When we decorate stairway walls, we give our homes a creative touch that is unique and personal. We think of a stairway as a way to get from one floor to the other, but a stairway wall can rise above the practical.
With their ample wall space stairway walls offer an unexplored area where you can add extra storage, create a striking gallery, or amp up the color of your home. Take a look at these stairway wall decor ideas to see how you can turn your blank wall into your home’s best asset.
Ways to Decorate Stairway Walls
Ways to decorate a stairway wall can be as unique as each individual.
Create Extra Storage
Use the extra wallspace of a stairway to create needed storage. Store items like books, or create deeper shelving to display small items like bowls, sculptures, and plants.
In this design from HBH Joinery, they have created a simple bookcase along the largest wall of the staircase. This serves to store extra items and to give the staircase a more custom style.
For this staircase bookcase from Risinger Homes, the designers used the space between the stairway levels to create an integrated shelf. The designers played off the exposed framing of the house’s design to extend the surface of the stairs to create the shelf.
Use a stairway wall to create a gallery of your favorite artwork or pictures of your family vacations. You can use an eclectic mix of sizes or use the same shape and color wall art for a more unified look.
This design from James Michael Howard utilizes pictures of a similar size and subject. The uniformity of the design is relieved by the addition of the mirrored wall sconces.
The stairway gallery wall from Heidi Caillier is more eclectic in style. This fits the colorful and textured style of the home design.
Add Depth with Millwork
Using molding or millwork is a gorgeous way to add interest to a staircase wall while still keeping a low profile. Millwork has amazing versatility. You can create a look that is traditional or contemporary. Molding is also great to use if your staircase is used by little ones. You can add interest to your staircase so that you can forgo items that can be knocked down. Painted molding is also easy to clean.
In this design from William D. Earls, the millwork paneling creates a grid-like pattern. After they have painted it to complement the trim in the home, it blends but still creates an elegant and formal style.
AD Design Develop used vertical wood slats to create the contemporary millwork for this stairway.
Paint is one of the most ideal stairway wall decor ideas if you are on a budget. Use a bold-colored paint to create a fun accent wall or use paint to create the look of more expensive molding. Whatever you choose, don’t be afraid to experiment. You can vary to the look of this stairway wall decor without breaking the bank.
In this contemporary home in Sydney, the designer used an electric blue color to create a bold accent wall. Complement the color you choose with a similar repeated tone in other areas of the house.
Jessica Helgerson used a metal gray paint to divide the stairway wall and create the look of molding.
Wallpaper offers endless possibilities for stairway wall decor. It is optimal for stairways because it does not take up valuable floor space, and it offers color and depth. It also has a wide range of styles. It can complement contemporary as well as traditional and historic home styles.
For this home design, Elza B. Design used this lighthearted wallpaper to blend the historic home style with the homeowner’s eclectic taste. The wallpaper offers enough interest that no other decor is needed.
If you own a more industrial or rustic style home, a textured wall might be the element you need for decorating stairway walls. Use brick or stone veneer for industrial spaces or rough wood for rustic and farmhouse homes.
Choose to cover the entire wall, like they did in this design from Kaminski + Pew. Or, cover just part of the wall if cost is a concern.
One of the most useful wall decor ideas for stairway areas is as a placeholder for collections. This serves a dual purpose of creating an interesting display while negating the need for extra storage space. If you collect baskets, bowls, or animal heads, a stairway wall can make an ideal spot for display. Group items together to create a dramatic display or place items along the entire wall up the stairway.
This collection of antique oars makes for a fitting stairway decoration for this beach-style staircase from Rebecca Driggs Interiors.
Keep it Simple
Some stairways look the best with no decor at all. Therefore, if your stairway has a beautiful design, too much decor may distract from the elegance of its shape.
For this beautiful stairway, the designer chose to not add extra embellishment along the wall. They let the elegant stairway design stand on its own.
Some stairway walls lack windows, so it can be helpful to reflect light from other sources. Use mirrors provide added dimension to stairway walls. Group them together to create a gallery-like display, or use one large statement mirror to create one focal point.
This stairway in a home in the Channel Islands uses mirrors placed at regular intervals along the wall to reflect the light from above.
Some stairways are high and benefit from larger wall decor. These can be ideal for large found objects like window frames, doors, and shutters.
Ryan Street Architects used a rustic door to decorate the stairway of this Austin farmhouse.
Oversized Wall Art
If you want the simplicity of design style but don’t have a cool architectural object, use oversized wall art to give your staircase style. Oversized wall art makes good stairway wall decorations because they are simple yet chic and stylish.
Use oversized wall art on the landing of a stairway wall.
Or, use it along a single stairway wall. Both of these approaches allow your wall art to be noticed as a stairway is located in a much-used part of the home.
Some stairways need just lighting to give them all the decor they need. You can add lighting along the wall in the form of sconces. Also, you can use overhead statement lighting that adds interest to the area overall.
Peninsula Architects used both approaches in this stairway design in this contemporary home. They added wall sconces to light the way up the stairs as well as a striking ceiling fixture.
Mix it Up
It can be difficult to decide on just one approach to decorating your stairway wall. Therefore, it can work well to mix different methods.
For example, this stairway wall design from Holmes + Salter Interiors mixes painted wood paneling with wall sconces.
In another example, Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd uses several elements to create this stairway design. They use wallpaper, paneling, lighting, and storage to provide this cozy reading nook on the stairway landing.