The staircase is an often overlooked feature in a home-- unless you happen to have a sweeping open staircase like the one in Gone with the Wind. Most staircases are pretty utilitarian, whether they are open or closed; however, you can wake them up a bit with some clever carpet or color treatments.
For instance, if your staircase is covered with matching carpet to coordinate with the rest of the rooms and you find it a bit dull, you can change it out with an interesting texture or patterned piece that will make a statement in your room. Carpet on stairs often takes a beating in the wear department, so changing it out might be a practical solution.
Stairs that are open and uncovered with carpet can take a hit of color and can be easily changed as your mood or tastes change. Consider painting a “runner” up the stairs with a bold color and border it for a finished look. Paint is so versatile; try just painting the risers, which is less of a commitment than the entire staircase painted like a rug runner.
Country and cottage houses can benefit with a bit of whimsy, such as painting each stair and riser with a different color, or by adding fun decals to each riser. Those of you with a wicked sense of humor you can simply paint a small mouse hole near the edge of one of the stairs-- just for fun. You many have seen magazines featuring numbers up the staircase, either painted stencils or applied using different metal numbers otherwise intended for identifying your address outside. The sky’s the limit with these fun ideas; especially for households with young children or those who are just young at heart.
Dark staircases do not need to be overlooked; add a pretty chandelier to illuminate the space and cast some pretty shadow effects on the walls. It is fairly common to showcase family photos up the staircase, but can be difficult to hang them. Try matching frames and keeping them close together to form more of a collage effect. By keeping the frames the same, you will help the collection be more unified--even though the subjects are varied. With today’s technology, it is easy to transform your favorite family photos into different tones, like sepia and black and white. Then you can use a collection of colored frames that all match and coordinate with your stair color whether painted or carpeted.
Always prepare your staircase for painting by roughing up the surface with a light sanding or chemical product, and use a paint intended for stairs, usually an outdoor product. Check with your favorite paint store expert.