Creative ideas for handrail: It's so ugly & budget is small.

by Patti
We are renting this lovely cottage but I hate the look of the stairs and handrail. Does anyone have any creative ideas to make this pretty? Our landlord is open to most anything but I don't want to spend a lot because I don't own the house. I know flowers will make it look better but I'm thinking of something other than just flowers.
Thank you my fellow DIYers
This is the main pathway to front door.
  17 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 06, 2016
    I would recommend looking into painting the railing ,concrete stairs and the stone.Once you choose the proper paint for concrete and metal then think about plantings.
  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on May 06, 2016
    Concrete stain could dress up the stairs a bit. Consider putting some long brightly colored windowboxes on the top of the wall on either side with seasonal flowers to add curb appeal. And, you can take them with you when you leave! : )
  • William William on May 06, 2016
    Whatever you choose to do, make sure you get the landlords approval in writing. Don't do anything that is permanent or attached to the property, because it becomes part of the property if it cannot be removed without changing or damaging the property. Check your lease for provisions or you can lose you deposit and be liable to for costs to return the property to it's original state
  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on May 06, 2016
    Trim or remove the bush at the top of the stairs on the left with permission only.Painting the railing will help.Planters and more planters.If you can remove the plants at the bottom of the staircase and add 2 tall planters1 on each side of the stairs. You could add a teepee in the planters and put some kind of climbing flowering plant..Not sure what kind of liming plants grow well in your area, In my area morning glories are a great annual claiming plant with lots of beautiful flowers.On the right side you could add a artist easel with a large empty picture frame with a basket of flowers hanging in the middle. Another idea is to put an old chair ( painted bright colour) and set flowers on the seat Hope this helps.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on May 06, 2016
    I think this whimsical display would be fun on the handrail and it's easily removed when the growing season is finished. No permanent changes but a big visual impact!
  • Kathfz Kathfz on May 07, 2016
    I would paint the railing gray, so as to blend more into stone. I'd put hanging plants in pots on top of the stone walls in beautiful pots you can take home with you.
  • Sue Sue on May 07, 2016
    Antique shadow rub in gold for a black/gold effect then seal it with lacquer .
  • Cheryl Cheryl on May 07, 2016
    You have a great project to work on! First I would trim bushes around front of cottage. Plant some vibrant flowers like yellow. Next paint rail in grey to match stone. I would not paint over the stone or steps. Add some pots or boxes of vibrant colors of flowers on both sides of top. Add a couple of vibrant whimsical pots of more vibrant pots around bottom step or a chair with flowers would be neat. Next I would add something like driftwood onto the rail to give it a whimsical feel and soften it up. Maybe visit the woods and get some heavy wines to casually wrap around rail and dry. Make sure it's not poison ivy/oak! Please send me a picture when you finish which ever way you go! A great canvas to work with!
  • Teri Teri on May 07, 2016
    You could get spray paint for metal at a Wal-mart if you have one less than $4. Some great colors to spruce up that railing in no time. Add a few bright colored flowers in pots and ta da. I did this to my front with spray paint.
  • Fred Fred on May 07, 2016
    Do you physically use the handrail? If not, I would plant an aggressively growing plant (clematis/vining plant) in the bottom left-hand bed and train it up and along the handrail. This will both masque and hide the handrail and you can always take shears to it if it overgrows it's space. It will also break up those awful monotone walls up to and by the steps.
  • Susanmarvin Susanmarvin on May 07, 2016
    I would Paint it an off white and put a lot of greenery and colored flowers around the area. Instead of trying to hide it, make it pop and put lots of color. It is there for a reason and that is safety.
  • Chris Chris on May 08, 2016
    I just put in a similar hand railing and it was not cheap. I needed one. It is a shame it stops short of the bottom step. Enjoy the safety it offers you, as one time I was almost stuck outside for hours as I could not climb the steps without it. Trimming those yews really short and adding some pots would enhance the entrance.
  • Tpup Tpup on May 08, 2016
    I would paint the stairs and use a stencil to paint tiles on the riser. The handrail could be painted to match.
  • Cathy Cathy on May 09, 2016
    I would paint it a lighter color so that it would be more visible in the dark for safety purposes---doesn't look that bad to me
  • Julie Julie on May 09, 2016
    I like your stone retaining walls and I don't mind the hand rail either. I think you just need to add a climbing flowering vine to the lamppost, paint that rail a vibrant color, add some trailing vines to the retaining walls along with some flowers to add color. I agree the hedge could be lower and if you like the idea of painting your concrete steps, go for it. Just remember that a heavily used stairway will show wear and tear.
  • Sue Ryan Sue Ryan on Sep 03, 2016
    I would create a frame and add chicken wire. Simply attache it to the existing railing.
  • Stephanie corley Stephanie corley on Oct 18, 2016
    The handrail does not stick out like a sore thumb to me. I would place pots with flowers on the step on the side of the rail, I would buy cheap dollar store pots and paint them black and gray and brown by sponging to mimic the stone. Put in seasonal plants.