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7 Creative Ideas For Decorating Your Edwardian Staircase


Classic interior design styles like the clean elegance of Edwardian décor are always in vogue and can offer a timeless grandeur to any home. But if you have period details in your house, like an Edwardian staircase, it can sometimes feel like they’re in need of decorative update. 

If you’re struggling to think of ways to spruce up an Edwardian staircase with a new design, or if you’re simply looking for some decorating inspiration, just follow our helpful guide and get inspired to transform the look of your period staircase.

What Characterises Edwardian Interior Design?

A Modern Home Interior view of a living room

So what does Edwardian décor usually consist of? 

The Edwardian era was ushered in after King Edward VII ascended to the throne following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and the resultant end of the Victorian era.

It’s often associated with the relaxing of previously more “stuffy” cultural attitudes, which suffused into a décor style defined by clean, fresher designs and light-filled rooms. Simplistic symmetry and softer palettes became particularly fashionable, but the opulent decorations of the Victorian era didn’t disappear completely.

This opulent feature of Victorian design remained in the delicate ornamental accessories often seen in Edwardian interiors, contributing to the elegant and beautiful feel of the era’s interior design, though with more subtlety than previous eras. 

Heavier styles of hardwood stairs are characteristic of Edwardian houses, with blocky balustrades and large, square-shaped newel posts. Despite Edwardian staircases generally not being as decorative as Victorian or Georgian staircases, you will still see some ornamental and decorative features like the shaped spindles. 

The ease of merging the traditional with the modern that comes with Edwardian interior design is one of the reasons its popularity has endured so well. 

Read on for our inspiring ideas for how to style an Edwardian staircase.

Edwardian Staircase Decorating Ideas

Light living room interior with sofa and two armchairs. Drawer with decoration, and staircase. Coffee table on carpet, light hardwood floor.
  1. Install a sumptuous stair carpet runner

Hardwood stairs are often a feature of Edwardian staircases and leaving these uncovered means exposing them to wear & tear. Adding a stair carpet runner can add a lovely touch of cosiness to your stairs as well as protect them from constant foot traffic. It’s one of the most simple but transformative ways to spruce up your staircase. 

The beauty of a stair carpet runner is the variety of styles available. Runners decorated with stripes or geometric patterns can add a contemporary touch that pairs well with the Art Nouveau style that emerged in the Edwardian time. Or, plain carpet runners keep it simple but sophisticated. 

  1. Accessorise with stair rods and stair clips

It’s often the small touches that make all the difference when it comes to interior design. If you’re thinking of a carpet runner to enhance your hardwood Edwardian staircase, then you’ll need to secure it. Stair rods are the perfect solution for this as they add a classic, luxurious look to any staircase while keeping the carpet in place. 

Depending on the runner you’ve gone for, you could choose brass or iron stair rods for a classic traditional look, or chrome rods for a sleek modern look. Stair rods with decorative finishes are a way of subtly adding a touch of traditional luxury. 

Stair clips function in the same way as stair rods but are a traditional Victorian design that is showing signs of coming back into fashion. These elegant ornaments can fit well with more ornate Edwardian staircases to emphasise the beautiful antique look.

  1. Update your stair spindles 

One of the best ways to reinvent your staircase is by updating the spindles to give it a whole new look. If you want to rejuvenate a hardwood period staircase, putting in new spindles in a different material to the staircase can do just this. A traditional hardwood staircase with wrought iron spindles or sleek metal spindles creates a surprisingly stylish contrast.

Or, if you’re looking for a way to bring in a traditional period look to a more contemporary staircase or modern home, Edwardian spindles are fantastic for this. The classic Edwardian spindle consists of an embellished, rounded design that goes very well with traditional décor. If you’re feeling adventurous you could even mix and match two different styles of spindles.

  1. Give your stairs a fresh coat of paint

Another fantastic method of revitalising a period staircase is through a lick of paint. Clever use of white paint can lighten up a dark, enclosed space, or the use of contrasting colours creates a cool, stylish feel. To keep the fresh, clean Edwardian style, go for pastel shades and natural hues.

Alternatively, a bold accent colour can create an exciting focal point that really rejuvenates a hallway. Take a look through our colour scheme ideas for stairs to get more inspiration for painting your stairs. 

  1. Decorate your staircase wall

If you’re happy with your actual stairs and balustrade but are still searching for a way to spruce up the area, why not decorate your staircase wall? There are countless ways to decorate a staircase wall to bring a unique style that fits with the rest of your home décor. Wall panelling pairs beautifully with traditional Edwardian staircases to accentuate an authentic timelessness.

A wall gallery is a wonderful way to showcase some art and really elevate your decoration. You could keep the period feel of your Edwardian staircase with complementing art from the era hanging on the wall by it, or you could bring a sense of homeliness with family photographs. Hanging plants along a wall next to a wooden Edwardian staircase is a beautiful way of extending the natural look of the timber frames to the whole of your hallway.

Get more creative inspiration with our staircase wall decoration ideas

  1. Get creative with lighting

Your staircase may not be next to a wall or you may have a spiral staircase that’s part of an open plan room. There are still ways you can decorate around them without changing elements of the actual stairs. Fairy lights are incredibly versatile and cost-effective decorative and can add a nice finishing touch to an Edwardian staircase that brings it into the modern era. 

Alternatively, lights actually installed into the stairs create an enticing and aesthetically pleasing look, brightening up your stairwell and drawing the eye upwards. Warmer-coloured lights bring a sense of cosiness that pairs perfectly with a stair carpet runner to give a sense of homely luxury. 

  1. Don’t neglect the small things 

Skirting boards, often with decorative moulds, were a prominent feature of interior design in the Edwardian era. Why not spruce up your hallway skirting boards with some skirting board corner protectors in the form of skiffers. They’re not only a very practical way of maintaining a clean look and preventing wear and tear on your skirting boards, but are also subtly ornate decorations that can match well with metal stair spindles or metal stair rods. 

Often the stairs are the main part of your hallway and mark the area between different living spaces. The entrance hallway is the first thing guests see when they enter your house, so don’t forget to make sure every part is taken care of. Door threshold strips offer seamless transitions between rooms that really give that flawless, put-together finish, especially when matched with the colour and material of stair rods you choose for your Edwardian staircase carpet runner.

Enhance Your Edwardian Staircase Design With Our Stair Accessories

White living room interior with two armchairs and coffee table, shelf with decoration, carpet on hardwood floor.

We stock a superb range of stair accessories to complement a traditional Edwardian staircase or a period staircase of any kind, from our minimalist blacksmith stair rods to our selection of eye-catching royale stair rods, as well as our delicately ornate Victorian Stair Clips. Whatever your décor style and whatever your budget, we’re sure to have the perfect accessory to transform your staircase.
If you’re in need of any more inspiration for staircase and hallway decorating, be sure to check out our blog.