You can reinvent even a modest space with the help of imaginative stair lights.
Highlight the primary feature by recessing small wall lights low down to wash across the stair treads. This works on all surfaces - wood, stone, carpet, etc - and the effect can be modified by adjusting their height. Whilst 200-300mm high is standard for lights with a wide beam angle in order to provide the best lighting, fit them closer to the tread if you are looking for a more dramatic effect. There are a number of suitable wall light designs to choose from, including decorative and colour changing options.
For open riser stairs, LED strip lights recessed into the underside of the treads create truly spectacular effects. A totally invisible light source, each tread is clearly defined yet the staircase appears to float and casts interesting shadows into the void below.
Strip lights may also be concealed beneath the banister, or in the shadow gap on either side of a closed staircase, engendering a quite surreal effect, particularly if colour changing strip lights are utilised. Colour changing lights are great for setting a mood and augmenting drama.
But the stairs themselves are by no means the only opportunity for lighting creativity. Decorative wall lights, particularly those which throw light both upwards and down, are functional and impressive, especially if strategically placed to frame the windows or other architectural features.
Always remember that the staircase is the spine of a home and so often plays a big part in that all-important first impression. The demands for greater space in the reception and bedrooms will often prevail, but well-planned LED stair lights can turn even the most ordinary space into an architectural highlight.