Ideas for Creative Stair Risers

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Feb 24, 2013 | Chaya Kurtz

Slate stair risers and photo via Ana M. via for a way to add visual pop to your house? Stair risers are often ignored, but they are the perfect canvas for a style statement. Whether you paint the risers, or cover them with found objects, or if you tile or carpet them, you can enhance the style of your house. Whatever style you're going for, whether it is classic, farmhouse, or industrial chic, decorating your staircase's risers will reinforce the style. It's also an awesome way to add harmonizing colors to your design scheme.

Oak stained wood stair treads and slate tile risers: The coordinating colors of this beautiful staircase design, tiled by DIY Atlanta tile installer Ana M., give an earthy edge to a classic interior. It took Ana two weeks to stain and tile her stairs, and the results are impeccable. Dark slate contrasts with light stained treads. Try a look like this if you want a classic staircase with a little bit of flavor.

Sisal stair runner: The sisal stair runner is straight out of Martha Stewart Living. Perfect for seaside or preppy decor, the sisal stair runner is an alternative to decorating each riser. The light, natural color of sisal evokes sea reeds and sailing. Relatively inexpensive, the toughest part of this project is installation. It's worth hiring a flooring carpenter to do a neat, polished job of installing the carpet. The lasting impact of a durable sisal stair runner is worth the cost of labor.

Eclectic reclaimed stairs and risers: Gosh dang it, these reclaimed stairs and risers are some of the most inventive we've seen. Constructed by one of our favorite bloggers, Funky Junk Interiors, the stairs I've linked to are literally made of reclaimed vintage wooden crates, and found wood scraps like yard sticks. They look downright magical! Stairs, or just risers, made from reclaimed materials give the structure of the house (not just the furnishings) a rambling country vibe that can't be ignored. If you want to make your farmhouse style house look authentic, add a dimension of design with reclaimed stair risers and treads.

Custom stenciled risers: As everyone knows, stencils are a fun way to add personality to a wall without breaking the bank. Adding a fine detail stencil design to stair risers takes stair risers from ordinary to statement piece. Modern stencils are available for the mod set; or go classic for a classic or farmhouse look. Just be sure that the risers are in excellent condition before stenciling. It might be a good idea to sand, prime, and paint them before stenciling for the most polished result.

Tile and stain stair risers: Got an Earthship or a cob cottage? Do you have a ski house in Vermont? Tile and stain stair risers are the perfect earthy look for a rustic cottage. The combination of a reddish stain and neutral colored handmade tiles says Maine fishing house, Vermont ski house, or even New Mexico adobe. A combination of Central American or Mediterranean tile and a bright color of paint could work for a Spanish-style hacienda. One thing is for sure: Stair risers the feature a thoughtful color contrast of tile and paint or stain are high style, and low maintenance.

Chaya Kurtz writes for

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