The Stairing Contest: How to Breathe a Little Life Back Into a Run-Down Staircase
If it’s time to breathe some new life into your old staircase, you have many options from which to choose, depending on how drastic of a change you want. The first step in renovating your staircase is to decide what needs to go, and what can be changed. Old, frayed carpet not only poses as a safety hazard, but can date your stairs by decades. Perhaps your stairs have beautiful wood work that could be brought back to life with some stain and polish? Do you have old, rickety railings that could use an update? Does your staircase create a boring void in an otherwise decorated home? If your staircase is acting as a big black hole in the middle of your home, it’s not too late to breathe a little life into this area and step up to better home décor.
Rising to the Occasion
The risers are one of the easiest part of the staircase to update. Because the surface of the risers often go untouched, they can be covered with any material that is flat. A good coat of paint will go a long way with any part of a staircase, but with some imagination, paint can go even further with the risers. Using stencils or freehand, words can be painted on the risers to leave a message for those ascending the stairs. Painting or wallpapering a bright color on the risers could contrast a darker color on the tread for a refreshing change. Experimenting with the risers will offer more color and texture to an outdated or boring staircase that could use a little fun.
Updating your handrail can be inspiring as well as a necessary safety upgrade. Painting the handrail a bright accent color will provide an interesting splash of color, and may help people find the rail in dim light. For a modern look, you can use wrought iron railings that come in unique designs, and will last you for much longer than if you use other materials. If changing the hardware isn’t enough of a change, or if you don’t have a rail to begin with, you might consider installing a sturdy banister. With a banister, you can get creative with paneling, and turn a simple staircase into a masterpiece.
If your staircase has multiple landings, wear and tear will show especially in these areas. Paint, wood stain, and carpet are always options, to breathe a little life into your landings, yet there are less conventional options out there as well. Creative tiling or mosaic work can be applied to the landing to add interest, and will last a long time. Vinyl tape is a simple option that provides a lot of pop, especially on the stairs. Simply lay the tape down in the pattern you wish and suddenly your stairs can have stripes, bright colors, or even a faux runner.
Chalk-full of Good Ideas
The best options for updating your staircase will involve making the area more “homey” by adding some personality. The walls and risers of your staircase can be painted with blackboard or whiteboard paint so messages, notes, or even drawings can be left and erased to make way for new ones. Whether your family is artistic or not, making the staircase an outlet for creativity and a home to secret messages will not make the area much more lively, but interactive as well.
Stairway to Heaven
Some staircases appear boring or outdated because they are poorly lighted. Existing lighting fixtures can be updated quickly by changing out the glass domes or covers with a more modern look. Hidden lighting can be achieved with the use of L.E.D. lights, or even rope lighting along the handrail. Hiding the source of light beneath the lip of the steps, or behind the railing will provide a soft glow that looks modern, and also provides a little extra help when climbing the stairs at night.
No matter the change, updating your staircase will add beauty and value to your home. Oftentimes, the staircase in your foyer is the first thing that guests will see. Add a little personality and punch to your staircase, and you can easily transform the entire look of your home. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Riverside Ironwork Canada Inc. who specialize in wrought iron staircase railings in North Vancouver.
About Dixie Somers
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for women’s interests and home décor. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.