Like plain runner has a colored border that ties it to the colors of the entry tile - can we do this with a dark nubby grey like the mortar, and have accents that call out the Terra cotta and other dominant downstairs colors? Maybe use the bronze of the master bath tiles with the grey + some dark red or dark blue?
It's my personal belief that the smallest spaces have the biggest impact. The "utility" areas of your home–the hallway, mudroom and, yes, the staircase–don't get used as often as, say, the living room. But that means you have license to have even more fun with their decor. Take your stairs and add a crazy pop of color.
This isn't technically a living room but it is a good shot of how a lot of different angles go into one cohesive room. I just love the uniformity of the railings (all custom iron by local craftsmen) that run on the balcony and the stairs. Take notice to the symmetry as well, with the geometric rug, the patters in the railings and the overall shape and aesthetics of the doorways, balcony, floorboards all totally my style.
Custom cabinetry storage beneath the stairs in a timber frame home. Lovely craftsmanship, beautiful wood, and an idea I'd love to borrow, keeping in mind that the stairs are too steep, the tread isn't deep enough and there's no handrail!