Spruce it Up | Stairs

Staircases are one of those architectural details that often get neglected.  When designing or renovating a home, stairs are thought of as a functional area and aren't made special but there are really a lot of things that can be done to staircases to make them an interesting space.  

Let's start with stair treads.  They can either flow with the rest of the flooring or they can be a completely different material.  When deciding which direction you want to go, it is important to consider the location of your stairs.  Usually a staircase in the entryway needs to flow with the rest of the flooring, however, a back stairs or one tucked off to the side can definitely have it's own special pop!

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Another option is to do something fun with the risers.  Even if the tread flows with the rest of the flooring, do a fun patterned tile on the riser to give your stairway a little unexpected pop.  One of our current favorite looks is doing a black and white patterned tile on the stair riser.

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We can't forget about the balusters and handrail either!  One of the simplest ways to spruce up a stairway is to swap out the balusters and handrail.  There are tons of different options for both of these areas so just consider something that's practical for your particular stairway!

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Finally, if you really just can't deal with any sort of constructions right now, you can simply add a runner to your stairs.  Runners are practical for protecting stair treads but they're also practical for safety purposes.  A runner will help absorb the sound of footsteps and also add traction underfoot for walking up and down the stairs which will help prevent slipping.

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Try any or all of these things to spruce up your stairs and make them a functional architectural detail in your home!

How To | Stair Landing Spaces

There are always those awkward areas in homes.  Places where builders don't help you out and maximize the space and you're left with unused square footage.  One of the main offenders in this space battle is the staircase landing.  Some staircase landings are exceptionally large and could really be made into useful space.  However, many people just don't know how to address them.  Today we're giving you a few ideas for ways to use that space.

Now a lot of it depends on the size of your landing so use whichever idea best fits your space....but there's a lot to be said for a cozy little window seat/reading nook at the top of the stairs.  It seems like this would be the perfect little greeting to anyone coming up the stairs and it's the perfect spot to set those items you need to bring down the stairs at some point but don't want to do right this second so you need a place to leave it until tomorrow morning... :)  This little window seat can be accomplished by a built-in bench with a cushion and pillows (never forget the pillows!) or a simple freestanding bench or daybed that fits the space well and serves the same purpose!

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If you don't have a large space but want to do something with it, consider adding some built-in shelving.  Everyone could use some extra storage so if a space is going to be un-used, you might as well add some extra shelves, at the very least!

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If you do have a little more area to work with, try setting up a desk and making a little workstation on that landing.  It doesn't have to be overkill...obviously you won't be spending hours and hours there...but it should look inviting and finished.

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If you really only have a wall and no floor space to build out into, use the wall!  Add a few hooks and shelves and create a mid-way mudroom for the kids.  If your home's floor plan has it where the entrance leads straight up the stairs without taking them through the mudroom, leave an area for them on the landing to hang their stuff.  Now, we'd be lying if we said you wouldn't have to go behind them and straighten it up, but it's still better than ending up on the floor, right?!

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Hope that helps!  Just a few quick ideas to make the most out of your space!