Asked on Jul 08, 2016

How can I make the stair railing behind my couch less of and eyesore?

Marlo Jacobs
by Marlo Jacobs
Our long and narrow living room doesn't lend itself to many options for furniture placement. Our sofa sits in front the stair railing, is there any way to make this more attractive? It's a rental so I'm limited to temporary options. I'm getting a love seat to replace this recliner couch so I can add a small table & lamp to the right hand corner and hold the tv remotes as the tv is directly in front of the couch and the fireplace is to the right of the fireplace. Thank you Hometalkers!
Here's a view from the landing of the living room. Please excuse the mess my son is moving and his love seat under the window is going with him. Moving the couch under the window isn't an option as it doesn't allow viewing the tv.
The railing behind the couch!
Another view of the area.
  13 answers
  • Geri Ann Geri Ann on Jul 08, 2016
    My first suggestion would be to move the couch out of that nook about a foot or so, put a slim sofa table behind it and completely dress it out to make the railings fade away. Good luck...
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Jul 08, 2016
    mis-read question
  • She3809931 She3809931 on Jul 08, 2016
    Create a screen out of old closet doors and hinges, or buy a beautiful screen . you might have to set your couch forward a bit but it could look great with doors painted the right colour! Or with the right screen !
  • Laurie Powell Laurie Powell on Jul 08, 2016
    I would try to find one of those 3 sectioned room dividers & place it in front of the rails behind the sofa. I'd also add a nice large mantle to your fireplace. A big piece of old barnwood would look great! Then I would hang the tv on the wall & put the components on the mantle in a decorative way. I also have a helpful tip for your the back cushions on your sofa. You can buy some polyfil or sometimes pillows are cheaper and add it up inside the back cusions to make them look fluffy & new again. I had to do that to mine. Good luck & post more photos after you're done with whatever you decide to do!!
  • D Corwin D Corwin on Jul 08, 2016
    It may even help to just paint the entire stair rail system black - the white color draws your eye right to it, where black would make it recede and thus be less noticeable.
  • Ginny Ginny on Jul 08, 2016
    Replace the current rail system with a wooden rail that has spindles that go from the floor of the rail to the bannister. It will make the area look warmer and the warm color of the wood will fade into the background.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jul 08, 2016
    Since this is a rental I would not replace the railings. If you decide to paint I would make sure it is ok with your landlord. My next thought is to change to furniture around a bit. Placing screens or anything else in m y opinion will draw even more attention the the situation. You can always use greenery that I always find attractive and adds warmth to the room.
  • Debbie Debbie on Jul 08, 2016
    If you have room, pull the couch forward and put a sofa table behind with lamps, and accessories.
  • Greg Greg on Jul 08, 2016
    Try some icicle lights with some sheer fabric.
  • Diana Diana on Jul 08, 2016
    A folding screen would be perfect. Get ine with empty "frames" in the panels and staple fabric or sheeting in the frame that matches your couch. Or, but and hang a bamboo matchstick blind behind the couch in front of the railing using cup hooks at the ceiling. Blinds are cheap and you can patch the little holes when you move.
  • Marlo Jacobs Marlo Jacobs on Jul 08, 2016
    Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions, I love all of your ideas. I'm excited to try these out. Greenery is a great idea especially when I decorate for Christmas it looks really pretty and the idea of using fabric or chicken wire with photos is a really sweet personal touch. A thin sofa table would be nice ideal but it take away from our already narrow and limited walkway, but might look nice in front of the window when son moves out next month and takes his loveseat. I'll post pictures when I finish redecorating. My smaller sofa/loveseat will be here next week! Thanks again for your ideas & suggestions I really your creativity!
  • Sharon Hall Sharon Hall on Jul 09, 2016
    Room divider from old shutters or doors? Perhaps a long picture frame from thrift store with fabric or wood inside it? Make a pallet false wall to lightly wire to rail?
  • Deb K Deb K on Jul 04, 2023

    Hi Marlo, you can do a few things here, hope this helps.

    pull the couch our about a foot and fill the area behind it with tall real or silk plants

    Or add faux vines/plants to the railing behind. You can also paint the railing to look nicer