Stair Risers Need Love, Too
Jun 11
Here's another part of your house that is probably feeling ignored - your stair risers.

Maybe you think stair risers should be ignored. Maybe you think they're boring, foot-level nonentities not worthy of your attention. Well, once again you are wrong. Do you know a five-year old who thinks everything should be covered with sparkles? Well, take it from the mouths of babes: everything in your home could benefit from some sparkly attention.

Of course, I don't mean actual sparkles. Hate sparkles. It's a metaphor. For example, a friend was recently painting her downstairs entry, hallway, living room, stairs, and upstairs landing in shades ranging from a warm brown to champagne beige. I asked if these hues all came from the same palette. Yes, they did. Then I asked what she thought about painting her stair risers all the colors from that palette - two steps in the first shade, then two steps in the next shade, etc.

She liked the idea. When her husband heard the idea was from me (though I cannot claim it - saw it on Pinterest), he was inclined to dislike the plan. He asked, Why not just cover the stairs in metal and be done with it? Haha, very funny. But they did it anyway, and guess what? They like it. Maybe they even love it. They sure get lots of positive comments on those stairs, too.

So let's discuss those damn stair risers again, people. You can give them some love in a non-crazy way with subtle changes in paint shade, or go a little more extreme in the paint changes. How about just painting the stairs - and your growing collection of old picture frames, too? You can add stencils to the your stairs, though I think sarcastic and funny quotes (maybe Dorothy Parker?) would be better than those feigning to be inspirational - but that's a personal choice we all need to make for ourselves.

My stair risers (above) are rescued from the stigma of boring and dull with broken tile mosaics (salvaged tile). If you are adventurous, how about taking mosaics to a more unique place and individualize each riser with a collection to create its own personality? My grandmother had a spoon collection, and I think vintage spoons or salvaged silverware would look awesome embedded in a stair riser. How about old wrenches, vintage bottle openers, or hose nozzles? I really would like to see old Barbie heads on a stair riser (very macabre), or Matchbox cars. How about creating a riser when you get to critical mass on a collection. One step at a time!

I've been wondering how cork would look on risers. This one feels extreme, because cork leads to push pins. Would that look messy? I've never seen it done. Some of you might be saying yeah, because it's a horrible idea, but bear with me here. On the right type of stairs, this could work. Perhaps not on the grand entryway type stairs, but maybe the stairs to the basement. Cover the risers with cork and stark collecting. A riser covered with movie stubs? One covered with ribbons from soccer and lacrosse and karate, one covered with cards your kids made. Just spit-balling here, but you get it.

The point is - give those risers some love. They deserve it. And, it can be such fun coming up with the perfect decorations or colors.

P.S. I started a Pinterest board for this one. Ideas, ideas, ideas...



Nancy, What great ideas you have in decorating. I love your friends idea and the tiles on your stairs

By Sharon Larcom on 11/06/2013

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