Often overlooked, the staircase is usually the first area of your home that guests see. You use your stairs daily but we usually tend to neglect them with uninspired decor. So banish the beige and retire the raggy rugs, it's time to give your stairs a new lease of life. Here's our top five tips:
1. Mirror, Mirror
Stairs are narrow by nature, so clever use of mirrors can vastly open up an otherwise confined area. Larger 'planes' of mirror work best, as small detailed mirrors can overcrowd a slight area.
Hanging mirrors on walls opposite a window will reflect lots of natural light for a bright and airy-feeling space.
2. Brand New Bannister
Maintaining the opening up theme; have you considered updating your bannister? Such jobs were once considered a huge and expensive undertaking, but today it is easy to find reasonably priced and innovative specialists.
Many 1920s homes often have solid wood panels that 'block in' stairs. One alternative would be to replace these dense, dark panels with spindles immediately giving a more open feeling and allowing more natural light to flood into the hallway area below.
Timber is the traditional choice, but metal spindles are becoming progressively popular. There is also the option to replace with sheets of glass, which bring a sleek and modern edge.
And for the handrail, why not try something a little leftfield? Brushed nickel, chrome, or even a sanded-down natural kinked tree (a-la-Grand Designs). The more creative the better!
3. Treat Your Treads
So often we lay carpets over our staircases, forever hiding the beautiful wood beneath. Why not restore your wooden stairs? Sand, polish, stain, paint and wax your way to beautiful, timeless stairs!
If there is no restoration possibility, and a new staircase is out of the question, why not get creative with your carpets? Striped patterns are popular as they can help with the illusion of lengthening and broadening your staircase.
However 'rainbow stairs' are becoming the must-have stairs as of late. You can even use offcuts of carpet to achieve the look, making it a cost effective transformation. The use of paint on the vertical treads is also a unique way to create a cool staircase. Leave horizontal treads natural wood, or opt for light colours for maximum effect.
4. Return To The Rods
Carpet rods - also sometimes referred to as stair rods - were traditionally used to hold in place carpet runners on stairs, as well as to hide mismatched patterns.
They fell out of fashionable favour after carpeting techniques - and carpet quality - improved and became more readily available to the masses. However, carpet rods have made a comeback in recent years with key interior designers, providing a romantic ode to the past... not to mention a fabulous feature! Although today carpet rods are used mostly for decorative purposes, they can add an immediate touch of style to any staircase.
Chalk board paint is a great option for the artistically gifted - as the pattern and feel can be changed as often as you like with chalks!
The ombre trend seems to have taken over everywhere, and our stairs aren't about to miss out! Ombre stairs look very effective although a professional will most likely be needed to achieve this look successfully.
5. Pick A Pattern
A common trick used by most of us is to paint the walls a pale shade to reflect light and give a feeling of space. Although this is useful, it can also look a little dull. Why not introduce pattern to create interesting layers to your decor? A deceptively small space can be made interesting and airy by sticking to light colours with larger patterns. Smaller patterns may run the risk of creating a hectic and busy space, but try lots of samples and pick your favourite!
Remember, your staircase and hallway is a room in itself. Although it is often the last place we choose to decorate, remember it is another opportunity to display your character and personality. Get creative and make the most of every inch of your home!
Pop into your local Whitegates office
, where we have hundreds of properties for sale and to rent, many with fab staircases, just crying out for your magic touch!
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