Skip to content
Established 1997

7 Smart Narrow Staircase Decorating Ideas to Open Up Your Space

Apartment interior with white couch and coffee table on carpet with yellow floor. Mockup blank wall copy space with three posters, staircase with arch door, 3D rendering

When it comes to narrow staircases, it doesn’t help to be narrow-minded. Enclosed staircases can be dark and unwelcoming, making a small space feel even smaller. With our narrow staircase decorating ideas, it doesn’t have to be this way.

We’ve compiled these simple tips to make a narrow staircase seem wide and make you feel proud to welcome people into a beautifully-designed home. Not only this, but lightening a staircase and making it more usable is essential for staircase safety.

You don’t need to fully renovate your staircase or completely revamp your interior design to get a fresh look: our easily-achievable ideas will help you save time and money.

Narrow Enclosed Staircase Decorating Ideas

If you have a narrow, walled staircase or a dark staircase with no natural light, don’t fear. With years of interior design and stairwell design experience under our belts, we’re here to help with our expert tips:

1. Smart Lighting

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

Clever use of lighting is one of the easiest and most seamless ways to make a small space feel bigger. Unobtrusive ceiling lighting can flood a dark enclosed staircase with brightness creating a lively welcome. If you want to try something slightly different you can create a sense of a soft glow with lights installed into the actual stairs or walls. This can have the effect of shining the light upwards so that the eye is drawn towards the top of the stairs and less attention is paid to the actual staircase. Another way to achieve this is by installing a lighting fixture on the ceiling of your landing, to again draw the eye upward to a decorative focal point.

2. Hanging Decorations

There are a number of ways to incorporate hanging decorations into a narrow staircase to transform its look. Hanging pictures or photographs running up the staircase wall provides a beautiful aesthetic and really elevates your home decor. When thinking about how to arrange photos on your staircase walls, remember to plan and measure: it’s a good practice to ensure each picture is at eye level when walking up the stairs. 

Hanging plants from high up (so they don’t impede on space while walking up the stairs) is another way to use hanging decorations to draw the eye up and transform the look of your narrow staircase.

3. Creative Use of Paint

A fresh coat of paint can make a room feel completely different If you have dark hallways, consider repainting them a light colour to make it appear more spacious and airy. Another trick for a narrow hallway with a staircase is to paint the wall at the end of the room a darker shade and the surrounding walls a lighter shade to create the illusion of more space. Vertical stripes, when subtly done, can also create the sense of a taller wall. If you want a clean, open look, stick with pastel shades or incorporate elegant heritage colours

4. Pay Attention to the Stair Riser

Staircase home interior wood and white paint modern style steps and handrail

The riser is one of the many parts of a staircase that you can decorate, though it’s often neglected. It’s the vertical part between the horizontal stair treads – the part you don’t step on. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can remove the risers to create extra space between the steps. If this isn’t an option for you, painting the risers different colours to the treads is a great solution. Make the risers light and the treads dark to evoke the feel of the open space that removing the riser would create.

5. Wallpaper Your Stairs

Hanging wallpaper on stairs is a quick and easy way to bring design flair to a staircase wall. You could go for bold patterns to create a playful decorative feel or a block-coloured feature wall that acts as an eye-catching focal point. Wallpaper can also be textured for a really unique feel that draws attention away from a tight-feeling staircase. 

6. Mirrors Galore

Vintage cabinet with decorations and mirror located near open living room door and staircase in corridor of house

Mirrors have long been used to create illusions of expansive space with clever placement. It’s one of the best narrow stairway decorating ideas. You can use mirrors in a number of ways to achieve this. Place a large mirror in a place where it will reflect a source of light, like a window or a fixture, for the best results. You can also place a number of small mirrors that are framed and shaped to resemble a window.

7. Install a Stair Runner

Stair carpet runners are one of the best ways to decorate a narrow staircase. A fully carpeted staircase can look outdated and stuffy, whereas a stair runner fitted to a hardwood stair is elegant and attractive. A striped stair runner will both draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of a wider step in one. Narrow staircases can be steep: stair runners add grip and cushion to make climbing your stairs safer and more aesthetically pleasing. Elevate the look by pairing your runner with elegant stair rods for a cohesive finishing touch that keeps the runner securely in place.

Stairrods blacksmith stainless steel

Enhance Your Staircase With Stunning Stair Accessories

When you’re looking for ways to enhance your staircase design, we have one of the best varieties of stair accessories available. All of our products are made to the highest quality and designed to be easy to install. Whether you’re looking for stair rods, door thresholds or carpet runner, you can browse by finish to find the perfect product for your home.