Seven Creative Ways to Design a Stairwell

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Unique lighting, artwork and a patterned runner enhance this stairwell
Unique lighting, artwork and a patterned runner enhance this stairwell (dourosulacontece.blogspot)

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.

A feature piece displayed at stairwell landing
A feature piece displayed at stairwell landing (homedit)
Colorful artwork at stairwell landing brightens the area
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.

A collection of photographs displayed in the stairwell draws interest
A collection of photographs displayed in the stairwell draws interest (bestofinteriors)
Photographs lined up the stairwell highlight this area
Photographs lined up the stairwell highlight this area (bidehome.blogspot)
A mix of vertical objects displayed on the stairwell balances the design
A mix of vertical objects displayed on the stairwell balances the design (yacineaziz)
A collection of butterflies displayed in various sizes adds interest to the stairwell
A collection of insects displayed in various sizes adds interest to the stairwell (homeworkshop)
A framed collection of artwork brings interest and dimension to the stairwell
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.

Wallpaper adds interest and color to the stairwell
Wallpaper adds interest and color to the stairwell (allthethingssheloves)
Wallpaper and wall murals add interest to the stairwell
Wallpaper and wall murals add interest to the stairwell (johnsmurals)

 

A pretty patterned wallpaper highlights this bright stairway
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.

Niches provide a space for accessories within the stairwell
Niches provide a space for accessories within the stairwell (asid.org)
Built-in stair-step ledges add impact to the stairwell
Built-in stair-step ledges add impact to the stairwell (stairs-designs.BlogSpot)
Stair-step ledges create interest in the stairwell
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.

Unique additions to the stairwell
Unique additions to the stairwell (memorabledecor)
A collection of doors enhances this stairwell
A collection of doors enhances this stairwell (silentfilmlegend.BlogSpot)
A tree sculpture enhances this stairwell
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.

Artwork and unique lighting enhance this stairwell
Artwork and unique lighting enhance this stairwell (yacineaziz)
A feature wall adds interest and a statement chandelier dazzle in this stairwell
A feature wall adds interest and a statement chandelier dazzle in this stairwell (decoist)
A flowing chandelier highlights this stairwell
A flowing chandelier highlights this stairwell (Pinterest)
A multi-level light fixture adds drama and interest to the stairwell
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.

Sidelights highlight this stairwell
Sidelights highlight this stairwell (homedit)
Wall lights provide targeted illumination on the stairwell
Wall lights provide targeted illumination on the stairwell (residencestyle)
Step lights keep the stairwell illuminated
Step lights keep the stairwell illuminated (guupress)
LED lights underneath the steps provide illumination for the stairwell
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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