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Staircase decorating ideas

There are plenty of ways to make your staircase look more appealing, with carpeting options to suit all home styles and personal preferences. So, whether you want to update your home with a modern carpet design, or you’re looking to add some attractive accessories, we’ve rounded up some of the best staircase decorating ideas and tips to help you find the perfect staircase look. We’ll cover:

  • What is the best type of carpet for stairs?
  • Stair coverage: Full carpeting vs stair treads vs runners
  • How to dress a staircase
    • Dressing a straight staircase
    • Dressing a curved staircase
    • Dressing a narrow staircase
  • Stair carpet designs and ideas
  • Finishing touches


Wool, nylon and polyester are popular carpet options for stairs and landings due to their durability and stain resistance.

As one of the highest-traffic zones in your home, the carpet you choose for your stairs will need to be high quality as well as stylish. Although there is no universal fit for the best type of staircase carpet, you can determine the most suitable one for your home through indicators like carpet density, as well as fibre twist and type.

Carpet density

Carpet density (how closely the fibres are knitted together), is an important indicator of durability, so avoid carpets with large gaps between the fibres. Remember that this is different to carpet thickness (the depth of the carpet pile), which doesn’t reflect the quality.

Pile fibre

Pile fibre refers to the material that the carpet is made up of. Wool is a well-favoured option among homeowners due to its resilience, so will be a good option for busy homes. This material and other wool mixes will bring an element of luxury to your staircase, whereas polypropylene carpet is a cheaper yet more versatile option. And, as the latter comes in a larger shade range, it’s perfect for those looking to bring a burst of colour to their home.

Pile types

The most commonly sold UK carpet types are tufted and woven. The former of which is the most popular carpet type and can be looped or cut, whereas woven carpets are more premium in both finish and price.

Loop and twist piles are also popular options. Loop pile carpet generally has a more rugged appearance and so is highly favourable for high-traffic areas like the staircase. Twist pile carpet is the more durable of the two as the twisted nature of the fibres makes them stronger and more resistant to crushing.


There are plenty of stair carpet ideas available, meaning you’ll have plenty of decisions to make about things such as the coverage and the stairs decoration itself. So, if you haven’t quite decided on the stair coverage style, we’ve rounded up the main options for you below.

Full carpeting

Fully carpeted stairs provide texture and warmth to the home, as well as providing a softer and cosier feel underfoot.

Ensure that at least one of the landing surfaces meeting the top or bottom of the staircase is also carpeted. This will give your home a more put-together appearance, where otherwise your staircase might look out of place.

If you want the look of full carpet, without the hassle that comes with laying and replacing it, carpet tiles could be for you. They typically tend to be cheaper and have a high durability too, meaning you’ll benefit from value for money.

When installing carpet tiles, familiarise yourself with two things: the stair tread and the riser. The stair tread is the part of the step that your feet touch, while the riser is the vertical space between the top of one tread to the top of the next. Knowing the width and height of these will help you calculate the correct amount and size of carpet tiles for your staircase, so you can benefit from reduced waste and lower costs. And, best of all, carpet tiles are easy to replace: simply peel them off or cut out the affected bit and slot a replacement in.

The ease of carpet tiles makes them an attractive option for people who like their home to keep up with the trends, no matter how often these change!

Stair treads

As the first thing people will see and feel on your staircase, it’s important that the treads make a big impact. Coming in a range of shapes and sizes, including bullnose stair treads, which curl around the edges of each step, your stairs are sure to be both stylish and practical.

With many stair treads offering a slight glimpse of the wood underneath, it’s good to stick with a neutral carpet. Not only are these versatile enough to complement most wood shades, but they’ll lend your home a timeless look. And, as many of them use peel and stick tacks, or a hook and loop fastening, they’re easily attachable and removable so you can switch up your staircase look as frequently as you want.

Stair carpet runners

Stair runners give you the best of both worlds, incorporating the warmth, comfort and style of carpet onto the natural wood staircase. And, the simple strip of carpet leads the eye up the centre of the stairs, creating the illusion of a mightier ascend. Trading in your full carpet for a runner can also give you more opportunity for bolder and braver choices, if you feel a full statement one will look too much.

With options to buy contemporarytraditional and plain runners, or to have one specifically cut to match your landing carpet, you can be as inventive or as safe as you want with your stair carpet runner ideas. And working out the measurements doesn’t have to be complicated — read our guide on measuring a stair runner.

If you are trying to work out how to decorate a narrow staircase, you can still consider a stair runner. However, you may need to tweak the standard measurements to accommodate your thinner runner to ensure it doesn’t drown your staircase.


Once you’ve considered all of the above, it’s time to pick the carpet style that will suit your staircase. The pattern or print you select may depend on whether you are trying to decorate a curved staircase, a straight one, or a narrow one. Below, we share our tips for choosing a carpet for all three of these.


Straight staircases are the least limited when it comes to what stair carpet can be used on them and, if you’re planning on fitting a stair runner to decorate with, straight stairs will also be the easiest to renovate. This is because there are no twists or turns in the stair foundations to account for and, in most cases, the treads and risers will be the same, or a similar size.

This means that both patterned and plain runners and carpet will look great on straight staircases.

Dressing a curved staircase

Knowing how to decorate a curved staircase with a runner can be a little more difficult. This is because the steps where the staircase twists tend to be much smaller than the rest of them, meaning there’s some extra measuring and cutting needed to ensure you get the right size runner.

