Scuffed-up treads, off-color carpet and time-worn railing systems don't accomplish any sort of "look" when it comes to staircases. In fact, such old and outdated features can be a significant drag on your interior design. Changes to your stairs can transform your entire space. And any one of these five updates can turn this simple architectural necessity into a stunning showpiece.
1. Modernize the railings
Your railing system could be the one thing standing between you and a polished, modern aesthetic. Outdated spindles and handrails don't inspire – they simply function. Your railings can be functional as well as complementary. So, if your staircase is out of date, consider upgrading to a system that fits your style and personality.
Glass railings, for example, are a perfect fit for minimal modern designs. They create a sleek, updated look. And horizontal metal railings are a high-end trend that can bring your stairs out of the past and into the height of style. They enhance a modern, industrial design as an anchoring focal point. Plus, they're available in various metals, such as aluminum and stainless steel.
2. Upgrade the spindles
Replace your spindles – or balusters – with wrought-iron styles that speak to your personality. The metal trend is growing and, as high-end designers demand more and more customized designs, your options in the wrought-iron market are growing as well. This material can be manipulated into curves, arches and geometric shapes to create unique and playful designs. You can also find it in traditional or minimal designs. Whichever suits you, simply swap out your outdated oak spindles for wrought iron and keep the wooden handrail to blend traditional with contemporary.
3. Play up the risers
When you look at the stairs straight-on, the risers take up the most visual space. This is where you can get the greatest advantage with the smallest budget. Give your staircase a big pop of personality with colorful paint or wallpaper – or integrate both by alternating them. Get a sleek, sophisticated look with white paint or an elegant, minimal pattern. For as little as $10, you can even buy peel-and-stick decals in various colors and designs to enhance your stairs in less than an hour.
4. Roll out a runner
A runner is one of the easiest and highest-impact options for updating your staircase. It won't only make your stairs more safe, it will also add visual interest and personality. A runner that sharply contrasts your stairs can give them a modern look in an instant. A runner that features regal patterns and lush colors can add elegance and richness. A wild color, like bright pink or Mediterranean blue, can change the look and feel of the entire space around it – and reflect your personal style.
5. Play with paint
Anything is possible with paint. Paint your balusters in an accent color you've chosen for your space, such as a sunflower yellow to match a piece of art. Create depth by painting the railing and balusters slightly similar shades, such as terra cotta and a warm, deep brown to complement your clay decor. For a bold color scheme, consider a rainbow or ombre look.
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