Sorry for the different shades of light!
these photos were taken at different times of the day.
Our condo is 30+ years old. The contractor told us there was not much we could do to make the staircase look better (prettier... is what I asked for!!) when the condo's were built, there wasn't any thought that the stairs would have anything on them BUT carpet. Hence, the "block, rough, utilitarian look"...
This is our solution. Utilitarian carpet (but, it's pretty) and wood toe-boards!