How to Maximize a Staircase Wall
Have you ever noticed that, in many public places, staircases are kind of scary? An echoey, dingy, flesh-colored concrete vertical tube broken up only by the sound of your own footsteps. Although I like to bypass the elevator whenever possible, I’ve never felt comfortable in back staircases like these. Fortunately for us all, this doesn’t mean our homes’ staircase spaces must follow suit! They can be lovely, interesting, and inspiring spaces if decorated effectively. Like these:
The architectural detail on this large staircase wall is simple and stunning. The rectangle forms enlarge the space, as our eyes simultaneously stretch horizontally (the length of the staircase) and vertically (to the ceiling). This is a lovely example that walls don’t always need “stuff” hanging on them to make a statement.
This charming rustic vignette is both interesting and simple. The photo colors are kept neutral (most black and white), frames are varied in size and shape but similar in color and form (most distressed cream), and everything is set off beautifully by the soft wall color. The use of “empty” frames is particularly delightful here.
Landings are often an underused prime piece of décor real estate on a staircase. Loads of white space and a few carefully selected photos in identical frames at the landing make this otherwise visually lightweight staircase pack a powerful punch.
This staircase is very unique; however, I love the replicable idea of incorporating narrow bookshelves into the landing wall (and, on more common staircases, into any wall adjacent to the staircase). This is an aesthetically striking and functional use of what is far too often “dead space.”
Rather than being excluded from the adjoining room, this staircase is seamlessly integrated into the space with color-complementary wallpaper and artwork. Narrow vertical stripes on the far wall add charm, and botanical artwork with matching green mattes add fresh detail. Painted an earthy chocolate brown, the stair forms and railing seem to ground the space’s dominant earthy pastel palette.
For the cozy staircase, consider turning every square inch into a gallery wall. This eclectic mix of art, frames, colors, and sizes is unified mostly by being squeezed together into a small space. For maximum impact, hang art from the floor level up to ceiling; on a staircase, “floor level” is relative…it’s often “eye level” first, which makes it the perfect place for art appreciation.