If you're lucky enough to have a beautiful, old staircase, chances are you want to preserve it and make it look it's best, but how?
Gorgeous Interior Design Solutions for your staircase
Which type of staircase do you prefer?
Do you own a tired staircase? Want Expert Advice?
As most of our projects involve the hallway (which not only has to be impactful and stylish but highly practical and on budget) over the years we've tackled staircases, landings and entryways of varying ages and conditions. Today we're offering you our five tips on how to beautify yours.
Definitive Step By Step Plan to a Stunning Staircase
1. Where to Start
Establishing your budget is key as you need to know if you have £1,000 or £10,000. If it's the former you can hire a decorator to repaint the area but if it's the latter let's also get a top-end runner on those treads and risers.
Unless you're a particularly good decorator with plenty of time, you're going to need help. Recommendation is the best way to find a trusted painter or carpenter so ask around your friends and neighbours who've recently had work done. Alternatively we have clients who have successfully hired through Check a Trade, Rated People and Houzz where you can read genuine reviews of work.
3. To Cover or Not
Should you have an Oak staircase or your decor suits a more rustic/industrial/shabby look, you should get any repairs to dodgy steps, spindles and wobbly finials done and keep on top of the anti-slip, protective oil or vanish to show off the wood's true beauty. However, if you have a knackered pine staircase, with cold and slippery steps, carpet or a runner is needed. If fully carpeting only the banister and spindles need looking at but for a runner the treads and risers need either a full coverage of paint - a longer project OR you can just paint the sides, making sure to go a few cm into the carpeted area as the runner will cover the rest.
Then there's edging - whipped Vs Tape edge. Whipping is the process of wrapping the cut edges of a carpet to stop them from fraying. Tape is made of fabric which is adhered to the edges and gives a more expensive look, because it is more expensive, but looks incredibly smart.
4. Pattern and Colour Choices
If your walls have pattern on them a plain runner will keep the scheme in check. If a bolder look is your thing, then go for a clashing print in a neutral or harmonious colour. If the walls are bare, why? Stick a picture up at least! Then a patterned runner will give you the wow factor you're looking for. Pale colours make for a calm space whilst darker colours give you a richer and more impactful, chic entrance.
Then the woodwork - white is a popular choice as it's timeless but our advice is to always go for an off-white which is less harsh on the eyes yet does the same job and is more sophisticated in our opinion. However if you want colour for a stand-out hallway, always pick a muted shade such as French Grey or Cerullian Blue unless you're like the lovely Siobhan from Interior Design Masters in which case go for it!
5. The Environment & Where To Buy
Where possible choose natural fabrics for carpet such as wool or sisal and cotton tapes. Also use grippers and stair bars so that less adhesive is needed. For the walls look for low to no VOCs, water based paints such as Farrow and Ball and Little Greene, and with even stronger eco credentials Grafclean mid-sheen by Graphenstone which incorporates nano-technology for enhanced durability or Earthborn's Eggshell, just make sure to lightly sand and prime first.
The Open Plan would love to hear about your staircase projects should you not want to tackle the job on your own We can help with a colour consultation, bespoke design advice and project management, so just drop us a line now.
Do you find yourself staring blankly at paint charts, loving the bright yellow or charcoal grey but returning to beige and white in fear of having a custard coloured kitchen or dingy master bedroom? Part 3 of this guide walks you through how to work a paint chart and get experimental.
Paint Charts - Let's turn these little booklets of confusion into pro-decorating tools.
Easy as I, II, III
First, there are the easy to use tonal charts some of the best being Dulux, Little Greene, Paint and Paper Library and Bert and May. All of these group shades together making it easy to confidently choose several shades in seconds. From this you can allocate a different shade to different areas and items in the room - easy! If you then want a stronger shade just dip into the darker colours on the chart. For example, Paint and Paper's Plaster I-V would go brilliantly with a shock of Rhubarb and Little Greene's French Grey shades would sit perfectly with anything from Green Verditer to Atomic Red.
Cut it Up
Now cut up your paint chart making sure to keep the colour name with the paint chip. This is preferable to wrestling with a paint chart trying to get two colours to meet up. Then have fun placing the colour chips in pleasing groups on a white piece of card or paper which'll help you see their true colours. You'd be surprised how dark an off-white can look against pure white. To make life even easier take the chips that match your inspiration image (see blog Parts 1 & 2) and assemble them. Now you're getting somewhere. Don't be afraid to use several paint charts to find the colours you need, just make sure that you keep tabs on which charts the chips came from.
If you can get the paint stores in question, then you'll be able to play with their larger showroom samples. Upsizing your paint chips and seeing the colour as a larger expanse really helps you to decide on your colours. Most of the boutique paint shops offer this option and have well trained staff to help you in the decision making process. I do this all the time, so you should too.
I wasn't planning on it but think I'll do a Part 4 - Sample Pots watch out for it.....
One of London's Best Interiors Bloggers (Ideal Home magazine), The Open Plan Interior Design, London produces contemporary interiors for homes and business' and this very useful home interiors blog