12 Inspired Ways to Embellish Stair Risers

Updated: Mar. 22, 2024

Do your stair risers need a little TLC? We often lavish attention on other surfaces around the home but the stair risers are often neglected. But, with a dash of innovation, they can become a home decor focal point. Paint and tile provide endless possibilities and for utter simplicity, stair-riser decals are easy to apply and remove, meaning you can change your look as often as you like. Here are 12 inspired ways to embellish your stair risers. Onward and upward!

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A Musical Note

Remember the famous foot piano in the movie, “Big”? Well, maybe you can’t actually make a giant piano out of your stair risers, but you can certainly give that impression! These striking keyboard stair riser decals from Funlife will give some musical flair to your staircase and make it a great focal point–ideal for any family that loves music.

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Ombre Risers

Painting your stair risers can be a simple as choosing a color to match your décor, but an ombre staircase with graduating tones makes a fabulous statement. Kailo Life has a great tutorial that shows you how to transform your staircase in just a couple of hours.

If your steps are a bit creaky, check out our guide to fixing squeaky stairs.

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Magical Mosaics

If you love the magic of mosaics, then your stair risers make the perfect showcase. Opt for classical Roman tesserae, striking monochromes, or let your imagination run wild with a pictorial design like a waterfall or village houses for tile stair risers. Individual mosaic tiles can be tedious to work with, so make life easier by using mosaic tile sheets instead.

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Colorful Tiles

You can also use tiles to complement an ethnic theme for tile stair risers. For example. Mexican tiles use gorgeous earthy colors to striking effect, Islamic patterns create an exotic feel, or Dutch blue Delft tiles look great in a traditional farmhouse setting. Your tiles can serve as an inspiration for your whole color palette – just pick a couple of your favorite tones and choose your paint and soft furnishings to match. And check out our expert tiling tips for the perfect finish.

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Book Lover’s Paradise

One of the easiest options for embellishing your stair risers is to use decals. Stair riser decals are stylish, affordable and can be changed easily. For a really eye-catching staircase, why not try these amazing book decals from VIPdecals? You order them individually, so you can choose your favorite book titles for true personalization.

Have you got more books than you know what to do with? Here are 15 brilliant ways to repurpose old books.

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Inspiring Words

We all need a little encouragement from time to time, so using inspiring words like these from Creative Expressionz on your stair risers is a great way to keep them at the forefront of your mind. There’s a whole range of decals in this category, including famous quotes, Bible verses, or even ironic encouragement!

And if your stair handrail is wobbly or non-existent, why not install this kid-proof rail for added safety?

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Teaching Tool

Learning facts like times tables can be transformed from a boring chore into a fun experience. Installing educational laminates, like these times table facts from Signs for Success, will help your kids absorb the information they need almost without noticing.

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Deceive Your Eyes

For true eye trickery, transform your stair risers into a portal to another world. Specially designed decals, like this deserted seashore from Rosegal, make your staircase look like a window into a rainforest, waterfall, railroad tunnel or even deep space. Be sure to count the number of stair riser decals you need because sets are designed for short flights.

If your stair spindles are in poor condition, check out our detailed guide to installing and repairing them. Plus, here’s how you can easily paint stair spindles with a sock.

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Rainbow Blocks

How about a bright splash of color? These stunning rainbow bricks stair riser decals will really make your stairs stand out from the crowd.

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Give a Mouse a Home

No one wants a rodent infestation. But for a little whimsy, you can use these mouse stair riser decals from Pegatinas de Pared on your stair risers! These monochrome mice can be used in myriad ways to tell a secret story about cats and mice and will certainly cause a wry smile.

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Seasonal Designs

The fun of stair riser decals is that they can be changed quickly and easily, making them the perfect option for adding some seasonal cheer to your home. These decorative wintery stair riser decals from Farfoot give you four options, including Santa, a jolly snowman, a rustic fireplace and Santa’s sleigh, all in stunning 3D.

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hidden staircase drawer
Photo: Courtesy of Mark Maixner

A Hidden Drawer

For those who take pleasure in putting every square inch of their space to good use, how about creating a drawer concealed behind a stair riser. Reader Mark Maixner built this cleverly concealed drawer to hide shoes, gloves and other accessories that might otherwise be strewn across the entryway floor.

Here are 16 more clever storage hacks from our readers.