Does your home have a staircase? Perhaps it’s a multi-storey property with more than one or an apartment block with an impressive feature staircase in the lobby.
Don’t be fooled into thinking steps and stairwells are there just to take you up a level or two though. Yes, that’s without doubt their primary agenda, but there’s a plethora of staircase designs for the home that want their voice to be heard and to raise the style stakes to the upper echelons. These eight beautiful staircases provide ample evidence to that.
Image Credit: Elicyon
1. The display staircase
Staircase design varies not merely in material choice, size and style, but in structure too. When the staircase is built-in, there’s often temptation to make the most of the cavity, transforming it into an under-the-stairs storage area. This approach is worthwhile and grants you with valuable capacity, but there is another option for how to best use the available space.
Look into whether a recess is achievable within which you can display a piece of art or precious ornament (safely enclosed within the wall it’s much less likely to be knocked off).
Depending on the material used, it might be possible to fill it with pillar candles of varying heights, providing the lining is heat-safe and non-flammable of course. The point being, the depth below the staircase doesn’t have to be consumed as functional storage and can give rise to a decorative feature opportunity.
Image Credit: 98 Sansiri
2. The quarter-turn staircase
This beautiful staircase in Bangkok’s 98 Wireless development is an object of desire for more than one reason. The intricate metalwork of sophisticated curves and swirls on the black iron balustrade is what first draws the eye, but it is the series of angle changes that are just as noteworthy.
Quarter-turn staircases are those that feature a small landing area, requiring you to make a 90-degree turn before continuing to the next portion of staircase. Some staircases contain more than one turn however, but providing they don’t involve you rotating body position to turn back on yourself, then it remains a quarter-turn staircase. This is what you think you’re witnessing at 90 Wireless, but look closer and as you approach the first landing area, you stand in front of a full-height mirrored wall, which produces a trompe l’œil effect.
Continue up the stairs and instead of a second quarter-turn, the staircase leads to the left, asking you to move in fact 180-degrees from your first position. And so the quarter-turn staircase becomes quite the shapeshifter into…
Image Credit: Laura Hammett
3. The half-turn staircase
Typically however, the half-turn staircase is less angular than the quarter-turn. Instead, it’s more common to see it as a smooth arc that ultimately sways 180-degrees from its starting point but in a graceful sweep rather than a stark switchback style.
The classic formation is shown in this glamorous Laura Hammett staircase. With no central axis in a half-turn staircase, it leaves a chasm in the middle that’s ripe for filling with a cascading crystal chandelier. Light the way further still by adding strips of luminous LED at the base of each upstand and the effect with this shape of staircase is as though you’re walking on air.
Image Credit: Taylor Howes
4. The spiral staircase
What better statement staircase is there than the iconic spiral? It’s beguiling form and less-than-ordinary reputation means that it will always stand out and command attention.
In properties with room for two staircases, the spiral design serves well as a secondary player, on the basis that it has a small footprint so is a savvy space-saver, but on a functional note, it can be precarious to manoeuvre. It’s this downside that has earned it ‘look but don’t touch’ status – a staircase to be admired but to tread on carefully.
Try adding a barely-there glass balustrade as Taylor Howes has down for added reassurance that won’t detract from the aesthetic quality.
Image Credit: Katharine Pooley
5. The marble helical staircase
Katharine Pooley’s marble helical staircase moves the conversation onto the topic of materials.
Some staircases are crafted from traditional timber, some from smooth iron or polished concrete, but then there are those at the most luxurious end of the staircase spectrum sculpted from magnificent marble.
Indeed, marble is a showstopper of a stone to grace your hallway on such a grand scale, but it’s also enormously hardwearing, making it score highly in terms of practicality as stairs are such a high traffic part of the home. To factor a marble staircase into interior design is not just to make an unforgettable first impression, but is to promise endurance for decades to come.
6. The runner staircase
Staircase ideas also reach into texture and decorative touches, which is where carpets come into the question.
If a full carpeted look doesn’t suit your taste (see point seven), then you can meet in the middle – literally – and opt for a staircase runner, as per Finachatton’s gloss white and dark wood scheme. With the surrounding setting being one of hard, smooth stone and a stairway of white-painted wood and fine spindles, the contrasting carpet is a welcome addition, bringing much-needed softness.
Be sure to choose a durable runner though that can withstand the high impact of feet coming down at speed or trudging up slowly.
And the final point to think about is whether you prefer the loose waterfall look or the more tailored French Cap where the carpet is tucked tightly around the tread and pulled taut against the upstand with an optional stair rod for extra security (and to achieve a more traditional look).
7. The carpeted riser and tread staircase
Not everybody is keen on a halfway house, and so the prospect of a runner might not satisfy your personal character or that of your home’s, preferring to go for all or nothing.
A fully carpeted staircase has two major benefits:
1: It significantly reduces noise and absorbs the pressure of feet hitting the deck.
2: It’s a more comfortable, cushioned experience.
While it’s often said that carpet on the stairs is a traditional choice, this is entirely dependent on the sort of carpet. For example, a natural fibre like jute will achieve a Scandinavian and even Minimalist look than a deep-pile or plush carpet. The balustrade, banister and spindles all have a role to play too.
This second Finachatton staircase is carpeted across the entirety of the tread and up each riser, yet the geometric design of the balustrade and mixed material approach convincingly contemporises the look.
Image Credit: Carlyle Designs
8. The two-tone staircase
And finally, a staircase design that you can master using contrasting materials – as you saw in the first Finachatton staircase with white wooden stairs and dark runner – or simply polar opposite finishes.
Carlyle Designs shows how this is done with sheer sophistication, taking its cue from the polished monochrome marble hallway floor and repeating this classic colour contrast on the stairs.
With the upstands painted one colour and the treads another, the difference is strong but the steady repeat lends it a soothing, familiar quality as the design produces a steady rhythm. The handrail and balustrade being in black iron maintains the flow – adding in a third colour would alter the atmosphere of the space quite significantly, pushing it into overwhelming territory. Two-tone may cause a stir, but it’s all about less-is-more – restrained, repeated, rhythmic applications of hue on beautiful hue.