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Smart Decorating Ideas for Small Hallways and Stairs

Interior of the narrow corridor with telephone hanging on the wall against stairway in daylight

When you’re decorating small hallways and stairs, you don’t have to go small on style. While a small hallway or narrow and enclosed staircase presents some unique challenges, there are plenty of ways to overcome these.

Your entrance hall is the first part of your home that you and any guests will see when they step through the front door, and this often leads to your staircase, too. You can think of it as a kind of focal point for your home – so it pays to pay attention to its design and decoration.

From clever storage solutions to lighting decor ideas, we have the perfect collection of small hallway and stairs decorating ideas to inspire you to enhance your area.

Our Best Small Stairs Decorating Ideas

When you have a small staircase, it can sometimes feel like your options are limited. You may think that adding too many designs or decor elements will end up looking too crowded, but this isn’t always the case.

Take a look through these creative small staircase ideas:

Install a Stair Runner

For small, narrow staircases, one of the most effective decorating ideas is to install a stair carpet runner. Stair runners consist of a strip of carpet that runs up the middle of your staircase, leaving the edges of the stair tread exposed. Installing one on your hardwood stair will provide a transformative elevation to your home decor.

The benefits of installing a stair runner are many:

  • Safety: A small staircase will often be steep and narrow. Stair runners add grip, helping to enhance your staircase safety while looking good doing so. 
  • Comfort: The elevated sense of cosiness that a stair runner gives is irresistible. Add a sense of luxury to your stair climb with a plush carpeted runner.
  • Aesthetics: Stair carpet runners also protect your stairs from the general wear and tear of high foot traffic while looking eminently stylish. 

There are so many styles available that whatever your interior design style, you’re sure to find a stair runner to complement and elevate it.

Smart Staircase Painting

Stairs rail. Wooden steps. Stairs in the home. Wood stairs. White stairway made of wood panels, wide house stairs View of stairs with white rail. Wood panels

A thoughtfully-chosen dash of paint can work wonders on your staircase and hallway. If you want to spruce up your small staircase, painting the actual stairs is a fantastic idea. First, learn how to paint stairs the right way.

Then, browse these creative suggestions for painting your stairs:

  • Complimentary colours: Painting in two different colours on your stairs creates an aesthetically pleasing contrast and is simple to achieve. Paint the risers and treads of the steps in different colours for best results. A darker colour for the treads and a lighter colour for the risers create a clever sense of depth, even making narrow stairs feel larger.
  • White and light: A white painted staircase will have an amazing brightening effect, which is especially great for dark, enclosed staircases. If you want to achieve this effect with a little more colour, light pastel colours will work wonderfully, adding a sense of airiness and playfulness to your home design.
  • Ombre effect: Using an ombre effect will create a beautiful rising gradient on your stairs and is fresh and exciting. Not only will your staircase design look elevated and attractive, but the ombre effect will work to draw the eye upward, taking focus away from an enclosed staircase.

Curate a Gorgeous Gallery Wall

Sometimes the best decorating idea for a small staircase is to focus on the wall beside it. One of the most beautiful and interesting ways to decorate your staircase wall is by creating a gallery wall. Make sure you know how to properly arrange photos on staircase walls and get designing!

There are a number of different ways to approach a gallery wall:

  • One statement piece: If you have one large artwork, hang this in the centre of your staircase wall and let it do its work as a beautiful focal point.
  • Mosaic grid: Show off photos of your loved ones, holidays you’ve been on, or favourite artworks with a busy mosaic wall. Mix and match frames or keep it cohesive in black and white – it’s up to you!
  • Clean line: A single row of pictures of the same size can look chic and elegant, creating a flawlessly put-together look for your staircase wall.

Our Top Small Hallway Ideas for Decorating

Decorating a small hallway well makes all the difference. There are many things you can do to make a small space feel bigger and more welcoming. Here are our favourite decorating ideas for small hallways:

Creative Lighting

Smart lighting is a fantastic hallway decoration that doesn’t take up much space and that actually works to create the illusion of more space. 

Here are some solutions that are especially great if your hallway doesn’t have much natural light:

  • Wall lighting: Wall lighting can be used to illuminate specific spots, like a coat rail or a piece of art. This creates a pleasing ambience and can take attention away from a tight, narrow space.
  • Pendant lights: A pendant light hanging from your ceiling provides a unique lighting solution that evokes a chic industrial look.
  • Statement piece: One light with a unique fitting or ornately decorated shade provides an exquisite focal point that lights up your entrance hall in more ways than one!

Install a Runner Rug

Wooden staircase in empty apartment -- 3D Rendering

Extend the theme of your stair runner with a matched runner rug. This will really tie your entrance hall and staircase together and show considered design flair. If you’re struggling for space, a rug is a decorative touch that won’t take up some of that vital room.

Your rug could match your stair runner or you could pick out accents and get a complimentary runner rug instead. Light colours can work wonderfully to brighten up an area but may suffer from marks when in a high traffic area like a hallway. A darker runner rug paired with lighter walls creates a lovely contrast that really finishes off your entrance hall.

Hallway Storage Solutions

Hallway storage solution under staircase

When you have a very narrow hallway, things can get cluttered pretty quickly. That’s why it’s a great idea to incorporate smart hallway storage ideas.

If you have space underneath your stairs, there are plenty of under-stair storage ideas that will help you declutter and optimise your space. Install cupboards or storage units that can be used to house clothes, shoes, children’s toys, or anything that is taking up space!

If you don’t have the capacity to incorporate storage under your staircase, shelves built into the walls allow you to place items without them taking up walking space. Failing that, a simple console table is narrow and can look chic and elegant while storing your bits and bobs, too.

Get the Finishing Touches for Your Staircase With Stair Rods Direct

Enhancing your small hallways and stairs is made easy with Stair Rods Direct. Whether you’re looking for a beautiful stair runner and matching stair rods with which to secure it, or looking to add small touches like door threshold strips, we can help you enhance your home design. 

All of our products are made to be easy to install and to provide stunning finishes wherever they’re needed in your home. And on top of this, free delivery to mainland UK comes as standard with orders over £75. Browse our extensive range of quality products and get all the decorating ideas for your small hallway and stairs you could ever need.