Want a hit of playfulness without making over an entire room? Here are four DIY ideas for a gorgeous staircase.
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Ombré Paint Job
Choose consecutive colors on the same paint strip. For the stairs on the opening page, we used five shades, on three stairs apiece. A small, angled brush is best for edges; use a larger brush to fill in. From top: Icing on the Cake, Forget Me Not, Spectra Blue, Peacock Blue, Teal Ocean, $16 a quart,benjaminmoore.comfor stores.
2 of 4Jonny Valiant
Prompt spontaneous creativity with a clean (or artfully decorated) slate. Go basic black or bold—chalkboard-paint colors span the rainbow. Tip: Clean with a damp cloth rather than an eraser to minimize chalk dust and slippery stairs. Chalkboard paint, $25 a quart,hudsonpaint.com.
3 of 4Jonny Valiant
Waves of Wallpaper
Consider cheating by adhering with double-stick tape instead of glue. Use a small smoother to eliminate bubbles, a single-edge razor to trim, and Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic spray to protect against scuffs (all sold at hardware stores). Sigourney 2470-04WP by China Seas, $168 a roll, Design Professionals, 212-759-5408.
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Multiple Mini Mirrors
Sheets of slightly irregular mosaic mirrors bounce light around and add exotic flair. You’ll need a tile cutter (Precision glass tile nipper, $13, lowes.com) and a bit of time—or a trusted handyman. Measure twice, cut once! Silver Mirror subway tiles, $18 for a square-foot sheet,marylandmosaics.com.