12 Best Stairway Decorating Ideas with 50 Inspiration Photos

When it comes to decorating your home, the staircase is often one of the most overlooked areas. It’s time to change that, as stairway decorating ideas can help you add much interest and personality to the space.

From photos and artwork to mirrors and tiled risers, there are endless possibilities when it comes to stairs and staircase walls. Start by brainstorming the main directions to go and taking a look at some stunning staircase wall ideas.

1. Organize an Artwork Display

If you’re wondering how to decorate a staircase wall, one great way to is to organize an artwork display. This can be done by hanging pictures, art, or even prints in a gallery-style arrangement. When doing this, it’s important to consider the overall layout of the space and to choose pieces that complement each other. Another option is to create a more eclectic look by mixing and matching different frames and sizes of artwork.

Don’t be afraid to add your gallery wall over a wallpaper or color paneling. If you are not sure how it will impact the overall interior design, matching gallery walls with half-wall wood paneling would be a safe bet. Below are ample examples to draw inspiration from.

Staircase Artwork Wall Display

Stairwell Wall Covered with Different Size Canvas

Floor to Ceiling Gallery Wall on Staircase Wall

Modern Art and Paintings on Staircase Wall

Artwork Display on the Wall Under the Staircase

Staircase Wall with Extravagant Posters

Classic Design Staircase Decoration Ideas

Small Staircase with Half Painted Wall and Black Picture Frames

Boho Staircase with Gallery Wall Wallpaper Shelves and Plants

Black and White Stairwell with Bright Pops of Color

Staircase Wall Decorated with Collectibles

2. Hang Family Photos

One of the most popular stairway decorating ideas is to hang family photos. This is a great way to make your space feel like home! When hanging family photos, it is important to fill the wall space in a way that is pleasing to the eye. If you’re using photos as a staircase wall design decor, make sure to go with either a variety of frame sizes and shapes or similar picture frames and regular intervals. A good layout will help create a sense of style and balance.

Six White Photo Frames on a Gray Staircase Landing Wall

Stairwell Walls Covered with Many Family Photos

Staircase with Risers Painted Green and Family Photos Gallery Wall

Photos Layout Idea for Decorating the Staircase Wall

3. Decorate with Mirrors and Frames

Another way to add visual interest to your stair wall design is by incorporating mirrors. Mirrors reflect light and can help brighten up a space. They also create a sense of depth and can be used to make a small, narrow space appear larger. When choosing mirrors, look for ones with interesting frames or shapes that will add an eye-catching element to the wall.

Stairway Wall Decorated with Antique Mirrors

Staircase Walls Decorated with Mirrors and Paintings

4. Add Interest with Wallpaper

Wallpaper works great for decorating staircase walls and can easily cover a large empty space. There are a variety of patterns and colors to choose from, so you can find something that fits your personal style. You may choose a bold pattern for the wallpaper and then build the rest of the wall around it. If you’re not sure which color to use, consider pulling inspiration from other elements in your hallway.

White and Dark Wood Stairs Paired with Wallpaper and Frames on the Wall

Wallpaper Accent Wall in the Stairwell

Bold Floral Wallpaper and Oversized Mirror Staircase Redesign

Contrasting Black Railing and Dark Wallpaper on the Staircase

Matching Staircase Wallpaper and Wall Paint Color

5. Tile the Risers

Tiled risers are a fantastic method to bring life and character to a staircase, especially if you want to create a Mediterranean interior design. Tile is a durable material, so it will stand up to wear and tear. Not to mention that they are easy to clean, which makes them a good choice if you have kids or pets.

By the way, you can use wallpaper in the same manner or buy stair riser stickers. Whether you hire a professional for a job, or it is a DIY small staircase makeover, the change is going to be dramatic!

Staircase with Metal Railing and Black and White Tile on Stair Rises

Modern House with Wooden Stairs Tiled Risers and Window Seat on the Landing

Spanish Tile Staircase Decoration Idea

Black Staircase with Floral Wallpaper on Risers

DIY Stairs Remodel with Paint and Wallpaper

6. Consider Wall Paneling

Wood paneling is a classic way to add texture to a stairwell wall. It can give the space a country or rustic feel or make it feel more elegant. The key is to choose the right type of wood paneling for your space. If your interior design is rather traditional, go with wainscotting and classic square panels and consider using these for the entryway walls too. If your home style is rather contemporary, you may consider abstract geometric patterns or even repeat the pattern of the rail like in one of the images below.

