Your staircase sets the style for your home. It needs to fit in with the rest of your interior, but that doesn’t mean you can overlook it. When planning and remodeling your staircase, think about how to make it complement your home while remaining an attractive feature.
You can have some fun with your staircase. From the structure to lighting to finishing details, there are so many ways to make it look beautiful and honor your home. Follow our guide below for a range of exciting and creative stairway ideas.
Flooring is perhaps the most important consideration when remodeling a staircase. Depending on your style and where your staircase is located, you have so many options. Read on for inspiration.
There are several ways to use carpet. If you go for fully-carpeted stairs, choose one in a similar shade to the rest of the room to make it feel cozy. Runners add a textural contrast between the wood and carpet of the stairs. A patterned carpet runner sets off the colors in a room and can be a cool highlight to draw the eye.
Wooden staircases are very popular as they can look either modern or classic. Dark, varnished wood creates a refined, elegant feel, while lighter hues give off a crisp, contemporary ambiance. Wood is a natural, uncomplicated material that can be painted to update the design.
A tiled staircase suits the outdoors. Terracotta tiles, coupled with painted concrete or metal railings, make you feel like you’re by the Mediterranean sea. If you’re feeling experimental, build your unique look with different patterns or graphic tiles. The material is beautiful and is a powerful way to create a focal point without too much fuss.
Painting your stairs is a way to add your own touch to your home. Keep your stairway classy with neutral shades such as white and off-whites, which will also retain light. The beauty of paint is that it comes in every color - if you’ve got a wild streak, throw the rulebook away and make your staircase stand out with vibrant shades that lighten up the mood of the house.
Staircase design ideas
For fans of a contemporary esthetic, there are so many possibilities. Break with tradition by installing an open staircase (without risers); this can give you a broader area to play with. Glass and metal bring stairs up to date. Light your stairs to create the atmosphere you’re looking for: whether that’s gently modern or totally avant-garde. Finally, be inventive with your lighting - more on this later.
Painting your stairs is a real opportunity to have fun. Perhaps you want to keep it simple: find colors that compliment your existing interior to make it blend effortlessly from your hallway to upstairs. Painting the risers in a neutral shade and the treads in a slightly more vibrant color brings in some brightness. If you don’t like runners, why not paint your own motif on the risers?
What you do with wood depends on your interior style. As mentioned above, wood is versatile and suitable for any interior: whether urban or rural, traditional or modern. Observe how wooden staircases bring warmth into an interior. Add your unique touch by creating focal points in the newel or balusters with impressive carvings.
Stairways for small spaces
Not sure how to remodel your stairs to make the most of the room you have available? You have options. Stairs that double up as storage save space elsewhere in the house (install a cupboard beneath them, for example). If you’re feeling daring, consider installing a spiral staircase. They’re elegant and come in many different designs.
Open staircases are becoming more and more popular. It’s hardly surprising when you see how attractive they are. They make you feel like you’re walking on air, and allow you to make the most of the space underneath. It also allows more light into your hallway, as it won’t get blocked by your stair risers.
Basement stair ideas
Basement stairs might not be as visible as entry stairs, but they deserve just as much attention. Consider your materials carefully, as basement stairs are more susceptible to mold and moisture than other stairways. For example, a carpet tends to hold moisture more easily, so think about using a runner instead. Basements often lack light, so consider making the downstairs brighter by removing the door to the stairs.
A top tip for building a rustic staircase: keep it simple. If you’re in the countryside, look outside and get inspired by nature. Use local natural materials to reflect the great outdoors and radiate warmth. Combine dark metal with wood to create a traditional-looking setting.
White and off-white shades are very versatile and create a variety of different atmospheres. For an airy space, white is a fantastic choice, as it allows more light to be reflected. It combines effortlessly with a variety of shades, making it easier to choose a runner, carpet, or wall color. White metal is an excellent way to set off a clean, modern interior.
