Stylish Staircases

by theartofbespoke in Designer style at home

A showstopper staircase is one of the easiest ways to add drama to your home. We take a look at some of the best.

Featured image: from Taylor Howes

Most of us inherit our staircases, and do little to them beyond adding the odd coat of paint. More’s the pity, because there are myriad alternatives to the usual carpeted stairway. If you fancy making a statement with your steps, here are a few ideas from TAOB’s archives.

Glass is a shortcut to a contemporary look and, by allowing light through, keeps the space bright and airy. It’s a good choice for those who admire the clean lines and minimal style of the Apple Store (their signature staircases were designed by award-winning structural engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan.) The stairs pictured below are from a Wimbledon home from upscale London property developers Kubik. ‘I wanted multiple wow factors throughout the house,’ says Kubik’s director Jalal Al-Yawer. ‘The stairs were one of those.’

‘Staircases are such strong structural pieces, they allow you to make a style statement representative of the whole property.’

 

A spiral staircase like the one below, in the playroom of a Victorian villa in Richmond, lends a modern room a touch of period character. Spiral staircases provide an instant focal point – they’re a great space-saving solution, too.

When Blanca Sanchez, head of Halo Design Interiors, was asked to work on a new-build in an exclusive Surrey estate, she was sure to make a feature of the staircase. ‘The owners wanted something with a contemporary edge,’ she says, ‘so we used a curved glass balustrade, while the treads and risers are solid walnut’. This, she says, ‘adds warmth and a timeless quality’. The handrail (again, solid walnut) has a soft square edge, which gives it a modern feel.

But sometimes it’s worth sticking with what you’ve got. When interior designer Gail Race transformed an ordinary 1970s house into a chic contemporary home, she updated everything from the windows to the exterior walls. ‘But we kept the original staircase, made from an endangered hardwood,’ she says. The rich tones of the wood contrast with whitewashed walls, resulting in a thoroughly modern effect. Wood is often cosier and more homely than glass. It’s also versatile – when you get bored with it, you can just paint it.

And don’t forget about outdoor staircases. These may add the most value as they give a house that all-important kerb appeal. This South Kensington extension, built by the Oxford and London Building Consultancy, uses glass to create an unobtrusive stairwell that brings light to what could otherwise be a dingy basement.

The same technique is used in this Mayfair mews house, refurbished by interior design practice Callender Howorth. Here, glass was used to open up the property and create the illusion of space.

The same firm also kitted out this three-storey home in Chelsea’s über-smart Little Boltons. In this case, it’s the wrought-iron spindles that add a grandeur in keeping with the SW10 postcode.

As Halo’s Sanchez says, ‘staircases are such strong structural pieces, they allow you to make a style statement representative of the whole property.’ In other words, it’s worth going to town on them.

 

Kubik – www.kubikonline.co.uk

Halo Design Interiors – www.halodesigninteriors.com

Gail Race  – www.gailrace.com

Oxford and London Building Consultancy – www.olbc.co.uk

Callender Howorth – www.callenderhoworth.com

Taylor Howes – www.taylorhowes.co.uk


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