Stairway to heaven

Stairway to heaven

Talking of home decor, the area that receives the least attention is the stairway. Though it generally runs off a living room, scant or no attention is paid to it. However, with a dash of creativity, it can be made the focal point of any home.

A creative challenge

Dressing up staircases can be both interesting and challenging, considering the myriad options available. When the staircase is running off the living room, care should be taken to ensure that its design complements the theme of the house. Since such staircases are in view, subtle aesthetic elements go a long way in adding pizzazz to the otherwise boring area.

To begin with, give the wall around the staircase a closer look as it plays a very important role in the dressing up of stairways. If the walls are neutral, then the stairs can be in bright and bold hues and vice versa.

The bare wall adjoining the staircase also gives space for a lot of creativity. It can actually be turned into a little art gallery by displaying small paintings, framed drawings and photographs. Fixed at an ideal height, these pieces of art sure help the style quotient of a staircase shoot up. Sometimes, when the staircase is in a living room that is not large enough, or in a narrow hallway, an illusion of space can be created by fixing framed mirrors along the wall adjoining the staircase.

Railings in focusNext come the railings. They should be easy to grasp and at a height that’s just right. The material used for the railings should either be wood or metal as they are easy to clean and non-slippery.

If it is in wood, carvings can also be incorporated in it, adding a classy look to the overall décor of the house. When it comes to the material used for the staircase, the most popular options are marble, granite or wood.

While marble and granite look great, they can tend to be hazardous as they are quite slippery. However, there are ways and means of overcoming this shortcoming. Currently, wood is the safest option available, and looks great too.

However, if you are looking at staircases solely from their utilitarian aspect and if safety is your major concern, then go in for carpet runners. Available in a variety of appealing colours, styles and designs, carpet runners can make staircases warm and welcoming. They not only add a touch of elegance but are good safety measures against slippery stairway materials. They also act as noise absorbers on wooden staircases. They are easy to maintain too.

New trendsThe current trend is to sport glass staircases. Though these glass staircases look exotic and seem to facilitate the free flow of light and air between the steps, they are for visual appeal only. Imagine glass staircases in homes with old people and small children! Hence, it is best to avoid such complexities.

While dressing up stairways, lighting is an important element that cannot be overlooked. A stairway should be well-lit at all times of the day. If skylights seem like an interesting option for lighting during the day, adequate lighting in terms of both overhead and floor lighting is of absolute necessity after sunset.

Care should be taken to ensure that all the light fixtures near the staircase are easily accessible so that bulbs can be changed without much of a hassle.

Today, staircases perform many other functions that they were never meant to earlier. They are doubling up as book shelves and storage drawers too. Such staircases are generally away from the living room. 

A popular trend nowadays is to line the walls of the staircase with books and using risers as storage drawers. Innovative and stylish space-saving solutions are definitely worth considering.

Now, don’t you feel like giving your stairways a second look?

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