White Wall Paneling in the Hallway

Stairway with Black Board and Batten Accent Wall

Creative Wall Paneling Idea for Staircase Walls

7. Add an Accent Wall Color

Paint can be used to create a focal point on a staircase wall. Try painting the wall in a dark, contrasting color, and you are sure to see the whole pass through space transform. Consider enhancing the color with texture or complementary stair wall decor. This is a great way to add personality to your staircase wall.

Hallway with White Walls and Black Accent Wall on a Staircase

Small Hidden Stairwell Painted Black

Accent Wall and Large Potted Plant on Staircase Landing

8. Turn Stairwell into a Library

If you love books and want to show off your collection, consider adding a bookshelf to your staircase. If you’re handy with tools, you can do it yourself, but don’t underestimate the weight of books! Make sure you measure the space carefully and choose the appropriate shelf design before you begin the construction.

Book Shelves in Staircase Well and Reading Nook Under Stairs

Decorating Staircase with Built In Shelves

Narrow Stairwell Home Library Idea

9. Put Emphasis on the Stairway Landing

Having a nice stairway landing is the perfect opportunity to get creative with staircase ideas. One option is to add a bench or chair to the landing, providing a place to rest or read a book. Another option is to add extra storage by adding a statement console table or a bench with stylish baskets underneath. Complement it with a mirror, table decor, or an art display for a well-rounded look. This may also be a perfect spot for your seasonal display!

Shelf with Pictures and Decor on Stairs Landing

Farmhouse Bench and Decor Below the Staircase

Large Staircase with Statement Lighting and End of Stairs Window Benck

Staircase with High Walls Decorated with Large Wall Lights

Design with Tiled Stairs and Feature Sofa on Staircase Landing

10. Paint a Wall Mural

Don’t like staircases that are plain and functional? Wall murals beside the stairs might be a creative house renovation that you need. There are many different ways to create a mural, from painting directly on the wall to using decals or stickers. You may use painter’s tape to create geometric wall paint designs too. Whether you want to add a touch of whimsy to your home or make a bold statement, a stairway mural is a great way to do it.

Mural Painted on Narrow Staircase Painted Wight

Mediterranean Staircase Decoration Idea

DIY Geometric Paint Design on Stairwell Walls

11. Get a Nice Stair Runner

You have already implemented some stair wall ideas but the stairwell is still lacking the cozy, homey feel? Change that with laying a stair runner, a rug or carpet, on the floor. In addition to adding style and comfort to interiors, stair runners can also protect stairs from wear and tear. If you have carpeted stairs, you’ll want to choose a rug that is compatible with the existing carpet. If you have hardwood or tile stairs, you’ll have more freedom to choose a design that best suits your taste.

Staircase with White Half Wall Paneling and Stairs Rug

Beautiful Staircase Rug Idea

Feature Stair Runner

12. Go Big with Plants

Many people choose to add plants to their indoor spaces for a touch of nature, but most forget about one key area: the staircase. Hanging plants from the ceiling or placing them on each step can brighten up even the most mundane of staircases, and they can also help to purify the air. Mix and match different types of plants and implement some creative vertical garden solutions to lush up your space.

Mind that natural light is essential for most plants, so if your staircase doesn’t get much sun, choose low-maintenance potted plants that are known to thrive in low-light conditions. Otherwise, buy glow lights that will both help your plants grow and create a romantic atmosphere in the stairwell.

All White Staircase with Plants Display

Staircase Decorated with Floating Bookshelves and Plants

White Stairwell Walls Fully Covered with Plants and Decor

With all of the options available, there are endless possibilities for staircase decorations that will make a big impact. Get creative and have fun with it! After all, your staircase is one of the first things guests see when they enter your home, so make it reflect your personal style.


If you have a small, enclosed staircase, you can decorate it with an interesting stair wall design. If you have a larger stair landing platform, it would be awesome to decorate it with an accent chair, bench, or table complemented with a larger plant or a stylish wicker basket.     

The latest staircase trend is the use of open riser stairs. These stairs feature treads that are connected by small gaps, which creates a more open and airy look. Some ways to decorate open riser stairs is by installing light fixtures or wall sconces along the sides as well as adding decorative railing spindles and balusters.