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28 Striking Staircase Ideas to Makeover Any Space (Big or Small)

Oct 15, 2023

From ultra-modern designs to space-saving setups, and everything in between.

While your staircase serves an obvious function by connecting the levels in your home, it also plays an important role in its design. Often, the staircase is the main character of a chic entryway (meaning it's first thing guests see) or it's centrally located in an open-concept interior. Either way, staircases add visual interest to a space and they deserve just as much attention as the rest of your home — whether that be in the form of wall decorating, lighting or creative railing ideas. From grand entrances to an inviting foyer, we've rounded up stunning staircase ideas to pair with every home style.

As you scroll through these inspirational photos, you'll find clever ways to use the space under your stairs — a reading nook, home library and tiny office, to name a few. You'll learn about different types of staircase design, like spiral, curved, L-shape and winder — plus, what might work best for your home. And, if you're looking to keep costs low, we've included a number of budget-friendly DIY projects like installing a staircase runner, painting stair treads or adding trendy wallpaper to the stairwell.

If you've been keeping up with this year's design trends, you'd know that stripes, warm woods and gold fixtures are everywhere — so, of course you'll notice those pop up. We also sprinkled in timeless styles like wrought iron railings, traditional chandeliers and the classic black and white color combination. The choice is yours!

Upgrade your banister with a fresh coat of paint, whether you stick to a neutral shade or go for a bright hue. Here, interior designer Kate Lester chooses a playful baby blue.

RELATED: Top Paint Color Trends for 2023, According to Designers

For this L-shaped staircase, Studio Munroe adds a subtle geometric runner rug to bring texture to this bright entryway.

To achieve a clean, natural aesthetic, interior designer Emily Henderson sticks to white walls, then layers in reclaimed wood treads and a vertical black railing.

Craft a cozy corner beneath the stairs, filling it with plush throw pillows and blankets. Designed by Ashley Gilbreath, this light-filled nook is the perfect place to rest or read.

It's surprisingly simple to paint your stair treads. Stick with a solid shade or tackle a pattern, portrait or landscape — like these vintage-inspired flowers.

Get the tutorial at The House That Lars Built »

If you don't want to upgrade your stairs, elevate the entry with a fresh wallpaper pattern — like this red and white stripe design.

RELATED: The Latest Wallpaper Trends Designers Are Loving for 2023

Create intrigue with an ornamental wrought iron railing, like interior designer Amy Sklar does here with a unique swirled design. For a perfect pairing, she decorates with an iron lantern-style pendant in the foyer.

If you have the space, your staircase landing is the perfect place for an adorable window seat. Go for a wooden settee, tufted bench or set of sleek stools to complete the space.

This sleek interior, designed by BHDM Design, features a glossy black spiral staircase that serves as the focal point of the room. Keep in mind: if you're in a smaller home or apartment, spiral staircases take up less space.

Probably the most obvious way to upgrade your stairwell is with a show-stopping chandelier. Take a note from interior designer Reena Sotropa and find a fixture that doubles as art.

Make use of an awkward space by building a quiet reading nook under your curved staircase. Interior designer Bria Hammel adds built-book shelves and a bench, then sprinkles in a mix of modern and antique decor.

Not only does this timber staircase screen by Teass | Warren Architects create a sense of privacy and separation, it also serves as a safety precaution. Now, it's impossible to fall to the right of this sleek staircase.

Layer in vintage pieces, whether that's in the form of artwork, furniture or tabletop decor. One example: this historic desk at the foot of the stairs paired with a set of heirloom table lamps.

From the floral wallpaper and gallery wall full of mirrors to the fresh green garland draped down the banister, this bright entry takes a maximalist approach. While we often associate garland with holiday decor, we love this idea for year-round use!

RELATED: Best Christmas Staircase Decorations to Beautify Your Holiday Home

With a triangle-shaped landing, this winder staircase is brought to live with a classic stripe runner rug. Designer Amy Sklar keeps the banister, railing and stair risers white to create balance.

Here, designer Mary Patton plays with the contrast of rich wood stair treads and a wrought iron railing against bright, white stair risers.

Adorned with handmade terracotta tiles from Tabarka Studio, this staircase exudes a fun, playful energy. Designer Michelle Lisac mixes three graphic tile designs and creates a pattern as you move up each riser.

Make any staircase feel grand with striking artwork, especially a black-and-white display that covers the majority of the wall. Recreate this look from designer Maggie Griffin and consider a triptych.

Whether it's with built-ins or narrow cabinets, storage at the bottom of the stairs is a great way to maximize space. Don't forget the details though. Sleek brass door hardware can add a touch of luxury to the setup.

Find more inspiration from Reena Sotropa »

With a little inspiration and elbow grease, you can install your own patterned runner. According to this blogger, it's best to go with an indoor/outdoor rug made out of polypropylene or a wool rug — and definitely avoid cotton.

Get the tutorial at Cherished Bliss »

Alyssa Gautieri (she/her) is the associate lifestyle editor for Good Housekeeping, where she covers all things home and interior design. Prior to joining GH in 2022, she wrote for publications including ELLE Decor, Chairish,, Unique Homes Magazine and LODGING Magazine, in addition to crafting product copy for home brands like BrylaneHome and VIGO Industries.

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