How to easily upgrade your staircase decor

When you think about home makeovers, what comes to mind first? Kitchen? Bathroom? Basement? You’ve probably thought of everything but the stairs.

Updating a staircase is rarely top of mind, even though it’s one of the most noticeable elements of a home. The process may seem like an intimidating undertaking, but you can opt for easy DIY techniques that will make your staircase a charming and  functional focal point. All you’ll need is some inspiration to get started — we’ve got you covered — and a can-do attitude. These ideas are budget-friendly, too!

Risers over runners

If you have wood stairs, don’t settle for a basic carpet runner. Zhush up your stairs by drawing all attention to the risers (the vertical area under each step). Go for bold paint or wallpaper to create a dramatic contrast between the treads and the risers.

To make the job even easier, use peel-and-stick wallpaper — some styles are made just for stairs! They come in many different patterns and textures and they’re easy to install. They also won’t break the bank.

Beautify the balusters and banisters

Swapping wooden balusters for wrought iron spindles is an easy way to vamp up your staircase without a major renovation. You can find tons of different materials and colours online, or for a hint of luxury, use gold paint as an accent on the spindles and the newel post finials. If you want to go an extra step, you can add patterned trims and skirts to bring it all together.

Two-toned staircases can really make your home feel elegant. Opt for a banister that closely matches your flooring, then find a contrasting colour for the spindles. For example, if you have dark hardwood flooring or carpet, use a dark banister and white spindles.

Accentuate the wall

Draw eyes to the staircase walls instead of the steps! As far as accent walls are concerned, board and batten walls (patterns made with wood trims) are very trendy right now. The design and colour possibilities are endless, but grids seem to be the most popular. It’ll take a bit of effort, but the end result of the wainscotting is absolutely worth the wait!

If you don’t want to put in the effort of a board and batten wall, take on a simpler project and create an accent wall instead. Highlight the area using wallpaper, tape art, peel-and-stick murals, or a gallery of your favourite framed photos. Mix frame styles, colours, and sizes for an eclectic display you’ll love passing by every day.

Let there be light

Lit up stairs are a common sight outdoors, so why not give it a try indoors? This is a great way to effortlessly revamp and brighten up a staircase without changing the design completely. You can incorporate lights in a few ways — by hanging a statement ceiling lamp or by adding lights along the sides or bottom of the steps. The latter is a great addition to contemporary or industrial design stairs. Beyond aesthetics, lit up stairs are functional. You won’t miss a step if you need to climb up or down in the dark!

Updating your staircase doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming. You can find inspiration on the internet or in nature, then once you know what direction you want to go in, you’ll uncover plenty of options to fit your vision.

Whether you choose to replace carpet with hardwood, create an accent wall, line the steps with lights or plants, or paint the risers, your stairs can go from being the most overlooked area of your home to the centre of attention.