Ideas for how to decorate a staircase

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Ideas for how to decorate a staircase
Decorating your staircase adds an interesting touch to this otherwise unused space. (stairs image by Dmitry Nikolaev from

Stairways represent unique challenges to people decorating their homes. By necessity, they have different height planes and oddly broken up wall space compared to the rest of the house. However, with a little forethought, these drawbacks can become the strengths of your staircase-decorating efforts. When decorating this area, being bold enough to try new ideas makes the difference between the staircase you can decorate and the one you can’t.

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Stencils provide a way to bring both colour and patterns to your staircase. This type of decorative element goes well in homes that feature the shabby chic or country decorating styles. Begin by painting your stairs a solid base colour. White will add brightness and is a common colour choice in shabby chic decorating; however, any colour will do, but be sure to select one that goes with the colour scheme near the stairs. Once the base coat of paint is dry, tape your stencils on the stairs with architect’s tape and being painting. Architect’s tape will stick without becoming so sticky that it pulls up the paint. Finally, if you begin your task at the top stair and work your way down, you won’t be trapped on the stairs or have to bend in painful ways to keep on painting the stencils.

Candle Arrangement

Make each stair a showpiece by adding a candle arrangement to it. For safety’s sake, choose floating candle arrangements. Fill your glass candleholders with water and floating candles. To vary the looks of these arrangements, add real flowers or petals to the water, and adorn the area surrounding the candleholder with items like mini-pumpkins or gourds, or slide a decorative place mat underneath for a dash of additional colour. This type of decoration adds a pretty touch to stairs for house parties.

Picture Gallery

Stairways have such interestingly shaped walls, often going from average height to quite tall by the time you ascend the top of the stairs. Dress up this area by adding a coat of paint on the walls. For contrast, leave the walls around the stairwell one colour, but feature another more vibrant colour on the stairway like Chinese red or jade green. Begin adding photos in various frame sizes to the stair gallery.

Floral Arrangements and Sculpture

Many split-tiered staircases feature a landing halfway up between the two sets of stairs. This little-used space can be part of your decorating scheme. To tie this area of the stairs with the decor on the upper and lower floors, create a display in the corner of the landing featuring vases of dried floral arrangements enhanced by sculpture. Echo the multi-tier aspect of the stairs by making this arrangement vary in height. To do this, select two or three decorative tables of different heights. Place the tallest one in the corner with the other two flanking it on either side. Place your tallest floral arrangement or sculpture on the tallest table, then add arrangements to the other two tables, as well.

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