Asked on Feb 14, 2015

Ugly Stairs - Help!

by Hilly
A typical Dutch house with the back (under) of your spiral wooden stairs being part of your living space. I was thinking about putting some shelves – but because it’s a spiral stair case each shelf need to be custom made which means extra costs. Help me with some small budget creative ideas how can I turn this ugly feature into something beautiful. Thank you !
q ugly stairs help, shelving ideas, stairs
  23 answers
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Feb 15, 2015
    You may see ugly because you live with it so don't have "fresh" eyes. I see a very neat architectural feature that needs no embellishment or alteration! If you wanted a low budget project, you could stencil a saying down the risers. " Beauty/is/in/the/ eye/of/the/ beholder" might be apropos!

  • Linda Linda on Feb 15, 2015
    I also think this feature is an interesting plus. I do like the stencil idea...even a graphic design rather than, or in addition to, words. Then stage some interesting items along the wall and out from the bottom step, graduating the height of each piece to fill the space. An old trunk - an old chair with a plant on the seat - a tall metal container, like an umbrella holder. You could shop at Goodwill for some interesting items. Then if they don't work, you can donate them back.

  • Karen Schneider Karen Schneider on Feb 15, 2015
    I would use it as an area to display pictures.

  • Cindy Curtis Cindy Curtis on Feb 15, 2015
    If it were mine I think I would get some low light plants or even hook up a grow light for them,but I would hang a lot of plants from them.

  • Janis Hill Janis Hill on Feb 15, 2015
    @ Hilly - you can do so many interesting things with these lovely stairs. 1) You can ombre paint them. Buy one dark color, add 1/4 or 1/2 cup of white, stir and paint the next step. 2) Add wallpaper of trees so your eye moves upward 3) Add Beadboard 4) Paint each step a different shade of one color 5) Number each one 6) Paint the lyrics of a song, a poem, or favorite saying 7) Use removable vinyl stickers 8 & 9) Or whatever makes you feel happy

  • Jude Jude on Feb 15, 2015
    I wish mine hadn't been boarded up - otherwise I would have had pull out drawers as storage under each one

  • Ann Beach Ann Beach on Feb 15, 2015
    I see a reading nook. Try a cozy color, comfy chair, suspended light and a few steps extended into shelves for book/art.

  • Colleen Colleen on Feb 15, 2015
    I think Marion Nesbitt said it perfectly, and your idea of making them more interesting is great. There are terrific ideas here for you to consider. Have fun and I hope you post an updated picture of what you do with them :-) I'm continually inspired by the creativity I see on this site.

  • Kogle Kogle on Feb 15, 2015
    What about adding some inspirational daily quotes!

  • Rebecca L Rebecca L on Feb 15, 2015
    I would give them some color and attach storage baskets on the back of them...something like this

  • Susan Viers Susan Viers on Feb 15, 2015
    paint everything the same color as the wall - add a large stand up mirror

  • Peter Lloyd Peter Lloyd on Feb 15, 2015
    Add inspirational statements. Like the 12 steps

  • Ilona Elliott Ilona Elliott on Feb 15, 2015
    You could add some neat architectural interest with those wood appliques and some cool trim--I think it's definitely a plus not a minus for your house. Even painting it a cool color or colors would look awesome. Let us see what you do!

  • Lynda Benoit Lynda Benoit on Feb 15, 2015
    I would paint the under boards a dark colour (perhaps the green on your wall). On the vertical boards, I would stencil with the same colour you used on your "under" boards. Also I would move the tv to another spot. Once your stairs are painted it will be a focal point of the room. Please post an after shot.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 16, 2015
    Attach small flower boxes to several of the stair but outs and store small stuff, flowers or colorful items. It will brighten the space for sure.

  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 16, 2015
    If your home is of a country chic design, consider natural or painted gutters attached to the steps areas. These could be found at a salvage, maybe.

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Feb 16, 2015
    How about attaching hooks for hanging flower baskets?

  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Feb 16, 2015
    I actually saw this done on a regular staircase right after I had finished mine "in the normal way". Glad to pass it on, so I no longer feel compelled to redo mine!

  • PainterNoni PainterNoni on Feb 17, 2015
    Not seeing the rest of the room, and furniture placement, it's hard to say, but could use white cup hooks to han "pretties" from. Each step down from the cuphooks would act as background...could be bold spashes of colors, tiny sparkling mirrors......light weight that twist and turn........

  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Feb 18, 2015
    I like the book spine ideal, inspirational verses, or even a song or poem you like written on them. There is a staircase in St. Augustine, Fl. with the Yo ho ho Pirates Life for me song on them, I love it! I love your exposed stairs, have FUN with & embrace them! =D

  • Hilly Hilly on Feb 18, 2015
    Thank you all for your good ideas - will keep you all updated.

  • Patricia Atwell Patricia Atwell on Jul 10, 2015
    Use as an area to display photographs.