Stepping Up with Feng Shui: What Do Stairs Mean?

If the world were perfect and houses were built in perfect Feng Shui form, there would most likely be no stairs, because living and working spaces would all be on one level.  There would be no need to go upstairs since there would be no second floor; likewise there would be no reason to go downstairs since there would be no lower level.  However, the likelihood of everyone having one-story homes is pretty negligible.  As a result we have to deal with the ups and downs that stairs provide.

Having a staircase in a particular area of a home or office can often suggest instability.  Stairs are a place of transition and, as a result, are perceived as a troubling, unsettling feature.  A relationship may struggle when the occupants are required to watch their step going up and down a narrow stairway.  Those who live in a space where stairs are in the center, whether they are going up to the second floor or down to a basement, may experience unreliable health.  A staircase may contribute to fluctuating circumstances in the occupants’ income if located in an unfortunate spot.

Besides a major remodel, what can be done to minimize any negative influence from a stairway?


  1. Make sure each step is safe and secure with no loose floorboards or tenuous handrail.
  2. Make sure the stairway has attractive and effective lighting.  This is not the time to be in the dark as you make your way from one floor to the next.
  3. Treat the staircase as though it is a separate room with its own sense of presence.  Paint it a special color; hang some cool artwork on the walls; paint the stairs or have a runner.
  4. Don’t use your staircase as a storage space.  When stuff accumulates on the steps, it not only impedes your path but makes the stairway unappealing.
  5. Appeal to your sense of fun so that going up the stairs doesn’t become just an uphill battle but an enjoyable, entertaining even, experience.

Making the stairway a special place eliminates the insecurity and uncertainty that can be associated with a place that fluctuates between levels.  When your steps can be confident and self-assured, your staircase may actually bring you positive blessings, spawning creative and lofty ideas.  After all, they’re called a “flight” of stairs for a reason.