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It seems like staircases only get love during the holidays – little pumpkins for Halloween, garland and bows for Christmas, maybe a few Easter baskets in April. But for the rest of the year they’re just an uninspiring way to get from one floor to another. I’m here to argue in favor of year-round stair decor. Here are 10 simple ways to step up your stair game (mhm, you see what I did there?) without major construction.

Cousins Undercover makeover staircase with wallpaper and accent wall
1. Create an accent wall: Paint a bold color and construct a gallery of knick-knacks and photos on the wall behind the stairs, like HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino did to these stairs on Cousins Undercover.

Cousins Undercover apply birch tree wallpaper to stair risers
2. Wallpaper the risers: Apply a fun wallpaper to the risers to add visual interest to otherwise boring stairs. Go for paper with an interesting pattern in a neutral color palette to avoid going overboard.

See 8 more stairway ideas

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Sure, a LEGO greenhouse is cool, but what about a playful room inside the home? Something a little more kid-centric? Artist Melissa Marks and interface designer Vicente Caride gave their young son Archie just that: a wild wall and staircase made completely of LEGOs. The New York Magazine piece calls this “The 20,000-Brick Apartment,” and seeing is believing. Check out this primary-colored palace.

lego room

Photo: Thomas Loof/Art Department

The family enlisted the help of LEGO-licensed artist Sean Kenney to complete the construction, and it took two weeks of fourteen-hour days for Kenney and two assistants to “complete” it — though Archie and his friends keep building on to the staircase. I love the creativity of the concept (cooked up with Suzan Wines, co-founder of I-Beam Design), and the execution looks so cool. The geometric patterns are thoroughly modern against the white backdrop. The future is plastics, indeed.

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It’s Banned Books Week, and libraries and bookstores across the US are holding events that raise awareness about censorship and celebrate the freedom to read. (Fun fact: According to the American Library Association, books that I’m a fan of — Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series — were among the most challenged titles of 2010.) In honor of the celebration, here are some giant book stairs that I fell in love with on Pinterest.

book stairs

Turns out that this is a busy parking garage in Greenville, SC, and the stairs were sponsored by The Greenville Literacy Association to promote their annual book sale. (The tactic must have worked, because apparently they raised $127,000 in 8 hours!)

I especially like the inclusion of The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, but I wish more of my faves, like The Great Gatsby, were represented. What books would you showcase on a set of stairs?

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Inside Out House stairs Paired down design in the Inside Out House creates a visually stunning space in the stairwell of this Tokyo residence. Through the open stairs you can glimpse a few of the trees planted indoors. The natural wood, greens and whites blend with each other in natural harmony.

The home, designed by architects Takeshi Hosaka Architects, has openings in the ceiling and walls that allow the weather into the interior of the home to sustain the greenery. Some of the rooms – like the living room – can be shut to protect people and furnishings from the rain and cold, but the rest of the house lives in easy balance with nature.

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As an experiment to see if they could change the behavior of people who took the escalator at a Stockholm subway station, the team behind The Fun Theory transformed the staircase to make it more enticing.

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That certainly does make choosing the healthier option a whole lot more fun. What do you think? Would you take those stairs more than once?

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I’ve never really thought about stairs as a thing of beauty or creative expression…until this week. There’s something so mesmerizing about spiral staircases, and I’ve especially fallen in love with stairs wallpapered with funky patterns. So get your stairwells out of the background and into the spotlight with these unique and creative designs complete with numbers, mice decals and even books.


Climb to New Heights of Style

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