How to Add Interest to a Tall, Narrow Stairway

I have a bonus room over the garage which has a tall, narrow stairway going up to it which has always felt like a cave...very tall, straight walls with very little light. No matter how many pictures I hung, I couldn't seem to get rid of that cave feeling.
Using some inspiration from a much fancier house than mine, I was finally able to do a stairway make-over that makes me happy! (Click the post link at the bottom of this page to see the inspiration picture)
Here's what I started with. Notice the blue, builder carpet that always seemed to look dirty. And that light fixture at the top of the stairs is really bright (it took 8-60 Watt bulbs) but the stairway still looks dark.
Step 1: Add moldings to the walls. I added faux-columns at every corner and a chair rail half-way up the wall to break up the huge, flat wall surface. Then I painted the whole thing in Benjamin Moore Ivory White to help brighten the space up.
Step 2: I removed the builder-grade, blue, wall-to-wall carpet that was on the stairs. I was originally going to replace it with hardwood flooring, but found out that was too expensive. Instead I sanded them, and painted them Benjamin Moore Onyx. To add some pizzazz, I installed the leopard print runner (I have always wanted one of those!!)
Step 3: Hang a chandelier at the top of the stairs. It not only adds a lot of light, it also looks beautiful! To reflect even more light into that narrow, dark space, I hung a mirror behind the chandelier. (That mirror used to be a window in an old church...they were replacing them with new ones, so I replaced the glass with a mirror and painted the frame black).
Step 4: Hang pictures, wall sculptures and paintings in between the moldings on the walls. I chose to go with mostly black and white to go with the stairway color scheme.
Enjoy the finished results! While my stairway is still narrow, it isn't dark and cave-like any more.

Find out more details on how I did my stairway makeover at
Wanda @ From House To Home
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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