Stylist Notebook: Step Up Your Staircase

Having carpet in your home is a joy that millions of homeowners experience – the luxury of a soft pile underfoot and the limitless choice of colour and texture can be striking and make a really stylish impact in your home. Using carpet in your living room, bedroom or family rooms can be inspiring and give your home instant appeal – but what do you do when it comes to your stairs? We asked Interior Stylist Jess Contomichalos for the latest trends and top tips!

The stairway in your home is often the first thing people see when they enter, the hallway may be welcoming, or even dramatic, but it usually involves a stairway and homeowners have mentioned the challenge they feel when faced with choosing the right stair covering.

We aim to inspire our customers with choices and options and have discovered that stairs can be a difficult decision when it comes to choosing carpet, with people deciding whether a fully carpeted staircase would look too much or whether a patterned carpet would detract from architectural detail. Most of our customers want to enjoy the softness of modern stair carpets and are looking to dress their stairs in a more subtle way.

An image of a staircase - a white wooden staircase is topped with a contemporary black-edged carpet runner in grey.

If this sounds like you, then why not consider a stair runner instead? Fully carpeted stairs project a feeling of opulence, but it really depends on what period your home is and what suits the look and style more. We have seen the return of the stair runner as a preferred option recently.

A stair runner was once seen as a more budget option; a covering that could be laid in a strip and secured in place with stair rods, a practical solution and less expensive to fit. However, carpets have come on in leaps and bounds over the years, and with new technology and exciting developments like being able to add your own creative flair, the traditional stair runner is now a hugely popular contemporary trend.

The choices are endless when it comes to carpeting your stairs, carpet fitters have limitless techniques. You can now also have your chosen carpet finished with a contrasting border - a smart appealing look that allows plenty of space for the natural build of your stairs to breathe. Why cover up the appeal of your Victorian woodwork and bannisters, or your mid-century smooth visual lines? A stair runner will also visually extend the appearance of your staircase making it look wider and more substantial.

In our most recent photoshoots, we’ve created both options for carpeting your stairs, with equal appeal – there are so many ways that you can introduce carpet to provide an immediate ‘wow’ factor, which can be so important in a hallway since it is the first room your guests will encounter, and it completely sets the tone for your personal home style.

When choosing a stair carpet, consider these factors:

1. Comfort
2. Stylish looks
3. Durability – Do you have pets and/or children?
4. Longevity (how long before you want to redecorate?)

We have a range of carpets that we particularly recommend for stairs, which you can find below. Over recent years, customers have been inspired by our striped stair carpet ideas – not the garish stripes you may be imagining, but more gentle tones which tend to create a real impact and make the staircase a stylish feature.

Here are our Top 5 looks for stairs:

1. Best for Family Life

Our Apollo Plus carpet comes in a range of 22 on trend shades and is stain resistant and bleach cleanable, making it the perfect choice for busy entrances!

2. Best for Striking Statement Runner

A loop pile carpet - our Southwold range is made with 100% New Zealand wool, in a premium quality, two-fold yarn. It is available in two popular designs, level and textured, and provides the perfect woven look for any stair runner.

An image of a staircase - a white wooden staircase is topped with a contemporary black-edged carpet runner in grey.

3. Best for Subtle Stripes

Complementary striped loop pile carpet, in pure New Zealand Wool, our Pimlico carpet is available in four neutral combinations - easy to decorate with all the benefits of nature's own carpet fibre.

4. Best for Family Comfort

Primo Ultra is one of the most popular ranges within Cormar’s Easy Clean Twist collection of carpets and one of the most successful polypropylene twist carpet collections of recent years. Made with 100% Excellon – a polypropylene fibre recognised for its stain resistance and hardwearing properties - it also comes with a 10-year Stain & Wear Warranty.

5. Best for Neutrals

Made from natural Pure New wool in an 80% blend, Hampstead is a classic wool twist carpet, perfect for a simplistic yet stylish feel. Made using fine tenth gauge machinery to create a hard-wearing dense pile carpet, it is perfect for busy areas like stairs and also comes in a range of 20 colours.

Whatever you decide to choose, remember that your hallway and your staircase are the scene setters for your home - choose carefully and be sure to always make an impact and go with something beautiful yet practical, creating a warm welcome.