Before and After: An Empty Stair Landing Gets a Stylish Redo That’s Surprisingly Practical, Too

published Nov 26, 2022
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Before: stair landing with beige carpet
Credit: Alice Kuaban

Stair landings are an under-appreciated design focal point. After all, even in the most well-curated of homes, hallway decorating isn’t necessarily top of mind when you consider all the other areas that people tend to gravitate towards. So hallways tend to get a little love in the form of some artwork, but not much else.

But Alice Kuaban, the blogger behind Oddessence, says it’s an area we should all pay more attention to. “I wanted to challenge that [concept] and use my landing for something more practical than just a space you walk through,” she says.

Credit: Alice Kuaban

“I design with function in mind,” Alice explains, and this landing makeover was no different. She needed extra storage for her kids’ sheets, blankets, and other linens, and the extra space at the landing offered the perfect spot for that.

Credit: Alice Kuaban

Key to this makeover was the pro removal of the beige wall-to-wall carpet and installation of wood flooring to match other areas of the home, which immediately upped the style game throughout. Next came the storage, which needed to be the exact right size so as not to block foot traffic. “I measured, measured, and measured again and came to the conclusion that if I got the right-size dresser (one that will still give me about 36 inches of room to walk freely through the landing), then I could actually make this landing practical,” Alice says.

She found the winner on Facebook Marketplace: a mid-century-style dresser with the right measurements and enough drawers to store the essentials.

Credit: Alice Kuaban

The rest of the project was about styling around the dresser to make it look like a purposeful vignette and not just a wayward piece of furniture. Directly above the dresser, Alice added a large piece of art flanked by two candle sconces. Then, on the right side, she stacked three pieces in descending size. The added chair to the right of the dresser isn’t just for show — it also provides a drop-off zone for items taken out of the dresser, Alice says.

Credit: Alice Kuaban

The new landing is a far cry from the empty, uninspired space that existed previously. Not only is it stylish, it’s also actually useful now. “I also like the fact that I gave some life to a space that is often ignored, or worse, forgotten,” says Alice. “If you have ample space in your stair landing, put it to work, and let it make a statement.”

But don’t neglect this one important piece of advice: Measure, measure, and measure again, says Alice. “Never squeeze a large piece of furniture in a landing that doesn’t have ample space — it’s a hazard,” she notes. “But if you have plenty of space, the world is your oyster, so dream big.”