Showcase A Staircase

The staircase tends to be an unnoticed object in your home décor. But the stairway doesn't deserve to be glossed over as a design feature. Think of the important role it plays in the everyday lives of your household. It's time to start giving your staircase the design focus it deserves and allow it instead, to be an expression of your unique style and personality.

Start by thinking about the purpose your staircase serves within your home. Do you line up your shoes on the steps when you take them off for the day? Are your stairs a sort of holding area for items that are meant to be brought upstairs or so you'll remember to take them with you to work in the morning? Do you sometimes run halfway down the stairs to peek into the downstairs living room to see who's there or call over the railing that you'll be right down? Do you think of your stairway as the road to sleep nirvana and a peaceful end of the day? Would you like your staircase to be welcoming to guests? Write it all down and get a good idea of how your staircase serves you.

Here are two staircase design projects you may like to try:

Exterior Staircase

Even if there are just a few short stairs leading to your front door, everyone who wants to get in has to use them. Decorating cement steps can add a sense of whimsy and fun to your home entrance while making all feel welcomed.

*Choose a short saying such as, "Home is where the heart is."

*Using painter's tape, affix letter stencils to the risers that spell out these words. The first word should be written large on the front of the bottom step, with the words getting successively smaller for each step. Divide the words so that each step has at least one word. If there are four steps, for instance, the bottom step will say, "Home," the second will say, "is where," the third, "the heart, and the fourth, "Is."

*Using exterior paint and a stippling brush, paint the letters with a jabbing motion. Allow to dry and apply a second coat.

*Be imaginative when choosing the paint colors for this project. You may want to add scrolls, flowers, or other decorative flourishes.            

Painted-On Runner

Think about adding character to a boring staircase and color to your home by painting a runner.

*Take measurements from the wall inward for each step and riser, penciling in the dimensions of the runner.

*Mask off the area not to be painted with painter's tape, making sure the seal of the tape is firm. You want to avoid feathering and bleeding.

*Take a small roller and apply matte paint. Allow to dry and apply a second coat.

*When paint is dry, apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane. Allow to dry.

*Remove tape.

Your custom-made runner will never wiggle out of place or require vacuuming. Keep it clean with a damp cloth.