Entry stairs are often the first feature you notice upon entering a home, so make it love at first sight. Welcome yourself and your guests home by creating a calming atmosphere with neutral shades and soft materials. A good rule of thumb is to continue the color scheme of your hallway on your entry stairs. Upkeep is essential: keep it clean and clear at all times - see below for useful storage ideas.
Show off your creativity and escape the mundane with an elegant, curved staircase. It works well if you have less space, as its shape offers more flexibility. If you have a large room to play with, expand the curves for an impressive stairway. While an unusual structure might seem hard to decorate, its form provides enough intrigue - you don’t need to source much extra decoration.
Metal offers a lot of flexibility for creating your perfect design. Often we associate metal with ‘industrial,’ which is a design trend that fits into a modern apartment. But metal can also create a more intimate setting - why not make a feature out of vintage cast-iron stairs? Metal is highly durable and works outdoors as well as indoors.
Staircase storage ideas
Stairs are not just for reaching another floor. One excellent hack is to use them for storage. That means more than your typical cupboard under the stairs - although this is a great option! On a u-shaped staircase, you could place a bench on the turn that doubles up as a chest. Consider taking the doors off the cupboard under the stairs - open it up as shelves to store books and ornaments. Another innovative way of making the most of the stair space is by using the risers as drawers. Get inventive.
Want to remodel your own staircase? Follow these steps. First, plan. Imagine your dream staircase. What shape is it? How does it fit with your current interior? Consider the area of the house it’s in, and how it will fit. Think about your budget and building regulations - it might take a few drafts to design a staircase that meets all criteria, but the planning stage will be worth it.
The first practical step is to replace the treads and, if you’re using them, risers. Now is the perfect excuse to renovate your landing to match your staircase. Consider how it eases the transition between the stairway and the rooms beyond.
Next, replace the newels, posts, and railing. Your staircase is (almost) complete. Don’t forget the finishing touches: carpet, runners, varnish or paint? Finally, think about how to set off your stairway with attractive details - more on this below.
When it comes to the railing and balusters (otherwise known as spindles), you have many options. Check the building regulations in your country, as most demand that you keep your railing above a minimum height. This still leaves room for choice - see below for ideas.
It’s essential to consider the feel as well as the look of your railing. Natural material such as wood is pleasant to handle, while metal is smooth and easy to clean. Choose a material and design that goes with your home’s esthetic, whether that’s a simple rustic wooden handrail or a stylish steel railing. Create the illusion of more space by combining lighter balusters and dark rails. The wall can provide something to hold onto, especially outdoors - carve a niche into a wall for a sturdy grip.
You have several options for balusters. Standard wooden spindles are traditional and sturdy, while a glass plate balustrade suits a sleek, contemporary space. To create coziness, combine a wooden handrail with rustic metal designs. Express your creativity with intricately carved wooden spindles.
Well-lit stairs are safe stairs. If you’re keen on pendant lamps, make sure to hang these strategically to spread the light evenly. A feature light is a practical and decorative option.
LEDs have revolutionized home lighting. There are many attractive ways to place lights: perhaps next to the risers to highlight each step. If you have an open staircase, you can light it from the underside of the treads. Otherwise, why not place lamps in niches by the side of the stairs?
For lighting that doubles as décor, wall-mounted lamps work well, but make sure they don’t stick out too far as to limit access. Choose the right color temperature to go with your color scheme, and you’ll have the perfect solution.
The final touches matter. A stairway can be a suitable place for a gallery wall, but keep your pictures to a single theme (e.g., family, flowers) to avoid cluttering the wall. Keep it to two or three favorites, otherwise, you might find people block the stairs as they stop to admire the artwork. If you don’t have anything to put on the wall, consider a patterned wallpaper to draw the eye. If you have space on the wall opposite your stairs, decorate it with a large potted plant, a small table, or a painting.
There are many ways of creating a stairway that suits you and your home. Do you prefer carpeted stairs or a runner? Painted or varnished wood? Let us know your favorite kinds of staircase and renovation tips. Make your stairway fantastic.