11 Beautiful Wooden Stairs Ideas for a Welcoming Hallway

Wooden stairs have a unique charm. Timeless and versatile, wooden stairs can provide a relaxed and welcoming entrance to any home, whether your style is simplistic Scandi, rustic country or moody Vict.

By Amy Booth Updated: March 16, 2024 7 mins read

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Wooden stairs have a unique charm. Timeless and versatile, wooden stairs can provide a relaxed and welcoming entrance to any home, whether your style is simplistic Scandi, rustic country or moody Victorian.

The wonderful thing about wooden stairs is that you can create and complement a huge range of looks. Opt for painted stairs and you can change your colour pallet as often as you like. Kept bare, wooden stairs will go with absolutely any wall colour.

So, if you’re ready to ditch the carpet, read on and be inspired by these 11 beautiful stair ideas for a welcoming hallway.

1. All White

Create a bright and welcoming feel in your hallway by painting your entire staircase white. Ditching the carpet and opting for all-white painted stairs is an excellent way to enhance the sense of space and reflect valuable natural light.

For a seamless and fresh look, paint your walls white, too. Then, add a splash of colour to your space with an eye-catching gallery wall above your staircase. It’s a fantastic way to add a sense of fun to your décor.

2. Bare Wood

Create the Scandi hallway you’ve always dreamed of with completely natural wood stairs. Relaxed, simplistic and stylish, the bare wood look will make you and your guests feel right at home every single time.

Get the look by lifting your old carpets and sanding your stairs and floorboards.

Protect your wood with oil for a natural appearance that’s easy to maintain. Or, if you prefer a glossy finish, opt for a clear varnish. Pair your wooden stairs with crisp white walls to complete the Scandi look.

3. Patterned stairs

Give your staircase a unique look by decorating your risers with wallpaper. Whether you’re using up a spare roll or two you have left over from another project or choosing a pattern, especially for your stairs, it’s guaranteed to create a showstopping hallway.

Transform your hallway with a fabulous botanical or jungle print wallpaper.

Papering your risers is surprisingly easy – you can simply use wallpaper paste as you would with walls. Then, paint your treads to complete the design. You could choose an accent colour from your paper, or a dark hue for contrast.

4. Paint a Rainbow

Nothing says ‘welcome’ like a rainbow staircase! These vibrant hues would bring any hallway to life, regardless of size or lighting.

Sure, it’s not a design for the faint-hearted, but if you’re brave enough to add this much colour to your space, it will spark joy every time you step through the door.

If you’re feeling inspired by this kaleidoscope of colour, paint your stair risers rainbow shades from top to bottom.

You can make the décor more affordable by buying tester pots or using up leftover paint from elsewhere in your home. Keep your walls neutral and paint your stair treads and spindles white for contrast.

5. Monochrome

A monochrome colour palette is timeless – and guaranteed to give your hallway some wow-factor. Clean and stylish, it suits every type of home, from modern new builds to characterful period properties.

Give your hallway a high-contrast makeover with a monochrome staircase. Paint your risers, skirting boards and spindles white, then pair them with a black banister and treads. Give your home an ultra-fresh look by painting your walls white, too.

6. Add a Runner

Dress up your wooden stairs with a gorgeous new stair runner. With an unlimited choice of colours and patterns, a runner allows you to choose something that reflects your home’s personality.

A runner is also an excellent way to soften the transition between carpet and solid flooring – perfect if you have carpet on your landing but a hard floor in your hallway.

Balance a colourful hallway with painted white stairs and a stylish, neutral runner. Alternatively, if you want to add colour to a neutral space, look for a runner with a funky pattern like stripes, zigzags or polka dots.

7. Combine Wood and Paint

For an enduring, low maintenance look, combine natural wood with white paint on your staircase. This gorgeous staircase features white painted risers with exposed wood treads, creating contrast in a soft and welcoming way.

Including some warm wood tones in your hallway is a great way to create a relaxed and cosy vibe you can enjoy every day.

For the best of both worlds, sand your staircase back and keep your treads and bannister natural wood. Then, paint your risers and spindles white for a fresh and bright finish.


8. Paint It Black

Do you like to venture to the dark side? Then a black staircase could be the perfect centrepiece for your home. Against a neutral scheme, black stairs will create contrast and bring plenty of visual interest to your hallway.

There are lots of black shades to choose from when deciding on your paint. From deepest black to rich navy and purple undertones, you can add an exciting dimension to your décor.

Paint your entire staircase including the bannister, spindles, treads and risers black, and pair it with lighter wall paint for contrast.

9. Open Stairs

If you’re thinking of replacing your staircase altogether, consider open wooden stairs in your interior design.

Open stairs are fantastic for enhancing the sense of light and space in a hallway – even better if your space doesn’t benefit from lots of natural light.

Create a stylish, minimalist scheme by opting for natural light wood treads and white walls. Then, opt for simplistic balustrades that don’t interrupt the line of sight, like glass or horizontal cables, to help you get the most from your open staircase design.

10. Painted Runner

Painting a runner on your wooden stairs is a brilliant way to create visual interest. Plus, it’s not as much of a commitment as carpet. More affordable and easier to transform, you can change your painted runner as often as you like.

Paint your staircase and balustrades white as a base, then add colour by painting a runner up the centre of your stairs. Enhance a neutral scheme with grey, navy or black, or brighten your hallway with pastels like pale pink, mint green or powder blue.

11. Have Fun

Hallways can often be overlooked when it comes to décor, often a place we quickly pass through without giving it too much thought. But you can change all of that by revamping your wooden stairs with an unashamedly bold design.

Don’t be afraid to have fun and be brave with colour. Remember, it’s your staircase in your home, and there’s no limit to what you can do with it.

Whether you opt for two contrasting paint colours or jazz up your wooden stairs with a painted pattern, it’s a brilliant chance to inject some personality. Choose something that sparks joy every time you come through the door and you’ll never tire of it.



Can You Paint Wooden Stairs?

You can paint wooden stairs. Painting a staircase is a relatively quick job that can completely transform your space – and it’s great if you’re on a budget.

Whether you paint the entire stairs one colour, multiple colours, or just paint a runner, you can achieve a range of looks.

How Do You Revamp Wooden Stairs?

You can revamp wooden stairs yourself with fresh paint – but you should put in a little work beforehand. If your stairs already have layers of paint, it’s a good idea to strip the paint back by sanding, or using a heat gun or paint stripper.

This will help make sure you have the best base for your new colour. You can also transform wooden stairs with wood stain, or by adding a stylish runner.

Amy Booth

Amy Booth is a freelance writer that’s passionate about all things home decor, art, literature, and nature. She lives in an Edwardian home in the North East of England, where her renovation adventures began with her husband and newborn daughter, Violet. Amy describes her home style as “traditional with a twist”, and in her spare time, she shares home decor tips and inspiration on her Instagram page, as well as her latest home updates. When she’s not obsessing over interiors, you can find her cooking vegetarian food or enjoying a glass of prosecco.

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