Want a hit of playfulness without making over an entire room? Here are four DIY ideas for a gorgeous staircase.

ombre-stairs_galOmbré Paint Job
Choose consecutive colors on the same paint strip. For the stairs on the opening page, we used five shades, on three stairs apiece. A small, angled brush is best for edges; use a larger brush to fill in.
chalkboard-stairs_galChangeable Chalkboard
Prompt spontaneous creativity with a clean (or artfully decorated) slate. Go basic black or bold—chalkboard-paint colors span the rainbow. Tip: Clean with a damp cloth rather than an eraser to minimize chalk dust and slippery stairs

wallpapered-stairs_galWaves of Wallpaper
Consider cheating by adhering with double-stick tape instead of glue. Use a small smoother to eliminate bubbles, a single-edge razor to trim, and Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic spray to protect against scuffs (all sold at hardware stores).
mirrored-stairs_galMultiple Mini Mirrors
Sheets of slightly irregular mosaic mirrors bounce light around and add exotic flair. You’ll need a tile cutter