We spend what can often seem like half a day running up and down our stairs. We send our children to sit on them when they misbehave and we might even have a sit and mope there ourselves when we have had an argument with our partner. But we very rarely think about our stairs in terms of home design. At the very most we may ponder a new carpet runner for them from time to time.
This is a shame, as the staircase is so central to a house (unless you live in a bungalow), so transforming this feature can make a massive impact on your home styling and radically update your home. It can increase the sense of light in your home, increase storage or just offer you the advantages of a major refit without the cost.
Beyond simply carpeting, the easiest thing that you can do is jazz up your stairs with some paint or some wallpaper. If your stairs are good enough to show off without carpeting you can sand the wood and give them a splash of brightly-coloured paint. You can afford to be bold on the stairs, especially if they are not part of a room. Even the bannisters can be spruced up.
Lining the risers with wallpaper is a great way to use up all those lovely samples you have been hoarding for something and a mish-mash of different colours and designs can work really well if you work with a neutral colour for the rest of the staircase.
If you want to go a bit further then you can speak with a carpenter or joiner about fitting storage into your staircase. As you face your staircase, each of the risers facing you looks like a wide drawer and a skilled tradesmen can make that image a reality. Imagine, a place for all those shoes you usually trip over in the hallway. The more ambitious among you could even try it as a DIY project.
Of course, you can easily turn the space under you staircase into useful storage, but you may prefer to de-clutter and get rid of that under the stairs cupboard entirely in order to install a modern cantilever-style staircase. These staircases appear to be floating and truly cantilevered staircases balance from just one fixed point. Some, like those in the Barbican in London, run across two attached properties, cutting through the wall.
A cantilevered staircase increases the sense of light and space and will really add something to a more modern home, accentuating the period of the house. They can be costly and they may not be to everyone’s taste, but modernist homes do demand a premium from enthusiasts, with features like this certainly adding value.
One word of warning about stairs, though, and that is beware of the spiral staircase. These can be very expensive to get right and they can be a real thorn in the side when it comes to selling your home. Not everyone likes their romantic appeal, especially if they are thinking how they are going to get their new beds and sofas to the top of the house. And you certainly don’t want your child getting dizzy trying to find the naughty step.