{decorating with style} Wood Stairs... Would You?

For the past eight years, we've been hard at work transforming our home to reflect our love of all things modern, graphic, and colorful. We have successfully banished the beige from every room of our home. But the hallways and staircases are a very different story.

How to update a boring staircase

Our house is tall and skinny, spread over four floors with three very long flights of stairs, and each staircase is a sea of beige! The walls take on a yellow cast thanks to the amber colored light fixtures in each stairway. And the beige carpet that the builder chose is very... durable. But that's about all it has going for it. It has a definite commercial-grade look and feel, and it's rough and uncomfortable to walk on.

For years I've dreamed of painting the walls in the hallways and staircases light gray, and replacing the carpet with hardwood!

This post is a partnership with Shaw Floors. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. As always, all ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

Every time I see a photo like this one, I drool over it for a while, and then file it away with all of the other wood stair inspiration photos I've collected. {I have an entire Pinterest board filled with them.}

Now that our boys are old enough that they no longer crawl up and down the stairs, wood stairs feel like more of a realistic possibility.

There are so many options to consider! Do I go hardwood {or laminate perhaps to stretch the budget} on the treads and risers, or do I opt for painted risers instead? White risers are a very popular choice, and might help to brighten up our staircases {which have no windows or natural light}.

But then I spot an image like this one, and start thinking maybe wood treads with black risers would be a more modern and bold choice, especially when contrasted against light walls.

Painted Black risers

Although I've had my mind set on wood stairs for years, I'll admit that I do have a few concerns. My parents recently installed wood stair treads with tile on the risers {another interesting option}, and I realized what I suppose I should have already known... wood stairs can be slippery, especially when wearing socks.

You won't often find me in socks {or shoes for the matter - I prefer to be barefoot pretty much anytime that it is socially acceptable}, but my little boys do run around the house in socks often, and I definitely don't want them slipping and falling down our very long flights of stairs!

The slip and fall concern has me reconsidering carpet. Just because I'm totally over our current rough, beige situation doesn't mean that a pretty, plush carpet wouldn't be just the style upgrade our stairs so desperately need. I started searching for carpeted stair inspiration photos, and found lots to love, like these...



With carpet now on my mind, I sat down to browse options on the Shaw website, and was surprised to see how many graphic and modern carpet options there are these days! My husband was trying to watch a football game and I kept interrupting him with "oooohhhh, look at this one!" and "oh, this one would be perfect." At first he was humoring me each time I made him pause to look at another online swatch, but soon he was asking to see other color options and naming his favorites.

After much deliberation, these were our top contenders {narrowed down from about 20 that caught my eye right away}. I've shown them all in shades of gray since that's what I'd likely pick for our stairs and hallway, but each of these patterns comes in a wide variety of color/shade options.

Modern Carpet Options

With all this debate about hardwood versus carpet for our stairs, there is, of course, a compromise to be considered... the best of both worlds might be hardwood on the stairs with a beautiful carpet runner down the center. I especially love this look with patterned carpet!

The more photos I see of wood stairs with carpet runners, the more I'm convinced that this would be the perfect way for us to get the style I'm craving combined with the function our family needs. And Shaw's Cut-a-Rug program would make it super easy for us to get a carpet runner custom cut to perfectly fit our staircases.

With the Cut-a-Rug program you can have a rug designed to perfectly fit your space, in any color, shape, and size you need {big or small}... even for the stairs! And there are lots of border options that can be added - from fabric to carpet, and even leather! Seriously, how cool would a leather border be?!

I found some great inspiration photos that have me thinking a border might be the final piece of the style puzzle! I could go with a coordinating border...

Or something a bit more bold, unexpected, and downright fun!

House in Dublin 4

So that's how my dream of wood stairs has been evolving. I'm still not sure exactly where we'll land, but I am really excited about all of the possibilities! If you have wood stairs without a carpet runner, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you love it? Any regrets?

Stair Style Wood Carpet Runner

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shaw Floors. The opinions and text are all mine. NOTE: Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.


  1. Love all the runner options! We've had the same debate because I love the look of wood, especially with painted risers. Sadly, I'm a big klutz and there is no way I could trust myself with slippery stairs.

    1. I totally agree, Melissa. I worry so much about the kids falling, but the reality is that I'd probably be the first one to slip and fall! #accidentprone

  2. I love the idea of a runner with a graphic pattern. I especially like sample #1. And when you get tired of the runner or want to redecorate, it seems like it wouldn't be a cost issue. I know my sister has hardwoods and the steps are slippery. I'll be looking to see what you do. Good Luck

    1. I agree!! I love the idea of being able to pick a fun carpet runner knowing I could more easily update it later!

  3. I like the idea of wooden stairs with a carpet runner.

  4. Incredible options! They are all so beautiful!