Beautiful stairs

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to convince Jules to create our ‘five year plan’. Sad, I know, but I’m a bit of a control freak and like to know where I will be and what I will be doing in the near future (even though I know, through experience, that plans never work out the way you want them to).

This weekend, I have finally managed to pin him down to agree to buying a house in the next year. This decision has mainly been influenced by our new puppy, Otto, who needs a garden (I knew this would happen, hence agreeing to get a puppy !). The idea of having a house – hopefully a period one – and being able to decorate and furnish it, is almost too exciting to bear. So, I am going to begin by dreaming of stairs…

When you move into a new house, there is always work that needs to be done and money that needs to be spent. You have to prioritise and make compromises and I am always looking for ways of saving money, whilst making my home as nice as can be.

We are currently away for a week, so I am unable to make anything or take photos of my own, so I am going to show you some stairway inspiration that I have found from Pinterest. All of these ideas are achievable, cheap and relatively easy and would be a good place to save some precious money when moving into a new home.


The first idea is to use wallpaper to decorate stair risers. Sarah Moore is a vintage designer and writer and here is an excerpt from her book Vintage Home with a tutorial for these gorgeous stairs:

Vintage wallpapered floral stairs

You will need:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Metal ruler
  • Thick card for template
  • Scissors or craft knife and board
  • Selection of vintage papers
  • PVA glue and brush
  • Clear acrylic varnish


  • Measure one of the risers in the middle of the staircase and use the dimensions to create a card template using scissors or a craft knife and board. Check that this fits on all the steps – the first and last often vary slightly.
  • On the back of your wallpaper, draw around the template, then cut out the pieces. Measure and cut out any risers that vary from the template.
  • Make sure the stairs are free of dust and any loose particles, then paint one riser at a time with a thin layer of PVA glue and smooth the paper in place. Push out any air bubbles or creases towards the edge of the stairs. Pay particular attention to the edges, ensuring that they are glued in place.
  • Wait until the glue is totally dry, about 24 hours, then cover the surface of each riser with a light coat of clear acrylic varnish to protect the paper.

Other ideas…

Painted banister

I love the simplicity of this hallway and the striking addition of colour to the banister rail.

Grain sack stair runner

This is a great idea, instead of spending a fortune on a professionally fitted stair runner. This grain sack fabric is tough and hard wearing and can be attached using glue. Stair runner tutorial here.

Painted blue stair case

I did a post recently about paint effects and this is a good example of how playing around with colour can be an easy way to add interest to any home.

Painted stair runner

A cheap, stylish alternative to a traditional stair runner. I like the colour a lot.

Natural wood stair runner

Or, just leave the middle of the stairs natural wood, which ties in well with the beautiful banister.

Stripy painted stair case

A little more tricky to do and very time consuming. Would definitely be a talking point.

Painted duck egg staircase

By painting the stair risers the same colour as the walls, with a different tone for the treads, creates a clean, simple look.

Now, I’m off to traipse through Right Move…I’m sure I can get a year down to six months. Jules is going to regret entertaining this idea. Ha!





  1. Betty
    21st July 2013 / 5:29 pm

    I dream of stairs too!! Xx

    • katy
      21st July 2013 / 5:32 pm

      One day we’ll both have stairs and complain about having to go up and down them! xx

  2. Nichola
    21st July 2013 / 7:41 pm

    Love the floral stairs! But, through experience I know that wood on the stairs is not great, noisy and wait till you fall down them (that’s another story). Look forward to reading stories of house viewings!!

    • katy
      22nd July 2013 / 5:45 pm

      Ha! Do you know of any nice houses with gardens in centralish London that don’t cost a billion pounds?! x

      • Nichola
        22nd July 2013 / 6:49 pm

        Rather depends on your definition of “centralish”! Good luck. x

  3. Sue
    29th July 2013 / 12:48 pm

    I love the wallpaper stairs, but wallpaper rolls can be very expensive just to use a little bit off the roll.

    • katy
      30th July 2013 / 6:30 pm

      Hi Sue! It is true that wallpaper can be SERIOUSLY expensive, especially if you only want to use a small piece. You can buy wallpaper remnants, like you can with fabric. Check eBay and wallpaper stockists that you’re interested in as they do normally have off cuts that they are willing to sell. If you like this vintage floral wallpaper you can buy twelve A4 pieces for only £12 here:

    • katy
      30th July 2013 / 7:03 pm

      Or use pretty wrapping paper!

  4. cee cee
    5th June 2016 / 5:21 pm

    I wood luv to have a great big old wonderful Victorian, full of stairs and old style class and personality,
    But….. age trumps stairs 🙁
    Cee Cee

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