A little fun fact about me: I’ve always been fascinated with space planning, layouts and the structure of homes. I even spent several years studying architecture, which culminated in a Master of Architecture degree. I love it that much!

With this background, I often approach a new interior design project with an architectural eye: seeking opportunities for big changes. However, our clients’ homes can often be vastly improved with just small cosmetic updates. While each project is unique, one area that can have the most impact on your home and the way you live is your staircase.

Read on to see how to take stair design to the next level without a total renovation.


Stair Runners

I understand first-hand the challenges involved with renovating a home while trying to maintain a work/life balance (check out the recent mini-renovation of my own home here), so I wanted to start off by introducing an uber-easy approach to creating a WOW stair with minimal effort. Adding a runner to a staircase has a big impact visually and has the added bonus of giving your treads a little extra grip. This is good for the kids that come tearing down the stairs multiple times a day.


I just love what this stair runner (pictured above) does to the space. Although simple in design, this custom wool runner softens the interior while maintaining the neutral and cozy aesthetic.

pattern-stair-runnerAlternatively, get a little wild with your stair! Many broadloom carpets can be turned into a stair runner. The one above is a navy cheetah print and we had it bound in a solid navy.

Change out your tired stair balusters and handrails! 

If you’re looking to make more of a change, consider the possibility of installing new railings. This definitely involves more time and requires a mini-reno, but the outcome makes it worth it.

There are TONS of options when it comes to stair railings. Envision what your space could look like with something different: glass, rope, metal, wood. The options are endless!


In the image above, the railings feature a fab combination of glass set within a white metal frame, and they are capped with a stained wood handrail. In combination with the wood treads, this is a contemporary and cool look.


If you prefer a transitional style, a simple, metal baluster is likely a good fit. In this example (above), not only is the runner amazing, but the metal balusters with the unique and custom design are quietly stunning. The substantial handrail in the dark espresso stain is a beautiful contrast to the light colored, large-scale porcelain on the floor.


If you want instant gratification, try a whimsical wallpaper or an innovative art installation in your stair hall! This makes for a stellar transformation and requires zero renovation. If I am speaking your language, check out the images below for some fun, staircase ideas.

Whimsical Wallpaper:


An Insta-Art Installation:

With any project, careful planning and consideration are a must, but don’t forget to have fun in the process and enjoy the countless possibilities! For more interior design inspiration, head over to my Pinterest and Instagram pages.