We all want to be proud of our home and make a good first impression on visitors. The staircase is often the first thing people see when they step through the door, so if yours looks worn or outdated it will reflect badly on the whole property. In fact, stairs are such a central feature that a shabby staircase could even lower your home's resale value.
Here are five simple ways to revamp your stairs that will not cost a fortune:
1. Replace the balustrade
Swapping dated balusters, or spindles, for more contemporary ones can make a big difference to the look of your stairs. There are many styles to choose from, ranging from sleek stop-chamfered wooden spindles to modern metal balusters in a variety of designs. You can complete the transformation with fresh newel caps and a new handrail. If you want to make a statement, consider using glass panels instead of spindles for a touch of contemporary glamor.
2. Chuck out the carpet
The current interior design trend for using natural wood has encouraged many people to take up their stair carpet to expose the timber treads beneath. Wood is a warm, timeless material that looks good with contemporary and traditional décor similar, and will not easily fall out of fashion.
3. Stain the stairs
You can give your staircase a new lease of life by using wood stain to bring out the full beauty of the timber. This will nourish and protect the stairs as well as improving their appearance. Many different colors are available. It's a good idea to finish with at least one top coat of polyurethane varnish, to seal in the wood stain and protect the surface.
4. Paint the stairs
Painting your staircase is a great way to add individuality and really make your home stand out. You may decide to paint only the steps, or just the balustrade – or take the plunge and decorate the whole lot for a complete transformation.
You will need to sand down the stairs beforehand, apply a stain-blocking primer then finish off with at least two coats of gloss or semi-gloss paint to achieve a professional-looking result.
5. Lay new stair carpet
Fresh carpet can brighten up a tired staircase – in fact, if your stairs are made of concrete, plywood or MDF it is usually the only option.
If you are sufficient enough to own a timber staircase in good condition there is no need to carpet the steps completely, unless you prefer the look. Instead, you could install a runner – a narrow strip of carpet – down the middle of the stairs and paint or varnish the exposed sections of tread on each side.
Select a durable carpet designed for stairs, preferably with a ratio of 80% wool to 20% nylon. Choose thick underlay and fit the carpet so that the direction of the pile runs down the stairs.
To help your budget stretch that bit further, you could try piecing together several carpet remnants. These will be much cheaper than a full roll, and you might be able to afford a better specification – particularly useful for such a high-traffic part of the house.