Wall washers either installed on the wall or aimed down from the ceiling are used mostly to highlight decorative features such as an art piece or a textured finish like a brick wall. However the psychological effect created by lighting the walls can make the whole room feel much brighter.
Bright idea for unexpected lighting: Look for opportunities to install light fixtures in alcoves tray ceilings and wall niches to trace interesting lines. Notice the hidden lights in the ceiling alcove above the cylindrical fireplace mantel here.
Adding lights to stair risers is beneficial since it can be hazardous negotiating stairs especially at night. Staircases are often enclosed so light them from the sides or embed lights in the risers as a design element.