Painted entrance stairs

I've been dying to ask our landlord if I can paint our entrance stairs (right now they are UW Husky purple). It is the FIRST and only thing you see when you walk in our front door. The entrance floor is black and white checkered, and the walls are about to be painted the same soft greige as our dining room. So the question is: What color do I go with? A mix of white and cream like this?

Or a snappy black "runner" like this one?

Since we rent, adding carpet or anything more complicated than paint isn't an option. But I want to hear what you think! Please vote (or move on to leave a comment with an entirely new suggestion!)

Would you pick

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Sample photos from Remodelista and Desire to Inspire.