Staircase - 40 Projects

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Statement staircases are a hallmark of great interior design. A simple concept which can have dramatic execution, there are plenty of options for creating a staircase with impact. 

Take inspiration from the architecture of the property or create drama with a bold contemporary design. Unusual material choices, cantilevered steps and dramatic balustrades can all transform a stairwell into the central feature of the home. 

If you’re looking for something more subtle, a fitted stair runner, textured wallcovering or a precisely engineered curve can also add luxurious details. Like hallways, when given the right attention to detail staircases can make as bold an interior design statement as any other area in the home.

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Bespoke Staircase Design Elements

A staircase is a naturally dramatic feature, with its inherent height, geometry and symmetry, and this can be heightened and adapted for each interior style. Create a homely, rustic and timeless look with a traditional style staircase or opt for a minimal or highly engineered staircase for a more contemporary and impactful look. The structure of the staircase varies in shape, size and style, as well as other elements, such as lighting and accessories that make the staircase a personal and enjoyable space.

Critical Factors

The staircase will vary according to several factors, with its position within the room being vital. Depending on the size of the room the staircase will take on a different role - a large hallway or room will suit a large, sweeping or curved staircase. When designing a staircase for a large, luxury hallway or entrance consider a modern take on a grand, split staircase that has a central set of stairs that diverges into two sets of stairs that mirror one another.

For a staircase that is located within a room, consider a beautiful freestanding curved design that will bring a sculptural element and a strong presence to the space. A more discreet staircase will climb up a wall, following the curves and angles of the space; a staircase such as this can have either an exposed structure which creates a hollow underneath the stairs which can be reintegrated into the room, or the space beneath the stairs can be filled in to create additional storage space.

A luxurious staircase will tend to continue the look of the space that surrounds it into its own design, as this brings a sense of harmony to the space. Traditionally the materials that are used in the hallway - particularly the flooring - are carried on into the stairs, meaning that a wooden floor is generally matched with wooden stairs, whilst a marble floor looks beautiful when paired with marble stairs, and so on.

Although this is a rule-of-thumb, a staircase can also be used to introduce contrast and drama into a space. Working with an interior designer may be advisable when considering a statement staircase, as they will be able to suggest interesting alternatives that will work for your space. A great example of a contrasting yet chic design is a steel spiral staircase, which successfully brings elements of industrial design into the domestic environment, creating interest through its juxtaposition.

Choose from minimalist or decorative designs with curved or angular silhouettes and rustic or modernist appeal. Make the staircase a feature of the room - with glass stairs in an open structured spiral, or a cantilevered design - or let the staircase blend in with the room for a balanced and subtle effect that lets other pieces take centre stage…

Your Luxury Staircase

Materials for a staircase are selected for their durability as well as their style - as such a staircase is typically made in wood, metal or marble, or a combination of these. Many different moods and looks can be created using these materials through the colours and textures that can be achieved. Wood can be stained or painted to any colour, from bright white to the darkest brown, and the grain can be left visible for a rustic, organic look or painted over for a more crisp aesthetic. Metal can be left bare, which will bring an industrial edge, or can be painted or coated in a variety of colours and finishes. Marble has an inherent luxuriousness thanks to its beautiful markings and natural lustre, which is perfect for a statement staircase that is the focus of the space.

Stand-Alone Staircases

A stand-alone staircase, such as a large, curved set of stairs that is placed in the centre of the room will not have to consider the wall coverings beyond being compatible with the room at large. However, many staircases run alongside a wall, in which case, the wall covering is another element to consider when designing a staircase. Durability, easy maintenance and style are all equal considerations, and there are many materials to choose from in order to create a strong look.

A painted wall will create a blank canvas upon which other accessories, frames and artworks can be displayed, however, there are some other options to consider. Wood panels - either full height or half height - can provide a very durable surface for this high-traffic area, whilst also breaking up the space with its simple geometric shapes. Painted in a matching or contrasting shade to the rest of the space, this can be an easy way to inject subtle pattern and/or colour to the staircase.


A decorative wallpaper that runs the height of the wall from the floor to the top of the second floor can have a strong visual impact which makes the staircase feel luxurious, important and a well-considered space within its own right. A feature wall of any design looks wonderful in a staircase, as the high ceilings and transient nature of the space mean that it is not an overwhelming or overbearing look - in fact, a statement staircase will add character and interest in a space that that is often overlooked.

The balustrades and banister are important elements that dictate the general look and style of the staircase. Designs vary greatly, meaning that you can create a staircase that perfectly suits your home. A wooden banister with traditional turned balustrades will bring a homely warmth that is suited to a period home, whereas a staircase that has a clear glass sheet that acts as both the banister and balustrade creates an utterly contemporary, clean and crisp look that is the perfect accessory in the modern home. A sheet glass balustrade can be a single, straight piece, or can be divided into sections, or even curved to create movement - it is also possible to add a banister or handrail in a different material, for example, a black wooden handrail that adds definition and a touch of Art Deco style.

Balustrades made in metal allow for more sculptural forms - the metal can be easily twisted and curved to more intricate patterns. From highly polished steel with an overlapping geometric design to a more simplistic, linear pattern with a black finish, a metal balustrade has clean lines and an inherent elegance. Choose either a wooden or metal handrail to top the metal structure. Consider also the finials - the ornament or statement at the each end of the balustrade - choose a clean, straight edge on a glass balustrade, or a tall, decorative or curving design to mark the end for a more traditional take on the luxury staircase.

How to Dress the Staircase

As with any room in the house, it is important to dress the staircase in order to set the mood and to create atmosphere. A luxurious staircase will give great importance to the lighting, as this will have a huge impact on the look and feel of the space. A large, dramatic chandelier is a wonderful option for a large or open staircase - such as a split staircase or a spiral staircase that has a large volume in its centre.

A more contemporary or pared back chandelier has an equally opulent look whilst being better suited to the modern home. A series of small pendant lamps can be arranged to follow the shape of the staircase for a contemporary and dynamic installation, whilst wall lamps have a discreet presence whilst breaking up a large expanse of wall with light.

For a maximalist and individual look, the staircase can used much like a gallery - display artwork, photographs and other personal items along the walls to create a dynamic and unique staircase. For a minimalist look consider using a subtle variations of colour and texture and clever lighting solutions in order to add interest without the addition of accessories. 

How to Choose the Right Designer

A staircase is a structural element, however, there are many variations and elements to choose in building the perfect set of stairs for your home, which is why many people look to an interior designer to guide the renovation or rebuilding of their staircase.

Choosing the right interior designer starts with research. Look at a broad range of interior designers to get an understanding of their individual work, styles and preferences. Study each designers portfolio in order to find the elements that appeal to your sense of style - by looking at their previous projects you will get a sense of each individual interior designer, and ultimately know if they are the right designer for you.

An interior designer is often able to see alternative solutions to your problems - offering creative and interesting options for your home. Using their previous experience, a designer will guide you through the multitude of options and elements that come together to create a successful and harmonious space.