The Rise of Risers {10 Ways to Get Creative!}

At one time, stairs were merely a method of getting from one floor to another, but now it seems that they, too, have become an expression of our personalities and a part of our home’s decor!  While railings, newel posts, balusters, and paneling are popular ways of dressing up the stairwell, another option is to update the risers.


What is a riser?

A riser is the vertical portion between one step and the next.  {As a side note, in reality, the riser isn’t perfectly vertical but is slightly inclined with the top slightly closer than the base.}  Atticmag has a great diagram detailing the various parts of a staircase.

Stair Terminology



1.  Painted Pretty

Whether solid or stripped, a splash of paint adds instant drama and color.


Stripe Painted Riser

{via Decor Pad}


2. Wallpaper

Wallpaper isn’t just for walls!  Use one pattern or several depending on your style!


Cottage Wallpapered Risers

{via Art@Home}



3. Beadboard

Beadboard’s texture is just subtle enough to blend with a home’s other millwork, but unexpected enough to give a home a truly custom feel.


4. Stencils

A steady hand will allow you to decorate your risers with color and pattern!



5. Tile

Patterned or mosaic tile might instantly spring to mind, but don’t discount the beauty of a more simplistic tile that adds texture and uniqueness!

Tiled Risers

{via Pinterest}

Contemporary Tiled Risers

{via Pinterest}


6. Chalkboard

Chalkboard paint offers endless possibilities, from inspirational quotes, to children’s’ artwork, or even seasonal messages!

Chalkboard Paint Risers

{via Yahoo}


7. Numbered

Numbers add a bit of whimsy to a staircase.  You can paint them on or buy ready-made numbers (metal or wood) and attach them directly to the risers.



8. Decal

Decals are a great way to {temporarily} spice up your risers!


9. Wood Inlay

If you’re building or remodeling, consider adding a decorative inlay to your risers.


10. Contrast

If decorating your risers is too big of a commitment to make, another option is to pick a riser color that contrasts with the tread, like white risers with dark wood tread or vice versa.  While decidedly less artsy than other options,it’s still quite eye-catching and breaks up the vertical and horizontal lines of the stairs.

{via Houzz}

{via Houzz}

Classic White Riser

{via Pinterest}



Would you ever consider getting creative with your risers?
Tidbits&Twine - Signature




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8 comments on The Rise of Risers {10 Ways to Get Creative!}

  1. Garden, Home and Party
    May 28, 2014 at 2:24 PM (3 years ago)

    I’m too chicken, I would definitely do the contrasting paint…the second to the last image is my favorite. The the numbered risers holds some appeal as well.
    Fun post, thank you.

    • Tidbits&Twine
      May 28, 2014 at 7:19 PM (3 years ago)

      Hi Karen – That’s my favorite, too! I’m actually trying to convince hubby we should do that when we refinish the floors. :)

  2. Amy Mullins
    May 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM (3 years ago)

    Now I wish we had stairs in our house! Great ideas! :)

    • Tidbits&Twine
      May 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM (3 years ago)

      Lol! That happens to me, too. I’ll fall in love with a picture of something that I had previously never given any thought to, and all of a sudden, I want it! Have a great week, Amy!

  3. Maryetta
    May 29, 2014 at 11:35 AM (3 years ago)

    Our treads are hardwood and the risers are painted white. Notice I said “painted white” , not that the look white. I live with three people of the male persuasion. Each has a size 11 or larger foot. Our risers are constantly scuffed and marked up. I need to try one of the patterned looks to hide all the man-damage!

    • Tidbits&Twine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:41 PM (3 years ago)

      Maryetta – That’s a great point! I really want to paint ours white, but if I do, we might have to implement a no shoe rule in order to cut down on scuff marks… :)

  4. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions
    May 29, 2014 at 1:56 PM (3 years ago)

    Love this post, Kim! I was actually working on my husband to paint ours before we moved. We had oak stained stairs and had removed carpeting from the steps themselves and found pine underneath. I had wanted to paint the risers white and the step a dark walnut. I love that look. Anyway, we moved before I could actually move forward on that and now I live in a condo with no stairs! : )

    • Tidbits&Twine
      June 3, 2014 at 1:43 PM (3 years ago)

      Kathy – I love how you use the term “working on my husband”! LOL! I can relate. :) White risers with a dark step is my favorite look, too, but like so many other things on my “Honey Do” list, painting the risers is toward the bottom. Someday, though!


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