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Create Your Own Stairway from Heaven

Stairways and landings are the backbone of every house connecting the various areas and rooms and allowing an easy flow of people and energy to run through the building. These areas can also often double up as the welcoming area to a home offering a first glimpse of the character and atmosphere within. However central and important the stairwell and adjoining areas are to the functioning of the home, because of the transitional uses of the space, these rooms are often left ignored in terms of design. There are however some quick, highly effective and beneficial ways to introduce some style in to these areas without reducing the practical capabilities.

As floor space is often limited in these areas the most obvious way to introduce some style is to add pattern or colour to the walls. Consider creating a contemporary feature wall within the stairwell by hanging abstract patterned wallpaper, or for a more minimalist effect, choose your favourite colour of paint. To introduce colour or pattern in more traditional surroundings you may want to consider using dado-rails or picture rails to create smaller areas or panels instead of stretching to ceiling to floor coverage. When choosing which option is most suitable for your home, take time to consider how the design within the stair and landing area will affect or be seen from different rooms.

Try to choose a colour or pattern which complements or most importantly does not clash with other design schemes in the house. Ideally, it would be most beneficial if the colour scheme within the stair area brings together the colours used within the rest of the house. Furthermore, it is also important to consider the level of light entering the space. If relatively dark, stick to soft and bright colours to reflect light within the area and maximise the illusion of space.

If such a bold statement as a feature wall is not to your taste there are still plenty of other ways to introduce style in to your stairwell. Why not opt for less intrusive a more temporary wall hangings to add some identity to the room. If appropriate, choose a style which comes in a variety of sizes and formats so you can hang coordinating wall art in the hall, landing and stairwell. Or, why not consider a opulent style mirror, rustic wall hanging or tapestry.

Alternatively, or as well as, adding interesting and fashionable rugs and runners is another equally effective way to introduce pattern and colour in to the room. There are a huge variety of styles available from traditional Persian rugs to contemporary abstract designs. Choose whichever style you prefer but also be sure to consider the practicalities of your choice such as colour, durability, size and shape.

Finally, once you are happy with the level of pattern and colour within the stairwell use lighting to create atmosphere and areas of interest. Opt for simple wall lights to illuminate corridors and team with a more statement ceiling light in the main hallway. For a real wow factor why not suspend a beautiful chandelier or abstract light fitting down the centre of your stairwell to not only illuminate the area but also emphasise the vertical properties of the space and act as a continuum between the upstairs and downstairs areas.

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