Jamie Foxx's home staircase travels back hundreds of years to revive this luxurious design trend

Complete with a chic, black and white runner, this grand staircase feature not only provides a glamorous touch but also has safety benefits

(Image credit: Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

Grand staircases in homes almost beg to be photographed, and when there is a runner dressing it up? All the more reason. Much more than just safety measurement, stair runners add a touch of class and glamour to any stairwell.

Jamie Foxx's staircase is no exception. The Django Unchained and Baby Driver star recently shared a photo to his Instagram page of his grand stairwell, featuring black, iron rails, cream steps, and a black and greige runner softening the area.

Much like other forms of carpeting, stair runners' origins date back through the centuries, yet their presence is increasingly felt in contemporary homes, as designers explain.

'Stair runners, those elegant strips of carpet that grace the center of staircases, have a rich history and continue to be a staple in interior design,' explains designer Nina Lichtenstein.

'Their origins date back to the grand estates of Europe, where they were first used for practical purposes: protecting expensive hardwood stairs and muffling the sounds of foot traffic. Over time, they evolved into a symbol of sophistication and comfort, adding an extra layer of luxury to the home.'

Curved staircase seen from above with white painted stairs and neutral runner

(Image credit: Kersaint Cobb)

Lichtenstein states that the duality of runners providing safety and style to a home is not to be undermined.

'Today, stair runners are appreciated for both their functionality and aesthetic appeal,' she states. 'They provide traction, reducing the risk of slips and falls, particularly in households with children and the elderly. Additionally, they protect the underlying stairs from wear and tear, extending the life of your staircase.'

She continues, 'From an aesthetic standpoint, stair runners can dramatically transform the look of a staircase, making it a focal point in your home. They add texture, color, and a sense of warmth, artfully tying together the design elements of your space.'

Selecting a stair runner comes down to choosing something adaptable. Many of us have staircases comprised of different colors and materials, so Lichtenstein has a few fail-safe recommendations as far as color and pattern.

'When it comes to choosing the perfect stair runner, versatility is key,' she states. 'Neutral tones such as beige, gray, and taupe are timeless choices that can blend with various decor styles, from traditional to contemporary. For those looking to make a statement, bold patterns and rich colors like navy, emerald green, or deep burgundy can create a striking visual impact.'

Finally, fabric choice is essential to the design scheme in a home. Some thicker materials make more of a statement, while thin materials are simply an accent.

'In terms of fabric, wool is a popular choice due to its durability and natural resistance to stains,' she says. 'Wool blends, incorporating synthetic fibers, offer a balance of softness and strength, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. For a more luxurious feel, silk and cotton blends provide a smooth, elegant texture, though they may require more maintenance.'

We love how stair runners borrow from luxe palaces of the past but are versatile enough to look natural in a modern home. Experiment with patterns and materials for a subtly vibrant addition to a neutral staircase.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.