Stair rods (carpet rods) remain popular, too, for traditional and English-inspired homes. Though no longer strictly necessary given modern rug installation, the rods do hide staple dimples or nail heads and conceal any pattern mismatch at a cut. Each solid or tubular metal bar (sometimes wood) is held by brackets on each side of the runner. Brass is most popular; solid brass may be shaped for curved stairs. Finishes include bright or antique brass, nickel and pewter, and dark bronze; some companies offer a choice of finial styles. Curved dust corners add even more bling when repeated on every tread, especially against natural-finish wood.
Shown: the M-17KS Stair Carpet Rod Set from Vintage Hardware and Lighting. (With a 5⁄8″ rod and spacing underneath of 11⁄16″, this one is for thicker carpets.) Also: their L-37F Brass Dust Corner Fancy Design. The company has a large selection of handrail brackets as well. Vintage Hardware and Lighting, (360) 379-9030, vintagehardware.com