5 Ways to Make Your Stairwell Stand Out

February 23, 2017

What is the most forgotten area of your home when it comes to design and color? Chances are that your answer includes hallways and stairwells. These areas tend to lack design, color and proper lighting. In fact, most homeowners see stairwells as only a utilitarian part of their home – a way to get from point A to point B. But they can be a part of your overall design rather than serve as a boring passageway!  


Here are five ways to help your stairwell or hallway stand out.


  • Use Architecture – If your home has architectural details such as an archway, a detailed banister, or even a stain-glass window in this area, emphasize those features. Choose a color that makes the detail stand out or color coordinate so that the detail is spotlighted. If the home has high ceilings that you want to play that up by choosing a paint technique that shows off the architecture.
  • Brighten Things Up – If you have a stairwell that is dark or gloomy, brighten things up instantly by choosing lighter colors, new light fixtures or an interesting arrangement of your favorite family photos. Mirrored frames or accents can add light to any dark space.
  • Consider the Kickboard and Treads – With every staircase there are kickboards and treads. Instead of going with traditional wood, carpet or plain white stairs, shake things up a bit by painting patterns designs or textures on either the tread or kickboard. Choose a design that shows off your personality or one that harmonizes with your home’s decor.
  • Create an Illusion – Older homes tend to have either wide, airy stairwells or steep and narrow ones. To create the illusion of a larger space (for cramped stairwells), paint the walls, stairs and adjacent areas monochromatically. For stairwells that are oversized, break up the space by adding a color combination.
  • Create a Theme – Homeowners have a blank slate in each stairwell or hallway. Choose to decorate with paint or decorative accents that tells a story or creates a theme. If you love the great outdoors, use earth tones and display your favorite nature photos. If you enjoy travel, create a souvenir wall from your trips. Paint the walls to match your favorite destination whether it is in the mountains or at the beach. Each time you go up those stairs you will remember your past adventures. Use a landing area as a showcase of your favorite items no matter what your theme might be.

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