Decorating your staircase for Christmas - the experts' advice

Posted: 10th Dec 2019

There’s no better way to welcome Christmas visitors into your home than with a decorated staircase. Not only will the sight evoke instant Christmas cheer, seasonal aromas like fir, cloves and cinnamon will enhance the festive feel. With so many different decorative options, from traditional to contemporary, the question is where to start!

To gain advice on decorating your staircase for the festive season, Jackson Woodturners spoke to some interior design experts Elizabeth Parker, Gilly Craft, Katy Aston, Rebecca Dupere, Emile Azan, Louisa De Paola, Steph Briggs, Tom Sanders and Ugo Arinzeh.

Here’s what they had to say...

Rebecca Dupere: Fresh greenery is lovely but it will wilt in a warm environment, so invest in good quality faux garlands of greenery, which can be used year after year. Intersperse with tied, brightly coloured ribbon, baubles and faux berries to achieve a beautiful Christmas garland down the stairwell. Alternatively, silver birch and small glass decoration and icicles create a magical white winter theme. 

Katy Aston: Make the staircase lovely and festive by wrapping garlands or offcuts from the tree down the balustrade to give a warm Christmassy smell. I also like to use the staircase as an advent display with little pouches filled with a mini gift for every guest.

Emile Azan: A Christmas garland should be the base of your Christmas staircase decorations. You can use fresh foliage or an artificial, wired alternative to get the look. 

Steph Briggs: Decorating staircases for Christmas can be so much fun. My top tip is to book yourself onto a local wreath-making course to decorate the front door, then use the skills learned to translate into swags for the bannisters and handrails. Fresh foliage can be damp and will dry out in central heating so use faux for longevity. Look on local selling sites for old faux Christmas trees that you can easily repurpose and upcycle into fabulous foliage without the cost to your pocket or the planet. 

Gilly Craft: I have always wanted to decorate my staircase since I did a course of Christmas floristry some years ago. One of the things we learned was a beautiful garland that wound around the banister. Create a base by wiring together some ivy, holly and fern in a long garland and then decorate with baubles and fresh foliage. Finally, wind it around the balustrade and add some additional flowers. 

Louisa De Paola: I use lots of warm white lights and greenery (usually eucalyptus) to create garlands that I weave through the spindles of the staircase. I use battery operated lights to ensure there are no visible wires and timed lights allow you to experience the lovely warm welcome when arriving home in the dark. I also like to arrange lots of large glass lanterns with faux candles within the entrance hall and porch. 

Tom Sanders: My staircase is a traditional Victorian affair and at Christmas I like to decorate the handrail with ivy from the garden mixed with seasonal florals and fruits. Garlands are simple to put together and it's great to use things from the garden. 

Ugo Arinzeh: Wrapping a faux garland up a staircase along with Christmas lights creates a lovely visual in the home during the holiday season. A lovely red bow at the bottom of the stairs adds a nice finishing touch.  

Elizabeth Parker: This year I’m obsessed with the Rock ‘n’ Roll glass baubles from Rockett St George: everything from gilt-edged black stiletto boots to David Bowie reimagined in glitter encrusted glass. And the gold fringe party garland is the perfect way to add some disco shimmer to your staircase.