Simply the best stair carpet styles

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Stairs might not always seem ripe for transformation, but interior designers beg to differ and are keen to showcase the many varieties of stair carpet designs that can turn a perfunctory architectural inclusion into a chic focal point in its own right.  

Stair carpet ideas come in so many forms that it's a little dizzying to try and decide which is best, but in addition to aesthetics, there are a number of other factors to consider:

- Ease of cleaning. Any stair carpet, modern or otherwise, needs to be a doddle to clean and maintain, as they will necessarily be subject to huge amounts of traffic, with a variety of shoes, slippers and even bare feet trampling all over them. If a material can't be cleaned easily, any small stain will prove to be permanent, which will create an unsightly focal point.

- Hardiness. Just as dirt is an issue, so too is how hard-wearing stair carpet is. There is absolutely no use in selecting an expensive, deep pile option, as it will be quickly trounced underfoot and left looking rather less elegant. Plus, nobody wants to be replacing carpet too regularly, as even cost-effective variations can still prove to be pricey.

- Price. Any interior design element has to be chosen with budget in mind, as it is staggeringly easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment. Cost is a good starting point actually, as certain materials can be ruled out right away, leaving fewer options and stairs carpet ideas to have to choose between. 

This guide has been put together to highlight not only some of the prettiest but also the most practical choices for staircase carpet ideas and each of the following examples really do make a house a home. 

Monotone stair carpet styles.

Though carpet is a fairly traditional floor covering, modern carpet for stairs is definitely worth considering, especially in homes that seek to stay ahead of interior design trends. Contemporary carpets for stairs tend to be exceptionally understated and often, monotone in colour, with hues such as grey and dark blue being particularly popular, thanks to the chic finish they create.

A hardwearing wool carpet, with a short pile and finished in a charming concrete grey would look incredible in any modern home and would never date, as the colour is swiftly becoming a new neutral.

Very hardwearing stair carpets.

When people ask about the best carpet for stairs, natural fibre designs are often discussed. Jute, seagrass and sisal have become incredibly popular, especially for stair coverings, as they look beautiful, can withstand a huge amount of traffic and can be cleaned vigorously without any concerns about damage. They also usually allow for a smashing herringbone pattern to be brought into play as well.

Even if a full wall-to-wall carpet finish isn't wanted, natural stair rugs look great, just running up through the centre of the stairs and add just enough textural diversity to make a real impression.

Skinny stair carpet styles.

Modern stair runners are a fantastic alternative to outdated full carpet finishes and have an added bonus in the form of making a staircase look sleeker and more chic. A simple strip of eye-catching and luxurious fabric, running up through the centre of a staircase, naturally draws the eye up and creates a lovely focal point and it's a breeze to further stylise the area.

This beautiful project aptly showcases the huge impact that a simple runner can have, when accompanied by inset lighting and a neutral wall. It's just so elegant!

Dark stair carpet designs.

What with all the traffic and associated dirt that steps need to endure, it makes perfect sense that so many savvy homeowners are choosing decadently dark carpet pieces for stairs. In a light and bright hallway, dark carpeting will inject a valuable element of contrast, but more than that, it will never show stains! Given that most staircases terminate in an entrance hallway, it's important to negate making a bad impression on guests, so stain-free stair carpets are a must.

To really elevate the look of dark stair carpets, painting the wooden treads white is a clever touch.

Striped stair carpet styles.

Reflected Glory - Holland Park Renovation, Tyler Mandic Ltd Tyler Mandic Ltd Classic style corridor, hallway and stairs
Tyler Mandic Ltd

Reflected Glory—Holland Park Renovation

Tyler Mandic Ltd

Patterned carpets for stairs are very popular but no design offers quite the same levels of class, sophistication and effortless style as striped wool. Great in any combination of colours, striped stair carpets give a nod to heritage interior design, but can be used to create the illusion of far longer and more impressive steps as well. A vertical stripe will naturally stretch up and out, over stairs, and give the illusion of the staircase itself being far more grand than it actually is. 

A nice touch is to choose a carpet style that picks out other accent colours in the hallway, so as to increase the design cohesion.

Minimalist stair carpet ideas.

Projects, Extensions, Lofts, Xspace Xspace Rustic style corridor, hallway & stairs

Projects, Extensions, Lofts


When fully carpeted stairs don't appeal and runners don't hit the spot either, there's one more idea to consider; a more minimalist approach whereby carpet is affixed to stair treads only. This is a particularly effective idea for staircases that are beautiful in their own right but could simply use a little more comfort and softness underfoot, which is why natural wood installations, which have been designed and crafted by master carpenters, look spectacular with a little gentle carpeting added. 

We can't help but think that a wooden staircase with seagrass treads would be exceptional!

The pros of having a staircase carpet: Less noise

Kyoto & Kobe Lantern Roger Oates Design Stairs bold striped carpet,stair carpet
Roger Oates Design

Kyoto & Kobe Lantern

Roger Oates Design

Where wood stairs are usually known for creaking under the pressure of feet, carpet can ensure a softer, less noisy approach to people climbing up and down those stairs all day – especially if you have little ones running around your home. 

The pros of having a staircase carpet: Style and comfort

Minimalist interior with chandelier decorated by Versace shades Luxury Chandelier LTD Minimalist corridor, hallway & stairs Copper/Bronze/Brass Metallic/Silver versace,hallway decor,lighting,uk,minimalist home,chandelier
Luxury Chandelier LTD

Minimalist interior with chandelier decorated by Versace shades

Luxury Chandelier LTD

In addition to complementing your interior furnishings and décor, carpeted stairs also add a cosy factor via a soft underfoot sensation. And let’s be honest: stairs with carpet are much nicer and warmer to tread on, especially in winter. 

The pros of having a staircase carpet: Safety

Victorian Staircase MacAusland Design Stairs victorian,stair,staircase,cast iron,carpet,runner,handrail,stone,cantilevered,
MacAusland Design

Victorian Staircase

MacAusland Design

When it comes to stair carpet ideas, there’s less of a risk of someone (usually children and/or the elderly) slipping and falling than on, say, wood or tiled stairs. 

Let’s take it up a few more style steps with these 13 clever stair designs for your small home


The cons of having a staircase carpet

White Oak and Glass Timber Staircase Stair World Modern corridor, hallway & stairs Glass Wood effect
Stair World

White Oak and Glass Timber Staircase

Stair World

There are many pros to modern stair carpet designs, but there are some cons as well. Carpeting will show stains more easily, so it may not be the best choice if you have pets or children in the house. However, carpeting can also be more cushioning in the event of a fall, so for both children and elders, a staircase with carpet may be the best option. Also, if a carpet staircase is connecting two rooms with carpeting, it only makes sense to go with the same flooring.

Carpeting can also get snagged or depressed from furniture or movement, and it may not look as sleek as wood or metal. If you're going for an ultra-modern vibe, then carpet may not be the best choice for your staircase. But if you like a homey, cosy feel to your home, then consider carpet staircase ideas.

Talk to a professional to discuss your carpet staircase design options. If you're ready to rearrange your living room, we have a few great styling tips here.

Which of these stair carpet designs would look delightful in your home?

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