Have you ever struggled with what to put on the wall of your staircase? Here are 20+ ideas for staircase decorating for a gorgeous look. From gallery walls, to collection displays, oversized objects, and more, one of these ideas is sure to inspire.

Decorating a staircase can be tricky, don’t you think?  Many have a large expanse of wall that seems empty if not filled but its odd shape and elevation change can make it challenging. 

Not to mention the fact that the stairway serves as a transition between the downstairs and upstairs {also often the public areas and the private ones} and so the decor needs to work in both spaces!

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If you’re struggling with your stairway then let one of these 20+ staircase decorating ideas inspire you!

A gallery wall is a beautiful addition to a stairway. Whether you showcase family photos, children’s artwork, or even a collection of your favorite prints, a gallery wall is an easy way to fill the empty space.

White stairway with eclectic gallery wall and beige striped running on dark wood floors

Photo by Heidi Caillier DesignDiscover staircase design inspiration

When creating a gallery wall on a stairway, remember two things:

  1. The angle of the center line of the gallery wall {imagine a line running the length of the display} should match the angle of the staircase so that, while the layout is informal, it has balance.

2. The starting frames should be hung low on the staircase so that they look right when viewing from the first floor.

Proper spacing and layout are key for a gallery wall, so I’ve put together a Guide for a Beautiful Layout.

I love this eclectic gallery wall from Jill at Forever Cottage

Electic gallery wall stairway decor featuring family photos and a wall sconce with white railing

And this gallery wall that Karen Hill created in her foyer.  I love how she created a straight line at the bottom but the top rises along with the stairs.

eclectic gallery wall on staircase with antique gold and black frames and round table at the bottom with dried hydrangeas
{via Karen Hill}

A gallery wall doesn’t have to be eclectic, though. If you prefer a more formal, structured look, try a series of prints in matching frames that ascend at the same rate as the stairs.

white staircase with beige walls and eight silver mirror framed seashells ascending the stair wall

Photo by Studio M Interior DesignBrowse staircase photos

Floor to Ceiling Display

Another, bigger and bolder option, is to use the entire stairway wall from floor to ceiling. This looks best when large artwork is used so that it doesn’t look too cluttered.

white staircase with millwork that includes large framed beach photos from floor to ceiling
{via Pinterest}

But then again, maybe cluttered has never looked so good!

staircase wall filled with silhouette artwork in gold and black frames with christmas  garland on the banister
Photo via Rikki Snyder for Country Living

Ledge Display

Using ledges is another great option to display art because it gives you a horizontal surface. A ledge display has more structure than a gallery wall but accomplishes the same goal.

In the photo below, the homeowner has created one giant ledge and the results are stunning!

White planked staircase  wall with light wood floors and ledge that holds black and white family photos
{via Jason Donnelly Photography}

Oversized Art

For a more dramatic look, try using oversized art on the stairway wall (ideally in odd numbers like 3 or 5).

whait stairs with black and brown running and dark wood floors and three pieces of large art on the wall

Photo bySearch staircase design ideas

large white traditional foyer with dark wood floors wood entry table on beige rug and oversized artwork on the staircase wall

Photo by COOK ARCHITECTURAL Design StudioBrowse entryway ideas

Mirrors

Mirrors are great for reflecting light and creating an open feel. Just like with art, you can go for oversize or a gallery display!

white staircase with dark wood floors and large crystal and iron chandelier and two large mirrors on wall
{via Pinterest}

And speaking of bold, Annie Brahler designed one of my all-time favorite layouts using assorted mirrors!

Tapestry

If a tapestry fits your decorating style, then try a stairway wall is a great backdrop and beautiful display.

foyer  with white tiled floor and curved iron staircase and large tapestry hanging on staircase wall

Photo by Dee Simmons InteriorsMore staircase photos

Millwork

Millwork is a beautiful architectural detail that fills the walls without looking cluttered. This classic detail is timeless and adds dimension (and value) to your home.

bottom of white staircase with dark wood floors and white entry table with pink flowers on top and board and batten millwork on the wall

Photo by Pimlico InteriorsBrowse staircase ideas

Collections

Do you have a collection you’d love to display? You can use it as your stairway wall decor! Whether you use antique bread paddles, animal heads, baskets, or antique plates, remember to keep it grouped together for a tidy look.

Curved staircase with iron railing and patterned tile stair riser and collection of antique bread paddles hanging on the wall

Photo byMore staircase ideas

Do you have a collection you want to display? Check out my tips for How to Display Beautiful Collections.

Do you have a collection you want to display? Check out my

Oversized Object

You can use just one, large statement piece on your staircase as a focal point.

white traditional staircase with wood floor and inlaid design and millwork on the stair wall with oversize art of horses

Photo by Anthony Baratta LLCLook for staircase pictures

white staircase with gray  french settee at the bottom and oversized antique clock on the first landing

Photo by Stairs DesignsDiscover staircase design inspiration

Lighting

If you have statement lighting, sometimes it can be enough to stand on its own!

White staircase with dark wood floors and millwork with hanging lantern sconces and small round window on the staircase wall

Photo by The Anderson Studio of Architecture & DesignLook for staircase pictures

Feature Wall

A feature wall can add drama, elegance, and visual impact! Whether you use paneling, wallpaper, or even a mural.

Curved traditional staircase with huge landscape mural on the wall and iron railing

Photo by Robin Baron DesignLook for entryway design inspiration

Foyer with round table and wood floor and curved staircase with panels filled with blue striped wallpaper

Photo by Heather Garrett DesignDiscover staircase design inspiration

Modern foyer with glass and chrome staircase and marble floor and wood panels on the staircase wall

Photo by Pfuner Design – Miami Interior DesignersMore staircase ideas

Combination Ideas

The great news is that you don’t have to choose just one idea! You can combine lighting with artwork or mirrors. Or try artwork mixed with collected objects!

Spanish style foyer with brick flooring and blue tiled stair risers and curved iron staircase

Photo by Denise Morrison Interiors & House of MorrisonSearch staircase design ideas

More Decorating Ideas

Which of these staircase decorating ideas best matches your style?

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14 Comments

  1. How about ideas for a spiral staircase.

    1. Tidbits&Twine says:

      Hi Robyn – That’s a tricky one! Let me give it some thought. :) Kim

  2. Linda Fitzgerald says:

    I so needed direction in this area! Beautiful ideas.

  3. Love the large mirrors going up the staircase – clean simple statement for a foyer. Where are those mirrors from (or the brand)?

  4. Thanks for sharing these different staircase decorating ideas! I really like the mirror hanging guide that you posted here– it really helps me visualize how to hang up artwork without making the staircase area look silly! The statement lighting is also a nice little decoration that could help brighten up the staircase area (literally)! Overall, these are really cute ideas– thanks again for sharing!

  5. I like Karen Hill’s wall under the stairway. I have an area just like that in my house but I never even thought of decorating it with pictures! Great share!
    Patti

  6. Segreto Secrets says:

    I love the gallery walls going up the stairwell! When done right, they are fabulous!!
    xo. Leslie
    Segreto Finishes

  7. I like the ledge and Forever Cottage’s the best. Jill’s wall gallery is flawless but I can’t begin to imagine how challenging it was to get the spacing just right. Very nice post. I think I’m glad I live in a single story home. :-)
    Karen

  8. Kim….I’m hard pressed to pick just one! My stairs run downstairs to the garage…maybe some mirrors to brighten it up?

  9. Kim, I love them all!! It is so hard to choose. I am still in the process of decorating and haven’t completed my staircase. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

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