This Is the Budget-Friendly, TikTok-Approved Hack for Your Staircase That You’ve Never Thought Of Before

published Mar 1, 2023
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Stairways don’t usually get much love in the DIY department, but two designers recently shared a genius, affordable carpet hack that can instantly step up this often overlooked space.

New York-based renovating duo (and real-life partners) Barry Bordelon and Jordan Slocum, fittingly known as the Brownstone Boys, are multi-hyphenates dedicated to restoring and redecorating historic brownstones. One of their recent local projects, in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, features a gorgeous staircase with architecture that feels original to the home, as seen in a video from the Brownstone Boys Instagram page (this staircase was also featured and liked by over 60,000 viewers on their TikTok account). The post itself starts off saying, “When you can’t find the right size runner…” while panning to the stairs themselves. It’s clear the stairs are, in fact, all covered in carpet — but with a twist. The video resumes, with a caption reading, “Use multiple smaller rugs to make your own!” Then the camera zooms in to reveal a mix of different upholstery patterns adorning every few steps.

Essentially, rather than carpeting the staircase with one cohesive runner, Slocum and Bordelon DIY’d their own by merging a series of colorful, small-scale rugs. Each piece features a different design in a range of hues and motifs, but they all share a timeless, antique-looking allure. This effectively ties the whole mismatched staircase scheme together, which contrasts nicely against the surrounding white wall and black railing — although it could work well with just about any interior palette or staircase material, too.

No extra rugs lying around? No problem. You can curate your own mini “runner” collection on a budget by sourcing materials secondhand, whether at vintage home stores or even neighborhood Buy Nothing groups. The combined total can arguably cost less than a full staircase runner — not to mention it just looks way more unique. Of course, it’s perfect for upcycling leftover bits of carpeting from previous projects around the house as well, if you have them.

The style is also completely customizable: One commenter cited a similar setup that used different deadstock carpets from the 1960s and ’70s on every single stair. That’s right, you can give each individual step its own decorative treatment, or stick with every three to four carpets total à la the Brownstone Boys’ iteration. As I much as I love their classic-looking aesthetic, you can also play around with more lively, modern designs (depending on your rug assemblage), like multi-colored stripes or even ombré and rainbow patterns. Either way, talk about making an entrance in the stairway of your home!