Staircase Wall Art Ideas Choosing Wall Art for Your Stairways

Staircase Wall Art Ideas Choosing Wall Art for Your Stairways
Each stairway might not lead you to heaven, but it’s still worth investing a bit on the journey it takes you through. Art is usually a great way to add life, colour and character to walls adjoining staircases.

A typical stairway adjoining a single flight of stairs is about 10 ft high and a blank wall next to it is an opportunity knocking on your door.

The biggest challenge with selecting artwork for stairways is that it is in an area that is at a changing angle with your eyes and still needs to keep a cohesive composition.

However, with a little bit of patience and a little help from this article you should be able to choose just the right piece of art for your stairway. Let’s get started with understanding the various scenarios you might need art for: 

Artwork for stairways in duplex apartments or multi-level private homes

Here a lot depends on the planning of the house. In most cases, homes spread into two or more levels house social spaces on the lower or the entry level and private spaces on the level above.

In that case the stairway serves as a transition from social to private zones of the house. Here are some tips for selecting artwork for such a transition stairway:​

  1. Series of artwork: Most staircases within a home are narrow and thus its best to opt for a series of artwork in proportion to the width of the stair vs one large piece of art for these stairways.

    Large pictures can be intermingled with smaller ones as long as they don’t distract the eye while walking up and down the stairs.  
  2. Quotes or messages: You can opt to add a touch of pop art to your stairway by framing quotes that you relate to or quirky messages that can hold interest and make an impression.

    Depending on the colour of your wall, use coloured backgrounds or black and white. 
  3. Family portraits: Stairways are the perfect place to make that family collage you always dreamt of. Dig out those family pictures, make a family tree or make a composition of your favourite pictures and get ready for the giggles and awws every time you invite someone to join you upstairs. 
  4. One statement piece: If you are lucky enough to have a wider stairway with a massive wall that is a part of a larger room below, you can opt for a large piece of art that can be the statement piece in the room.

    Ensure that this piece of art is in sync with the décor on both the levels it can be seen from, and looks good even in parts. Abstract art works best for such a scenario. 

​​Artwork for stairways in offices

Beautifying stairways is a great way to encourage employees to use the staircase and reduce the load on elevators and in turn opt for a healthy lifestyle.

Depending on the core philosophy and business being conducted in the office, the artwork can be chosen to motivate employees and give them a break from their usual work areas. ​

  1. Graphic artwork: Graphics look lovely in office stairways since they are a visual treat, usually associated with youth and energy. This includes calligraphy, photography, painting, typography and digital art.

    Moreover, it’s easier to customise theme based graphic art. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Leo Burnett and many others have already created custom art for their offices. Have a look at some fabulous custom graphic art in offices
  2. Focus on colour: In office interiors, colours play an important role to lend the space the right energy. Often colours are borrowed from logos or a colour scheme is identified on the basis on the company’s philosophy and personality.

    It’s important to choose artwork that fits well in this colour mood board and blends well in the design. Many offices also use colour coding to differentiate levels or departments. At such times, it is important to understand that the artwork needs to fuse well with the colour schemes on both levels. 
  3. Signage art: Art is a great way to communicate your philosophy, send out a message to your employees or visitors, or even give one a hint of what to expect up the stairs.

    The communication can be direct in the form of words or through form and pattern. A good example would be signage art to direct one to the conference room on the level above using calligraphy.

​​Artwork in stairways in hotels

In hotels there are usually two types of staircases, one is the emergency staircase and the other is a part of the decor.

It’s the latter that we would like to focus on. Here, the art selected has to be engaging, eye catching and impressionable. ​

  1. Large art pieces: Since the staircase is a critical design element, it’s all chances that this stairway is broad and stylish. We’re talking glass stairs, cantilevered, Victorian or modern chic.

    Large art frames are perfect to compliment such staircases with a big wall next to it. The choice of artwork has to be in sync with the design of the staircase and must fuse with the décor of both the levels. 
  2. Theme based: In hotels, staircases are designed to lead one to a restaurant or a specific location within the hotel. It’s a good idea to give a hint of the theme of the destination right from the stairway.

    It sets the mood for what to expect above. A good example of this is a stairway leading to a Chinese restaurant could have Oriental artwork. 
  3. A collection: Stairways are a great way to add a collection of artwork and display them aesthetically since there is a large blank area available.

    Many hotels showcase artwork from different artists and even double stairway walls as an art gallery with artwork on sale. 

How to Select The Right Piece of Art for Your Stairways

Selecting the right art piece for the right location is an art in itself. Here are some tips on selecting art for stairways:

  1. Consider the purpose: It is important to understand whether your purpose is to add colour, communicate a message, lend a window into your private space, make an impression, engage a person or to build on a theme.

    Once your purpose is clear, you can choose between abstract art which is an artist’s impression of a subject, a pop art which is more non-traditional and experimenting, a representational art or series of it to convey a story through an object, a non-representational art which is created purely for aesthetic reasons or a combination of art work that fulfils your purpose.  
  2. Size it right: It is important that the artwork selected is proportionate to the size of the wall and the width of the stairway.

    A thin stairway is more suited for smaller pieces of art that can probably be combined to cover the large span while a wide and broad stairway is ideal for a large piece of art. 

  3. Make the right composition: Stairways are usually suited for square or vertical frames if it is a single piece of art. If it’s a large number of small or different sized artworks, its best to choose an odd number and start composing from the centre.

    If there are a few similar sized artworks, you can also display them in a staggered style in the flow of the stair. For this, it’s important to ensure that the banister, if there is one, does not come in the way of the view.

  4. Use the right lighting: Stairways can often get dark and depressing and art can go completely waste if it’s placed in a dull space. So bring on the lights!

    Use picture lights to highlight each frame if you want to go the traditional way, or opt for wall washers to highlight a collection of art on the wall. Up lights or down lights also make an interesting lighting option to highlight art in stairways. 

    If you would like more details on how to select artwork for your stairway, contact our team here -

    Are you also looking to buy some art work for the other areas of your home or office? Click here for some options -

    Still have questions? Write to us at and we’ll have our experts connect with you to help you shortlist.


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