Maybe the stairs to the basement don't HAVE to stay ugly. :)
Take Advantage of Space Under the Stairs-14 Basement Stair Ideas
Painted staircase. so totally doing this with our basement stairs this spring!!!
For the Home ±
Basement Office Tucked Under the Stairs, Incased Column Millwork; Porchlight Interiors
A bar under the stairs in a basement...or make bookshelves for storing movies and pics
Decorating with letters and frames quotes. I like this for the stairs to the basement.