Decorating Around a Spiral Staircase

Beth Asaff
Spiral Staircase

Depending upon its placement in the room, decorating around a spiral staircase may present a challenge. By taking into account how usable the space around it truly is, you can create a look that is seamless.

The Appeal of the Spiral Staircase

Spiral staircases are a great addition to many homes. They take up relatively little space in comparison to a traditional staircase, which allows them to fit into lofts and other small spaces. A spiral staircase can also take its time to move from one floor to another, eliminating steep staircases, which are another solution often used for some small areas.

Spiral staircases can be located in small entryways, lofts, children's playrooms or in the family room of townhouses that require a second egress. Depending on where they are located, they may offer the homeowner some design challenges.

The Challenges of Decorating Around a Spiral Staircase

A traditional staircase is typically located against one wall, passing beneath an overhang from the floor above. These blank wall areas are perfect for hanging photos, paintings, tapestries and mirrors, while the position of the staircase in the room leaves the rest of the space available for furniture. Spiral staircases are different.

A spiral staircase can be located anywhere in the room, even in the center. Because o f the twisting nature of the steps, even when the staircase is located next to a wall, the wall is not typically ideal for hanging wall art on.

Considering the Space

When decorating around a spiral staircase in the room, the first step is to consider the space as a whole. Where is the staircase located? Is it on one side of the room, or closer to the center? Is the space behind the staircase usable, or better left empty to avoid a cluttered look.

Arranging Furniture

When the staircase is located to the side or corner of the room, furniture arranging isn't necessarily an obstacle. When the staircase is located toward the center of the room, it may seem like an unwelcome focal point.

Try creating conversation areas in the room that turn the focus away from the staircase. Arrange furniture groupings in corners, turning the seating to face other seating, rather than the center of the room where the staircase is located.

Decorating the Walls

Choosing whether or not to decorate the walls around a spiral staircase will depend in large part on how close the staircase is to a wall. Too close, and it will obscure anything placed on the walls. In fact, it may be best to ignore the wall closest to the staircase, and instead paint it an accent color to set off the stairs themselves.

For walls located a few feet behind a staircase, look for one, large image such as a tapestry, wall mural or oversized painting. The idea is to focus the eye around the stairs, rather than having small, individual items potentially blocked from view depending on the angle.

The Top of the Stairs

Many spiral staircases come out into loft and landing areas. Make the most of these open spaces by creating a conversation pit, or by placing a large piece of wall art at the top of the stairs. Keep the wall color from the floor below straight to the ceiling if a wall on either side continues up into a loft to avoid a broken space.

Experiment until You Get Your Look

Don't be afraid to keep moving things around until you get them just right. Spiral staircases are unusual; complement them by creating an equally unusual room scheme that works with the staircase itself and with the shape and size of the room's design.

Decorating Around a Spiral Staircase