Love the idea of hallway or stairwell wallpaper. I've seen some great gallery walls in hallways, and depending on the width of your staircase it could work there, too. But if it's narrow (as the case in so many old homes!) wallpaper would be a nice way to charm up the space without adding bulk!
A London Home filled with Travel Finds | Design*Sponge
Great tutorial on how to replace carpet on staircases and then install new stair treads... at a cheap cost rather than buying them premade from some website thats waaayyy more expensive... exactly the info I was looking for!
Week 20: How to Install New Stair Treads - Southern Hospitality