BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

Get the Look: Elements of a Stylish Stairwell

Beautiful stairwells with loads of personality are on my brain these days. I painted my stairwell (goodbye beige) a couple of weeks ago, and now I’m working on adding personality to it. And naturally that got me to thinking about the elements of a stylish stairway: banisters, artwork, the stair surface (carpet, wood), and walls. Here’s what I’m feeling inspired by currently:

1. Banisters

If the architecture of your stairwell allows for a visual banister, consider something outside the box. Railings can come in a variety of different materials – anything from wood to metal or glass. These two below are my current faves due to their bright colors.

A gorgeous fretwork railing is stunning on its own, but painted this eye-popping coral, it becomes a serious style statement.

Coral fretwork


This metal railing feels fresh and beachy painted in a bold marine blue.

Blue banister


2. Artwork

This collection of family photos in black and white has loads of personality when framed in bright emerald green frames to match the painted “runner.”


But if your style runs a little more eclectic, this colorful display feels fun with a varied collection of frames, artwork, and other ephemera. Did you see the zebra runner too? It’s all a fun spin on what looks to be an otherwise traditional space (those floors and banister!).

funky gallery wall


Speaking of eclecticism, all the mirrors on this stairwell are totally different, but they are given continuity thanks to their monochromatic color scheme. This would be an easy and potentially inexpensive DIY with mirrors from estate or garage sales. A fresh coat of spray paint et voila!

Fretwork railing


3. Flooring

The options for stairwell flooring runs the gamut. We currently have carpet, but I’m curious about removing it and doing something a little more visual. Runners are a great way to express your style – anything from a specific shape, such as this Chinoiserie-inspired nailhead runner to something a little more casual like a stripe.



Sisal is a chic option, and it feels so clean and crisp when bordered in this black contrast trim.

Urban Electric


But there’s something to be said for full-on carpet when it’s as colorful and graphic as this green quatrefoil below.

Quatrefoil carpet runner


For all you DIY-ers out there, check out Dash & Albert’s extremely detailed how-to post on installing your own runners. This makes me think I could absolutely tackle this project myself!

4. Walls

Wallpaper, paint, or trim — any of these can add style to the stairwell. I love how this white and black polka dot wallpaper below feels especially preppy with that emerald green runner. It isn’t overwhelming since it’s papered on only one wall.

polka dot walls


And for texture, shiplap adds loads of charm and texture.

Shiplap stairs


I love a great stairwell and it’s a great place to have some fun. I can’t wait to finalize the design for mine!

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