Landing ideas – design inspiration for staircase landings

Discover landing ideas to make spaces large and small beautiful in their own right

Landing ideas
(Image credit: Future)

It can be all too easy to leave landing ideas out of interior design plans for a home. A landing at the top of the staircase can end up empty with the focus put only on the bedrooms beyond, and those landings found part way up the staircase can be felt to be too small to consider.

Yet landings offer plenty of potential for hallway ideas and decor that makes them stylish and individual rather than bland areas you merely pass through. They can be elegant, individual, and even useful, too.

Here, we bring you stair landing ideas and expert advice to inspire whatever the proportions of yours.

Landing ideas

The walls and floor offer the opportunity to transform a landing into a space with presence, while the right furniture can turn it into a peaceful spot for reading or relaxing. These stair landing ideas are a great place to start your remodel.

1. Introduce seating to your landing ideas list

Landing with white walls and patterned runner on the floor

(Image credit: Kara Adam Interiors Photograph: Michael Hunter)

Selecting seating for a landing transforms it into more than merely a circulation space.

‘When addressing landing ideas, I always try to add seating. It draws attention to that space and creates a moment,’ says Kara Adam of Kara Adam Interiors.

For a narrow landing like this one, a single shapely side chair in dark wood stands out against the light colored wall at its end.

2. Make the landing a book nook

Landing with fitted bookshelves filled with books, desk and chair

(Image credit: Unique Homestays)

Bibliophiles adore landing ideas that make space for more of their volumes, and this design accommodates books from floor to ceiling on built-in shelving. Grouping them in color blocks makes the collection decoratively appealing, too, with the darker shades anchoring at the base of the shelving and the hues growing lighter towards the top.

A desk and chair with a natural motif complete the pretty reading spot.

3. Be aware of scale

Staircase with grey patterned carpet and landing area with bench

(Image credit: Studio Ten 25 Photograph: Emily Hart)

An awareness of proportions is key to successful landing decorating ideas. ‘Since stair landings come in all sizes, it is important to visually fill the space without it looking cluttered or misusing pieces that are the incorrect scale,’ says Abbe Fenimore, founder and principal designer of Studio Ten 25

‘Adding a single bench or two smaller ottomans on a stair landing is a great way to bring in a fun pattern and bit of color without overwhelming the small space.’

Plus these can be chosen to layer extra color and texture into your staircase ideas.

4. Let the architecture shine

Landing with vertical and ceiling beams and wood floor with two chairs

(Image credit: Jonathan Bond/ Future)

For a landing the enjoys impressive architectural features as this one does, follow the example of keeping the focus on them by selecting understated landing decor. 

Here, a pair of wood chairs reflect the shape of the staircase railing ideas and continue the shades of wood beams and the floor, while the walls are kept as a quiet backdrop in white. Even the picture frames and the images inside are tonal to add interest without competing with the home’s impressive structure.

5. Enjoy softness underfoot

Landing with floorboards with runner, white walls and artwork on wall

(Image credit: Alternative Flooring)

Staircase runner ideas can make a narrow landing a more luxurious part of the home.

'Runners add style to landings while giving comfort to harder floors and cushion the noise of footfall,’ says Lorna Haigh, creative director of Alternative Flooring

‘Natural fibers such as jute and sisal are hardwearing and jute in particular is surprisingly soft underfoot. Each has unrivalled texture and enlivens an in-between space like a landing.’

6. Create light and views

Landing area with clear baluster, floor to ceiling glazing and curved beamed ceiling

(Image credit: Ulster)

If you’re looking for landing ideas for a modern home, consider opting for clear glass balustrades that can allow spectacular views down through your space and make the landing a lighter and brighter area, too. You can choose from balustrades made with structural glass, which is load bearing, and those made with balusters plus a glass infill as part of your landing design. 

In this home, the landing views are all round with floor-to-ceiling glazing to the exterior giving it a wonderful outlook.

7. Bring pattern to the floor

Landing area with wall to wall carpet and matching runner on staircase

(Image credit: Roger Oates)

Don‘t neglect the decorative possibilities offered by staircase carpet ideas on a landing. The right flooring can elevate a space even if there’s little room for furniture. 

‘We often say stairs can be overlooked, and landings are too,’ says Andy Guard, creative director of Roger Oates Design. ‘But there are many options to turn a landing into a space of its own. Beyond matching a landing area to stairs, you can use a co-ordinating pattern, or be bolder by mixing contrasting colors or even designs.’

For this stairway the latter option has been taken and striped flatweave design Vernon has been joined by hand to create a wall-to-wall floor covering for the landing, complementing a Pelham stair runner.

8. Choose novel wall decor

Landing with green bench with upholstered seat pad and cushion, side table and lamp and neutral wall with decorative costume as decor

(Image credit: Future/Robert Sanderson)

Consider choosing wall decor that’s out of the ordinary if you’re looking for landing ideas to give the space personality. 

Designer Kate Forman found a decorative costume to display on the landing of this country home and combined it with a selection of other patterns on the bench seat and pillow, the lampshade, and the rug. 

Together, these elements make a colorful and lively impression that echoes the vibrancy of the rest of the home.

9. Exploit a recess

Spiral staircase with side table in curve on hardwood floor

(Image credit: Katie Davis Design Photograph: Melissa Fitzgerald West)

A curved stair can create a nook that will benefit from decorative attention in just the same way as a landing.

‘Though not technically a stair landing, we always try to fill the cavity created by the staircase spiral,’ says Katie Davis of Katie Davis Design. ‘In this spot, we chose an antique Dutch table to add character and interest. It is near the front door, so a catch-all dish for keys and photos of family is nice as visitors enter the home.’

10. Make the landing a calm space

Landing with grey carpet and grey walls and gallery of pictures

(Image credit: Future)

Looking for landing ideas that will create calm in a busy family home? Channel the power of gray to create a relaxing pause between the more hectic areas of the home. Layer shades of gray for flooring and walls, and combine with white millwork for crisp contrast and to brighten a windowless landing.

Here the natural texture of the basket along with botanical artwork add to the calm ambience.

How can I decorate my landing?

To decorate a landing, consider the floor first. Rather than plain carpet a patterned or textured version can bring interest to it. Alternatively, a runner can dress up a narrow landing while an area rug can be layered on to hard wood flooring.

For the walls, consider gallery wall ideas – a collection of artworks or photographs, a single large image to draw the eye, or use wall-hung sculpture or wall hangings.

For larger spaces, adding a console table creates a place for decorative accessories.  

What can you do with a landing space?

All but the smallest landings can be useful as well as beautiful. Consider setting up a reading nook with built-in bookshelves and an armchair, or by building in a bench. Site it under a landing window and it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the view. Generous landing? Fit seating to turn it into an extra den.

A landing could alternatively be the most useful of small home office ideas, accommodating a desk and chair and separating the working area from the parts of the home where you spend downtime.

A landing can also create additional storage space. Use a stylish armoire as a home for the bedroom’s linens, or any other closet overspill – with the contents concealed they won’t disrupt the lines of the space.

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.