“Stairs rarely get the attention that the rest of the house does,” says Architectural Digest’s Miranda Silva. “A great decorator treats the space like any other room, considering every detail from floor to ceiling.” In order to demonstrate the potential in a well-designed staircase, Silva highlights LA-based designer Betsy Burnham with four examples from her firm’s home remodeling work.

In a home “rich with Moroccan accents” (pictured), Burnham chose to continue the existing theme with mosaic designs on the stair risers, accompanied by black stone wall sconces and a lantern. A seaside home with a reverse layout evoked a coastal theme with carefully placed artwork and oiled natural wood steps against white wooden rails.

In a third, more extensive remodel, Burnham revised the stairs with an eye toward the existing gingerbread molding and wrought-iron rail by adding a contrast between a lavender wall and white stair trim. And for a simple, mudroom back-stair rarely seen by guests, Burnham chose an indoor-outdoor striped carpet against a tiled floor, giving the room a “both practical and upbeat” feel, according to Silva.

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