Because of this, it can make the alignment of a patterned runner harder to master than it would be on a straight staircase. But don’t let this put you off — you can make any curved staircase dreams become a reality with the help of a professional fitter.

Dressing a narrow staircase

Narrow staircases, whether straight or curved, will need to be measured correctly to ensure the carpet or runner you use doesn’t drown your beautiful staircase. Similarly, you might want to keep it simple rather than busy, as too much detail in a smaller surface area could run the risk of making your staircase look a little chaotic.

If you’ve got limited space in your hallway, or the narrowness of it makes it feel dim, you might be interested in reading our guide to brightening and decorating your hallway.

Stair carpet designs and ideas

If you’re still not quite sure on what stair carpet you should be fitting to your staircase, look at the rest of your hallway décor. This will help you to make a decision that is in keeping with your existing interiors.

If you’re completely restyling your hallway, you’ll want to know the benefits of each possible stair carpet design. So, we will be explaining this below.

Modern carpet for stairs

For homes looking to stay one step ahead of the interior design game, using on-trend colours, patterns and designs will ensure you’re unlocking the latest carpet trends for stairs.

Typically a more traditional type of flooring, there are now many modern stair carpet ideas to use. Add a twist to carpet by incorporating current colour trends like greys, ombrés and multicolour schemes. Or, use colourful influences from Moroccan tiles and mosaics to inject bursts of bright tones into your carpet, to pull off the ultimate contemporary look.

You might also want to experiment with textures to bring a new interior element to your home. So, whether you go for a plush pile carpet or a soft ribbed one, your staircase can standout from the landing areas. View our modern stair runners.

Striped stair carpet
Stripes can give the illusion of more space, drawing the eye along the design to make staircases feel taller, longer and wider. Although they may seem complicated to work into your home, there are many striped stair carpet ideas out there to guide you. And, best of all, due to their busy nature, they can disguise scuffs and stains better than solid-coloured carpet.

In general, vertical lines are more favourable for a staircase due to their elongating nature. However, horizontal lines are easier to match up with hallway/landing carpet.

When working with striped stair carpet, you’ll want to avoid overcomplicating it as this can create a disorientating look. Although it can be tempting to choose an extremely colourful stripe design, try to stick to a maximum of around three different colours running through, to keep a sleek and attractive appearance.

If you can’t decide what shades of stripes to go for, take a look at the hallway surroundings and match the carpet colours to other elements in your home, like walls, lampshades and curtains. This will give a lovely coordinated look so your chosen stripe colours won’t look out of place.

Patterned stair carpet
A patterned carpet can instantly inject some personality into your home, with traditional and contemporary options available. As there are so many prints and patterns, there’s something to suit every home.

Check, paisley and floral prints will transport your home back to more traditional times. And, usually coming in vibrant colours like reds, greens and blues, these patterned carpets will be sure to make a bold staircase statement.

However, patterned carpets that incorporate novel and contemporary designs, like geometric shapes, can give your stairway an instant style boost. Stick with timeless colourways or mix it up with current favourites like pastels and greys.


Once you’ve found the perfect stair runner or carpet for your staircase, and it has been fitted

Stair carpet edging

Stair carpet edging is a design feature that adds attractive bordering fabric and piping to the edges of cut strips of carpet. This means you can get inventive with your staircase runner.

If you want to make use of modern influences but aren’t feeling bold enough to deck your entire staircase out in colour, choosing an accent shade to juxtapose against neutral tones can give your home an instant style update.

Stair carpet edging is also a great way of creating cohesion between your staircase and other interior elements. As suggested previously, you could get it cut to match your hallway carpet, or coordinate it to any statement features for an eye-catching look.

And best of all, with the simplicity of Easybind, there’s no need for a professional binding service, so it’s suitable for all budgets. Watch our tutorial for fitting Easybind to find out what you’ll need to get started.

Stair rods

Used to hold your stair carpet runners in place, stair rods can be the perfect decorative — and practical — element for your staircase.

Available in a wide variety of finishes, styles and colours, you can ensure every little detail of your staircase is as you want it. For a traditional look, opt for some brass stair rods or try our Victorian style for a subtle yet appealing look. You could even go for a set of black or chrome stair rods to modernise your home.

Stair rods will add a distinctive touch to your stairs and can completely tie the interior look together, so make sure they’re complementary of both the stair carpet and its surroundings. Matching the colour of the rods to interior elements like door thresholds and handles will give your home a perfectly put-together look.

For advice on how to install stair rods, check out our guides on measuring stair rods and fitting stair rods and clips.

Stair carpet press studs
Carpet press studs can neaten up the appearance of your staircase, as well as being an effective way of keeping carpet and runners in place.

With a range of possible finishes, colours and sizes, carpet studs can create a seamless transition from your staircase to the upper landing — especially if you match them to your carpet edging, thresholds and stair rods for an ultra-coordinated look!

Simply press them into the carpet at even intervals to lend your staircase a luxury look that guides the eye through the levels of your home.

The staircase often takes a prominent position in your home, and is one of the most-used places, so it’s well worth investing in a beautiful design. Whether you go traditional with some brass stair rods or add on-trend touches with a contemporary runner, don’t be afraid to try a new style. Here at Stair Rods Direct, we have it all.

Whatever aesthetic you choose, we’re sure to have some staircase decorating ideas for you. So, shop our site today or give us a call on 0330 113 4909 to begin your staircase transformation.

For more interior inspiration or fitting and measuring help, be sure to check out our comprehensive guides.