Monday, August 30, 2021

How to Fill a Blank Stair Wall


One big reason we purchased our home was that it was a blank slate with great bones. Since it was a new build, everything was fresh, but we could also put our stamp on it because it had simple neutral walls as a backdrop. 

One space that has been begging for some interest is our two-story foyer. The staircase wall is huge and was completely blank. Ideally I'd love to add molding to it, but since we weren't ready to take on a project quite that big, I wanted to still add interest and life and fill the otherwise blank stair wall. Here's how we did it.

Step 1: Hang Sconces Up the Stairs (Bonus - Use the Magic Light Trick!)

We hung these very affordable brass double sconces at three points along the stairs. They add so much interest and are a traditional way to light a staircase. Now, you can have your electrician come and hardwire them in, but if you're an impatient decorator like me, you can use the "magic light trick" so you don't need to hardwire them. This trick is simply to hang the sconces on the wall without wiring them, and then insert a battery powered puck light where the light bulb would go. These are the puck lights we use, and they are on remote control so we can easily turn them on and off. 


Step 2: Add Art

Unique artwork also helps dress up a blank stair wall. In this case, since we have a small window above our landing, it helps visually balance out the space. I chose to only hang an art piece above the landing, but you could add one piece under each sconce, or between each sconce if you want to add even more visual interest. This would be a great place to display family photos, without having to do a whole gallery wall. For this method, I would recommend matching frames. This particular art is so special because it was painted by my grandpa who passed away earlier this summer. He was a professional fine art painter so I've been looking for ways to incorporate a few of his many pieces into our home.

Step 3: Create a "Moment" on the Stair Landing

If you have a small landing (or depending on your layout, even right at the base of your stairs) be sure to create a "moment" with decor to visually tie everything together. Our small stair landing was transformed from a boring pass through space to a space you want to pause in, and invites you to continue up the stairs. If you have a larger space then we do, this would be the perfect spot for a bench and some pillows, or even a chair and small stool to create a little nook. In our case, the round rattan table helps the eye travel from the floor up to the window and sconce/art.


Step 4: Tie Your Lighting Together

We replaced our old builder grade chandelier with this gorgeous large scale brass fixture a few months ago. I actually found it for $100 on Facebook Marketplace, though it is available to buy from retailers. I went with brass for all the fixtures in this space, though they don't necessarily have to match as long as they coordinate well together. You could do a mix of metals and finishes on your lighting.

I hope this helps inspire you to tackle that blank wall that's been staring at you, or that you weren't quite sure what to do with. They can be tricky to start but once they're done they make such a difference in the overall feel and flow of your home!


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