if it covers more than one floor. For example, hang empty frames the entire length of the wall or a large tapestry to avoid having a ton of blank wall space above the stairs. Space your pictures or artwork a few inches apart if you want to hang pictures that go up the stairs. Keep the images related by choosing a particular theme, or use the same coloured frames or mats. Black-and-white images are one way to keep random pictures visually related. Wall sconces or ironwork provide an alternative to mirrors, pictures and artwork.


Decorate the stairs themselves if you want something beyond the basic walls. A patterned runner can add colour and design while drawing the eye down for something different. Do not use a runner that can bunch or create a potentially dangerous situation, such as slipping. A string of mini lights can run up the stairs providing light and interest as long as the lights do not pose a safety hazard. Decorate the banister with lights, garland or ribbon if it's more your style.

Landings or Hallways

The space near the staircase, the landings or hallways can make the staircase appear empty or uninviting as well. A wooden bench works with country decor at the foot of the stairs while a baby grand piano works with elegant decor and a large open space. Floor vases, ottomans or decorative coat racks can add interest as well. Decorate large landings or breaks in the stairs with floor vases, artificial trees, plant stands or grandfather clocks, depending on your decorating style and the open space. Display pottery, sculptures, plants or candle arrangements on shelves or alcoves built into your staircase. Sofa tables or shelves can sit at the bottom of the stairs or along the hallway to display more decorative items or pictures.

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About the Author

Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.