This overlooked area deserves a makeover. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated June 28, 2019
Amy Carroll

Okay, so the stairs may not be the first spot you think to decorate in your home—but once you take a peek at these gorgeous staircase decorating ideas, you're going to want to elevate your stair's style. It's amazing how a swipe of paint or some floral wallpaper can transform an average set of stairs into a showstopper. Especially if your stairs are visible from the front door, an easy refresh can make a memorable first impression. Want to keep it simple? Some fresh paint on the risers will do the trick. Have more time for a big update? Add an elegant DIY runner. No matter which of the ideas below catches your eye, it's guaranteed to bring your home decor to new heights.

Choose a Moody Hue

Before Ellie of @e.t.shown_home made over her staircase, it was swathed in outdated floral carpeting. To modernize the space, she ditched the carpet and painted the risers black while leaving the wooden treads unpainted. The effect is a beautiful study in contrast. To get a similar look, go bold with a dark hue on the risers, and if you have wooden treads, let their natural beauty shine.

DIY a Runner

Designer and stylist Megan Pflug crafted this one-of-a-kind stair runner out of vintage rugs. The finished look is rich and inviting, and feels much more special than a store-bought runner.

Opt for Ombre

For a staircase that's bound to collect compliments, follow Christin from Mueller Manor's lead and create an ombre effect. Christin started with Sherwin-Williams Watery on the base riser, and then added white to create progressively lighter shades.

Pick a Pattern

In a neutral space, adding pattern to the staircase will really make it pop. The visual proof: just check out photographer Amy Carroll's stunning staircase, above. Adding the pattern is easier (and more affordable) than you might think—what looks like real tile is actually stickers by Quadrostyle.

Embrace the Change

It took Maggie from @our_edwardian_home a while to actually decide to paint her wooden staircase. But in the end, taking the risk paid off. A coat of dark paint and a striped runner later, she couldn't be happier with how her now "grown up" hallway looks. For a polished staircase, combine a fresh coat of paint with a runner in a coordinating color. As Maggie points out, not only is the new staircase easy on the eyes, but it also feels nice underfoot.

Play a Wild Card

Camila Pavone's style is bright, colorful, and patterned, so it's no surprise that even her staircase (photographed by Erin Kestenbaum) makes a statement. For a standout style that will attract attention, go ahead and add animal prints to this unexpected spot.