10 Inspiring Ways to Illuminate Your Stairwell
Celebrate the ups and downs and make more of the connective space between floors by lighting your stairwell creatively
Transform a single bulb by encasing it inside a huge globe lampshade. This design is the Random Light by Bertjan Pot for Moooi. It’s made from fibreglass soaked in epoxy resin, creating a strand-like finish that lets light through and creates beautiful shadows, too.
You don’t need fancy chandeliers or expensive light fittings to add drama to your stairwell. Just go big and bright, choosing an oversized lampshade in a bold colour that will fill the space with shape and energy by day and night.
Stairwells, particularly those right inside a home that don’t get much natural light, need good illumination to make them safe. So try a combination of practical downlights and decorative pendant lighting. Here, strong ceiling lights keep every tread illuminated to reduce the risk of accidents, while a simple trio pendant light adds some decorative detail. The soft light it produces also helps to pick out the reclaimed wood used to clad the stairwell wall.
See more ideas for making your stairs special
For a harmonious effect, take the shape of your stairwell and any detailing on the banisters, treads or handrail as inspiration for the light you hang above. This shade matches the square, linear shape of the stairs, and its dark framework echoes the dark wood on the handrails.
If you stick your thumb over the exuberant pendant light in this picture, the stairwell still looks beautifully contemporary, but perhaps slightly sterile. That’s the power of a funky pendant light! In an otherwise sleek and elegant modernist interior, it can add a splash of shape, detail and humour.
A simple, neat solution, spotlights installed alongside the stairs ensure the treads are well illuminated. Fit them right next to the treads or, as here, a little higher up the wall.
A series of individual pendant lights, hanging at different heights, creates an illuminated link between two floors. This gorgeous cluster of lights is visible from anywhere on the stairs and looks stylish viewed from either floor, too.
Since the drop from the upper floor ceiling and the lower level in a stairwell is often great, it’s important to think about the style of the flex as well as the light. These simple bulbs are attached to chunky ropes, bringing a nautical feel and some earthy texture to this sleek stairwell.
Read more tips for planning a lighting scheme
The individual stair treads on this modernist staircase are lit from beneath, so that light peeps out both above and below the steps. It means the space under the stairs is as good looking as the staircase itself and is an inspired finishing touch to this sinuous design.
How is your stairwell lit? Share your ideas and photos in the Comments below.