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Home Guides: How to Hidden Indoor Open Stairs

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The best way to hide a staircase depends on the type of staircase and the reason you're hiding it. While it's easiest to hide a staircase that's only visible through a doorway, there are ways to conceal open stairs. Blocking a staircase from view may help to prevent unwanted intrusions, improve the look of your space or increase privacy in a shared space. Whether you want to create an artistic statement or hide the stairs at minimal expense, there's a solution.

Explore Options
If you have in mind hiding the staircase in a manner out of a spy thriller, installing a sliding panel might suit your idea without going to excessive expense. A panel allows you to access a functioning staircase yet hide if from view. Decorative textile hangings can transform the area into a gallery. Curtains have the advantage of being easy to open when you want to use or reveal the staircase, such as in a loft or a home with an open floor plan. Translucent curtains allow light through. To block light, choose heavy fabric such as upholstery fabric or canvas drop cloths.

Install a False Wall
A sliding panel matched to the existing walls creates camouflage, or you can use a contrasting panel to create an accent wall. Mounting framed artwork or shelves on the panel can increase the illusion that it's a stationary wall. This works best for hiding the entrance to a staircase. Alternatively you can block a staircase that's not to be used with bookcases, provided there are no safety reasons or regulations that would make blocking it inadvisable.

Decorate It
Tapestries or wall hangings offers an attractive solution to hiding a staircase. A ceiling-mounted curtain track will hold fabric hangings, making it possible to hide a staircase whether it is only visible through a doorway or if it's an open staircase, such as in a loft. For a tall open staircase, it may be necessary to sew multiple tapestries or wall hangings together to conceal it from ceiling to floor along each side. Take measurements and price textile art before starting this project. Flexible ceiling track similar to the kind used for hospital bed curtains works well to hang fabric around a curved or spiral staircase. Alternatively, you can use screw-in hooks with dowels or rods to hang textiles from the ceiling.

Curtain It
Upholstery fabric generally comes in 54-inch to 60-inch widths, reducing the number of panels you have to hang to conceal the stairs. For example, if a staircase is 14 feet from the front of the bottom step to a point on the floor that's even with the top step, five 60-inch wide panels will hide a staircase that's against a wall. Unless the front of the stairs is greater than 5 feet wide, one more panel will hide the front. Measure from the ceiling to the floor and add 2 inches or more for a hem. Multiply this result by the number of panels and then divide the total number of feet by three to determine how many yards of fabric to buy.

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