Make your stairs look like a bookcase!
For some time our stairs were just plain, unpainted, wood. In order to make them nicer we decided to paint them, and then stick pictures to the risers to make the flight of stairs look like a bookcase. We decided to use self-adhesive vinyl.
After applying the pictures:
I decided to use photographs of our own books as the pictures.
Now, our books are mostly higher than the risers, so the books in the pictures would need to be reduced in size. I designed, and built, a simple bookcase in which to photograph the books. The bookcase is plain wood and is wider than the risers of the stairs, so that when the books are shrunk down to the right height, the width of the bookcase also shrinks to become a perfect fit for the risers.
The bookcase (and a cat):
Photographing the books in a row on a table would not give a good illusion of the stairs being a bookcase. You would not be able to see the wood behind the books and, equally importantly, there would be no shadow cast by the wood above the books. And that shadow gives a good illusion of depth.
One thing I did not want was twelve rows of neatly arranged books. This would have been uninteresting. So I made sure to include plenty of clutter in my pictures - books on their sides, cats, household items, etc.
Books and clutter:
I realised that I could put three pictures on an A1 size sheet of self-adhesive vinyl. I had five sheets printed - which gave me three spare images (which I did not need to use).
The artwork for one sheet:
When we put a photograph of the staircase on facebook several people thought that I had actually converted our stairs into a bookcase :)
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