Saturday, December 8, 2012

Decorate Your Staircase In GRAND Style
Women have been running down them.......

(touch pic if gif isn't working)
and being carried up them for ages.

Grand Staircases

I love staircases, those fabulous bridges between floors. The are usually the first impression that a home makes when guests enter. When we deck the halls during the Holidays, they usually get our utmost attention as we garland, light, and tie them up in beautiful ribbons and bows. We stand on them for family pictures, slide down their banisters, brides descend them, and if you are like me, even fall down them a time or two. 

The purpose of this post is more about how to decorate staircases in exciting ways. Your staircase may not be as big in size, but it can still be grand in how it's decorated. I have a normal sized staircase that I recently painted in a faux marble treatment. Now it makes a statement and is more impressive. Use art, harlequin patterns, faux stone (see My Faux Limestone Project - July 2012) or marble treatments, paint murals, stencil, use paneling, wallpaper, furniture placement or beautiful runners. It may be on a smaller scale but by all means make your guests say "WOW" when they enter your home.

All styles are beautiful to me. I adore simple, primitive stairways. French country entrances with unpretentious yet elegant staircases causes my heart to skip a beat. While this post is dedicated to their grander cousins, stay tuned for a post about them too.  Enjoy these architectural beauties from private homes and palaces and be inspired!

Muralists can paint beautiful scenes or there are wallpapers you can use to create a look like this.

I love the mural painted on the back of this curved staircase. So much more interesting that just paint. You could also paper this area. Anything to add interest and elegance. It might be a pattern, stone treatment, or they make wonderful stencils now. It's not that hard, just takes time. The end result is well worth the effort!

The perfect place for a piano, or a chaise, or settee. The space NEEDS something!

This staircase has the perfect runner for this beautiful entry and the wallpaper really makes this area gorgeous!

Intricately carved and painted newels and baluster makes this staircase incredible.

I am not sure, but this looks like faux marbling and tromp l'oeil painting  on these walls. I faux marbleized  the newels, risers and decorative trim work of my staircase and LOVE it. Remember there are so many creative ways  to bring the WOW factor to your stairways.

L-shape designed stairway with raised paneling and wallpaper. Please no plain white walls ladies!

Freestanding curved staircases have no support from underneath, and aren't attached on either side to a wall. This unseemingly stable structure is kept rigid by the staircase's engineering.

Kensington Palace

You might not have black marble steps like these, but you can still find ways to make YOUR palace more interesting.I painted my steps black in an old home I restored. Then layered coats of polyurethane to seal it good. They were beautiful.

It you are a fan of wood staircases, this should definitely make you smile!

Steps can be made of wood, marble, or stone like these.

 See these black marble newel posts. You can do the same thing with a faux marble treatment. Many grand staircases have elaborate lighting topping their newel posts.

Another amazing example of a staircase with illuminated newel. This was so fabulous I just had to include it.

A gorgeous iron baluster. Consider iron instead of wood. If you don't have limestone walls, create them! (See July's Faux Limestone Project post)

Main hallway of Chatsworth House, a stately home in England.

I love interesting walls so of course I love to paper above the raised paneling.

Harlequin floors are stunning entrances and  make stairs look so elegant.

Beautiful, intricate, stairway with an exotic flair.

Another beautiful free standing staircase. This one also has a balcony. If you are going with all white, make sure your flooring is interesting. This area work well because of the windows and how they bring interest to the staircase. I do, however, think some interior landscaping is called for here.

I thought you might be interested in seeing the grand staircase at Althorpe, the ancestral home of Diana, Princess of Wales. I love interesting ceilings!

Lovely staircase with a double bullnose (last step design) and two volutes (sets of curved balusters).

Over the top, but stunning!!!

Beautiful raised paneling surrounds this staircase giving it a grander appearance.

 A radius attached staircase is attached on one side to a wall, and can be freestanding or have support underneath. The collection of architectural elements gives this staircase interest.  Do you collect something that could be displayed  on the walls of your stairway?

This is called a  flare staircase. The steps flare out at the bottom. I thing staircases are the perfect area to display a tapestry.

Staircase at Petit Palais - Paris. Gorgeous sweeping curves!

Beautiful wood staircase with decorative paneling. Display a collection of art or a few LARGE pieces. Your stairs need to be decorated.

An incredible example of the spiral staircase design.

Lovely detailed staircase.

And we all recognize this scene and the staircase it is spotlighting.


One of the most iconic grand staircases. Part of a cherub lamp fitting from the grand staircase has been recovered and is on display at a Titanic museum in the eastern United States.

Enjoy decorating YOUR grand staircase!
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