Don't forget the stairs for home decor

When choosing furniture, artwork, and other items to personalize your home, it can be easy to overlook the staircase. It's a functional area of the home, often with minimal space on the wall and landings, and many homeowners may opt to simply leave the area blank.

Although the stairs and the area surrounding them can often present a challenge for interior design, you can easily add personal touches to give them some more life. The area can even give you an opportunity to add items that may not work well in other parts of the home.

You might start by deciding if the staircase needs a color upgrade. Stephanie Mitchell, writing for SFGate, says the hue of the wall should work well with other colors you can see from the stairs, including both the first and second floors.

Alternatively, the staircase can be a good place to use a bolder, less conventional color. Maria Conti, writing for HGTV, says this helps draw the eye to the stairs and any items featured there.

Many homeowners have used the wall running along the staircase as a place to display family photographs. The interior design blogger Demian Dashton says you might have the photos follow a common theme, such as your wedding photos or travel destinations. Mitchell says you can fill a large swath of the wall with varying picture sizes and shapes, or you can keep things simple by using matching frames hung at a consistent height above each stair.

The theme doesn't necessarily have to be limited to just photos. Conti says you can add three-dimensional items like family heirlooms. These can be mounted on the wall, perched on a landing, or situated at either the top of bottom of the stairs. The landings and space near the stairs can also be good choices for keeping large potted plants.

The stairs can be a good place to feature artwork, especially oversized pieces if the staircase includes a tall wall. Dashton says displaying mirrors can be useful for narrower staircases, since they will reflect light and make the space seem larger.

Even if you opt not to display anything on the walls, you might give the wall an upgrade to make it more visually interesting. Some options include a herringbone pattern, board and batten, or reclaimed wood. Conti says you can also use wallpaper with lively or unusual patterns.

Consider incorporating the stairs themselves into the design. The risers are a good place to include interesting stencils, patterns, or stair runners.

You might opt to make the staircase more of a functional area. Since many stairs are located near a home's main entrance, you can have your decor include a bench to take off your shoes and coat hooks to hang up your jacket. If you have space to add recessed shelving, you'll be able to display part of your book collection as well as some of your belongings.

You don't have to limit yourself to just one design option. Dashton says you might mix various style elements to find one that appeals to you.

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