Seven Creative Ways to Design a Stairwell

A creative zebra print rug adds flair to a white staircase.

The stairwell in the home is often a neglected space when designing.  In most cases, the stairs are in the entry of the home and this is where the first impression is made by visitors.  The stairway naturally takes the eye upward and you should make that journey as interesting as possible.  Therefore, here are seven creative ways to design a stairwell.

  1. Statement artwork

A piece of stunning artwork that catches the eye mounted at the top of the stairs or on a landing will be a strong statement.  This artwork will stand out and allow different perspectives of appreciation as one ascends the staircase.

Keywords: Wooden stairs
A feature piece displayed at stairwell landing (homedit)
A creative painting on the wall.
Colorful artwork at stairwell landing brightens the area (fede-arkamoving)

2.  A collection of artwork

A collection of artwork mounted in the stairwell will draw the eye and create an interesting display.  If you lack wall space elsewhere in the home, the stairwell is the perfect spot to exhibit your favorite photographs or paintings.  Grouping pieces together makes an impact.  Position the pieces at a landing or align them up the stairway.

Seven Creative Ways to Design a Stairwell with Framed Pictures.
A collection of photographs displayed in the stairwell draws interest (bestofinteriors)
A staircase with framed pictures and a bench, creatively designed.
Photographs lined up the stairwell highlight this area (bidehome.blogspot)
A creatively designed staircase with a black and white tiled floor.
A mix of vertical objects displayed on the stairwell balances the design (yacineaziz)
Seven creative ways to design a stairwell with framed butterflies on a wall.
A collection of insects displayed in various sizes adds interest to the stairwell (homeworkshop)
A modern home's staircase with pictures on the wall creatively designed.
A framed collection of artwork brings interest and dimension to the stairwell (lovelyhomedesigns)

3.  Wallpaper or murals

You can take some creative liberties with the stairwell when using wallpaper or murals.  This is a spot in the home that is smaller and more confined, lending itself to bolder treatments.  Keep in mind, however, that the stairwell should be a connector between two spaces and the style should not vary too far off course with the remainder of the home.

A colorful mural adorns a staircase in a creative design.
Wallpaper adds interest and color to the stairwell (allthethingssheloves)
A creative staircase design with green and white wallpaper.
Wallpaper and wall murals add interest to the stairwell (johnsmurals)


A pink and gray stairway with a creative pink wallpaper design.
A pretty patterned wallpaper highlights this bright stairway (dreamhomediy.blogspot)

4.  Niches and ledges

Niches and ledges open up more space for display.  These built-ins can be highlighted with stunning vases or a creative vignette.  Accent the spaces with lighting to highlight the display and provide illumination in the stairwell.

Create Mood and Motion in Interiors Through Lines
A wooden staircase in a house.
Niches provide a space for accessories within the stairwell (
Seven Creative Ways to Design a Stairway with Framed Pictures and a Wooden Railing.
Built-in stair-step ledges add impact to the stairwell (stairs-designs.BlogSpot)
A staircase adorned with a vase of flowers.
Stair-step ledges create interest in the stairwell (interiordesign-lovetoknow)

5.  Unique treatments

A unique treatment or artistic display can really enliven the stairwell.  Be creative in your selection and install a one-of-a-kind sculpture, create an upcycled wall treatment using old doors or windows, or mount a stunning art piece.  Make the space personal with items or displays that will continue to inspire you or put a smile on your face as you navigate the stairs.

A staircase creatively adorned with metal sculptures.
Unique additions to the stairwell (memorabledecor)
A stairwell with unique door design.
A collection of doors enhances this stairwell (silentfilmlegend.BlogSpot)
A modern living room with a staircase.
A tree sculpture enhances this stairwell (memorabledecor)

6.  Chandeliers

Chandeliers are the statement piece that give a stairwell brightness and glamour.  Splurge on something truly unique or extravagant for this space.  In a two-story entry, a chandelier that cascades down to the foyer is truly stunning and creates drama.

A staircase leading to a room with a painting on the wall featuring seven creative ways to design a stairwell.
Artwork and unique lighting enhance this stairwell (yacineaziz)
A modern home with a marble staircase.
A feature wall adds interest and a statement chandelier dazzle in this stairwell (decoist)
An elegant lobby with a marble staircase.
A flowing chandelier highlights this stairwell (Pinterest)
A creative white staircase with a painted design.
A multi-level light fixture adds drama and interest to the stairwell (ghar360)

7.  Supplemental lighting

Supplemental lighting may be necessary on some stairways, but great style can be imparted to this illumination as well.  Accent lights along the wall, strategically mounted up-lights, and LED lights mounted in the stairs or under each riser create a nice glow and plenty of illumination for safe stair navigation.  Accent lights can be used to show off artwork or special wall treatments as well.

A creatively designed stairwell with wooden railings and lights.
Sidelights highlight this stairwell (homedit)
Seven Creative Ways to Design a Stairwell with Lighting and a Fountain.
Wall lights provide targeted illumination on the stairwell (residencestyle)
Seven Creative Ways to Design a Modern Staircase.
Step lights keep the stairwell illuminated (guupress)
A staircase with a creative wooden railing.
LED lights underneath the steps provide illumination for the stairwell (Houzz)

When designing your stairwell, think statement-worthy.  Artwork, lighting, wallpaper, murals, niches, built-ins and one-of-a-kind creations can provide the necessary enhancement for a stunning stairwell.


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