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18 Creative DIY Basement Stair Ideas & Design Tips (with Pictures)

Worker sanding plank at stairs

Worker sanding plank at stairs_sima_shutterstock

If you are thinking of remodeling your basement, don’t forget about the stairs. Though staircases are often forgotten about during the remodeling stage, they can set the tone for your basement. Still, it can be tough to know what to do with stair space since it serves a functional purpose instead of a decorative one.

To help get your creative juices flowing, we have tried to find a variety of basement stair ideas to help give you some inspiration. Feel free to mix and match these ideas to fit your dream basement design.divider 4

The 18 Creative DIY Basement Stair Ideas

1. Hidden Safe

DIY Hidden safe
Image Credit: Newly Domesticated

If you have valuables or anything that you want to be kept from the general eye, transform beneath your stair space into a hidden safe area. All you need to do is extend a wall, door, or bookshelf beneath the stairs. Place the safe behind the wall, just be sure to make the wall so you can open it!

2. White Paneling

White paneling
Image Credit: The English Joinery Company

Not everyone likes the creative or rustic look. For a more modern and crisp appearance, design your basement stairs to be all white with simple wall paneling. Even though white may sound like a boring color, it can elevate any stair case, especially staircases that run the risk of being dark and dreary.

3. Rubber Stair Treads

Stair treads and risers
Image Credit: Uline

If you have kids, you might want to opt for a stair design that accounts for their messy shoes and potential for slipping. Add rubber stair treads to keep all of the mud and junk downstairs, away from your carpets upstairs. Uline gives some crucial information about rubber stair treads.

4. Wine Cellar

Wine cellar under stair case
Image Credit: Next Luxury

For a more adult look, utilize the underneath area of your stairs by putting a mini wine cellar. Though this will obviously be a more expensive option, it will definitely look stunning in any basement. Make the doors glass so that all visitors can view the beautiful wine cellar underneath.

5. Metal Risers

Metal stair risers
Image Credit: dizzyhome

As you’ve probably noticed by now, risers are one of the greatest ways to revamp your basement stair space. For a much more elegant look, decorate your stair risers with a metal front. This look is definitely unique, and it is unlikely for your other friends to have a similar design. Pair it with a hardwood top, and you have stunning stairs instantly.

6. Geometric Designs

Geometric stair design
Image Credit: acarriedaffair

Geometric designs have been very popular among home decor for several years now. Incorporate the trend within your basement stairs by painting the risers with geometric shapes. You can either do straight lines, squares, or diagonals.

7. Ombre Stairs

Ombre stairs
Image Credit: myfriendcourt

Give your basement stairs a fresh look by painting the risers ombre. Ombre is when you gradually change the shade of the color as the stairs go up or down. This gives the illusion of the stairs nearly melting into one another. You can go for a bright color, such as the stairs found above, or you can do more mellow subdued colors like blue or gray.

8. Horizontal Railing

Horizontal railing
Image Credit: Clark and Aldine

Most railings you see are vertical, meaning they go up and down. Switch up your railings a bit by making them horizontal instead. Horizontal railings are just as effective, but they give a more unique and modern look to your basement staircase. With these types of railings, all you need to do is paint them a simple color to match the rest of the basement.

9. Wood Walls

wood walls
Image Credit: HGTV

Decorate the entire staircase by putting wooden paneling on the walls. If you can’t afford actual wooden panels, then you can get wallpaper that looks like wooden panels instead. This gives the staircase a rustic and warm look. If you have wooden stairs, make sure that the wooden panels on the wall are a different color and shade to give dimension.

10. Floating Stairs

Floating stairs
Image Credit: apartmenttherapy

Floating stairs don’t have risers. Instead, the backs are open, giving a floating effect. Though these probably aren’t the best choice if you have small children, they are incredibly attractive and modern. Add this to any basement in which you intend to entertain more mature guests.

11. Glass Railing

glass railings
Image Credit: Next Luxury

If your basement staircase is closed off and looks dark, consider taking out one of the walls and replacing it with glass. This glass wall will open the room and bring in a lot more light. If you don’t want the entire wall to be glass, then you can simply make the area beneath the railing glass. This design will likely require a professional since it involves removing a wall.

12. Stone Risers

Stone risers
Image Credit: Target

Add dimension and texture to your staircase by decorating the risers with stones. Small stones look natural and elegant. Don’t worry, you don’t have to glue individual stones to your risers. Instead, there are tons of wallpapers and stickers you can add to the back of the risers that have a stone design. This makes this option affordable and easy to install.

13. Paint Rug on Stairs

Painted Basement Stairs
Image Credit: The Navage Patch

If you love the rug on stair look but are afraid of slipping on the rug, paint a rug on instead. All you need to do is paint on the top and riser of each stair. This gives the illusion of a rug, even though the stair is completely even and flat. You can mix or match designs, such as in the example above.

14. Alternating Tread Staircase

Alternating Tread Staircase
Image Credit: Instructables

Old cellar steps are often more precarious than the average household staircase. Narrow treads and steep inclines don’t lend much confidence, presenting a greater chance of slipping and falling. The alternating tread staircase in these plans solves the issue. Each foot has plenty of room to move, offering a steadier foothold in less space.

15. Under-Tread Storage Staircase

Basements are the ultimate storage spaces. With these under-stair storage drawers, you can squeeze as much utility as possible out of every inch. The smooth-gliding setup can be a feature of a new stair design, or you can check your current stairs for a chance to make an upgrade to the flat risers.

16. Under Stair Playroom

Under Stair Playroom
Image Credit: Blue i Style

Every kid wants a secret solitary spot to flex their imagination and escape from the family. With that under-utilized area beneath the basement stairs, you can create the perfect hangout, like this rock and roll playroom. Even if the space is open, it won’t take much to frame and drywall the room. Then, you and your kids can take the blank slate in any design direction they want!

17. Floating Railing-Less Basement Stairs

Floating Railing-Less Basement Stairs
Image Credit: Handy Father

A nifty floating aesthetic doesn’t require a professional hand to install. Although the builder of these simple floating basement stairs only takes you 95% of the way through the build, it’s easy to see the finish line. The construction essentially takes the standard stair design and pinches the stringers together. It’s simple but surprisingly solid.

18. Cable Railing Basement Staircase

Cable Railing Basement Staircase
Image Credit: Hometalk

A cable railing is a fun alternative approach to a basement staircase support that suits several styles. It’s a natural fit in industrial and rustic design. With the countless cable options, you can also lighten it up for coastal or even traditional designs. Run continuous cables through the supports, or link them with eyelet screws for convenience.

Featured Image Credit: sima, Shutterstock


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