March 23, 2023

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Stunning Staircase Ideas to Elevate Your Home Décor

Staircases have been an integral feature of houses ever since we started constructing above the ground floor level. While serving a practical purpose, staircase ideas also provide an opportunity for architects and designers to showcase their artistic expression.

Changing levels in a home can be a challenging task, and designing a staircase is far from being a straightforward solution. However, when executed correctly, today’s staircase ideas can elevate home décor to new heights. Whether it’s a conventional or cutting-edge design.

Through this article, we will provide the essential do’s and don’ts of staircase ideas. From spiral to floating, loft, modern, wooden, metal, and glass staircases, there are several designs to choose from to fit your space and style. So buckle up and get ready to elevate your home with these stunning staircase ideas!

Stunning staircase ideas

Fulham Roble 16,5cmx150cm (Available in-store)


Mandatory Staircase Guidelines

To comply with UK law, there are strict regulations that govern stairs. These regulations are designed to promote health and safety and impose certain common-sense limitations on staircase design. Due to the high incidence of accidents on UK stairs each year, practical considerations must take precedence over aesthetic preferences. The following criteria are among the most critical but not exhaustive:

  • Width: 750mm for a residential staircase (slightly narrower for loft conversions)
  • Stair angle: private (domestic) stairs should not exceed a maximum angle of 42°.
  • The provision of a handrail and bannisters (which must prevent a sphere of 100mm from passing through)
  • A clear area on a landing in front of the last stair tread to avoid trip hazards.
  • The number of steps in a single flight: maximum 16.
  • Head clearance: this refers to the minimal head height between the first-floor landing and the ascending staircase.


►Note: You will not be able to design a staircase on your own. Even for qualified architects, it’s a head-scratcher. What you can do, however, is collect images and information to help you design in collaboration with an experienced professional.


Spiral Staircases

Spiral Staircases

Of all the different contemporary stairs, the spiral staircase is the most visually arresting. It is like a piece of sculpture, but with a function. The most typical use of spiral staircases is when space is an issue. That’s because the footprint of the spiral staircase is smaller than any other type of stair.

There are two different types: one where the steps rotate around a central pillar or column. And the other is simply circular in plan and has an independent handrail on both sides. We think of spiral stairs in historical settings (like castle turrets) but they are a popular and practical choice, and great for saving space.


Floating Stairs

One of the most thrilling advances in contemporary design staircases is the floating stairs. This refers to a structural innovation which allows the tread to be cantilevered from a structural wall. Thus, the steps (or treads) look like they are floating over one another, creating a sense of transparency. The visual impact of this design is both striking and dramatic.

Nevertheless, there are strict rules about overlap (the distance each tread should sit under the tread immediately above) and handrails. Therefore, caution must be exercised when implementing this design. We suggest that you make an appointment at our shop to consult with our experts. They will provide you with advice on the design’s needs and possibilities.

Loft Staircase Ideas

Nowadays it’s very common in UK homes to convert the loft for houses with attic spaces. Loft staircase ideas make use of the space underneath the roof. This space can be used to create a master bedroom, an ensuite, a playroom, or a home office. The absolute limit for a stair to a habitable room is just shy of a 42° angle.

However, a pulldown stair (or ladder) can sometimes be the solution. The stairs are cleverly designed. They are integrated with attic doors that drop down when opened. They can be folded back into place using a special pole.


►Note: There are fire implications for loft conversions, especially for two-storey houses. And we recommend consulting an architect or engineer before embarking on any conversion project.


Modern Staircase Ideas

Like anything else related to design, the staircase is subject to changing trends and shifting fashions. Modern staircase ideas tend to be highly practical and not so decorative. That said UK staircase ideas draw on the knowledge and traditions of the past which include some of the following features.

  • Under-stair storage. There are oodles of possibilities for storage with the underside of the stairs, no matter what the configuration.
  • Treating the staircase as a space. This might involve adding a bookcase or shelving to a landing. Or perhaps treating the first three stairs separately from the main flight and designing them as a place to sit.
  • Converting the underside of the stairs to a home office. This is the ideal way to take advantage of the lower headroom, seated at a desk.
  • Entrance. The UK home usually has the staircase in the entrance hall, accessing first-floor bedrooms. So, it takes on a more important designer significance and expresses the style of the décor. 


Wooden Staircase Ideas

Timber has always been the classic choice for staircases, it’s malleable, decorative and strong. Nothing has changed over the centuries! Timber staircases are a wonder of beauty and functionality. Simple wooden staircase ideas stand the test of time and never look dated.


Metal Staircase

In comparison to wood, the metal staircase has a very different aesthetic. The structural qualities of metal allow less material to do more. Metal stairs are suited to the industrial or loft look.

However, not all parts of the stair must be made from metal. The composite approach recognises that some parts of the metal staircase need to be tactile and warmer. The handrail and treads, for example, can be finished with other materials.


Metal Staircase


Glass Staircase Ideas

In the 1980s, High Tech Architecture rose in popularity. At this time, a glass staircase appeared at Joseph, a store on Sloane St. in London. This masterpiece, designed by Eva Jiricna, was heavily influenced by this style and quickly became a sensation.

Even today, this glass staircase remains the epitome of “look-no-hands” design. Its glass treads, chrome struts, and bespoke clamps and connectors give it a luxurious look. It appears to be an enlarged piece of jewellery transformed into a work of art. Walking up or down this staircase feels like floating on air.

To achieve the glass staircase look in your own home, you’ll need a combination of metal and glass. Usually, two metal beams join the two floors, and metal trays with glass inserts form the treads. To enhance the transparency of the staircase, open risers are an excellent option. A metal or glass handrail and bannister complete the look of your glass staircase. It makes it a stunning focal point in your home.


Open Staircase Ideas

The minimalist approach to staircase design reduces the various elements to be as open as possible. These open staircase ideas include a glass balustrade, open treads, and a refined handrail. The overall effect is of transparency and seen from certain angles the entire stair almost disappears.

While traditional staircase ideas are more solid and sturdy looking, modern staircase ideas are the opposite. Nowadays, we can do more with much less material.


Open Staircase Ideas
Credits: @antonio_altarriba

► Get the look

The illustrated staircase is situated within a lightwell, or atrium, with a roof light overhead. The balustrades and partition walls are glass panels while the staircase structure is metal. The only solid elements are the treads, finished in wood which provides a more tactile and warmer look, and the stringers. The atrium and the stair are perfectly integrated into a seamless expression of materials and light.

Traditional Staircase Ideas

Sometimes design cannot be improved upon. Traditional staircases, either timber or metal, are normally fabricated off-site and delivered for installation once the walls have been plastered. The workshops where these stairs are made benefit from years of experience where each element serves a function. These conditions ensure that the staircase is more like an industrial or craft design than a building installation.


Traditional Staircase Ideas


The illustrated stair is a classic example of a timber staircase. Here, the stair is treated as a space in its own right, with added furniture and natural light. The newel post provides sturdy support to the handrail and bannisters.

The first few steps make a landing, from where the stair changes direction, and provide a place for a window. The timber tread finish is an extension of the flooring and the overall effect is one of harmony and balance.


Staircase Railing Ideas

There is a wide range of approaches to staircase design. As we have explored above, staircase railing ideas, including handrails and bannisters, are an important element. These elements can be customised to suit individual home décor. Here are a few options to consider for staircase railings:

  • Architects like John Pawson and David Chipperfield are masters of understated and minimalist staircase designs. Their refined stair details illustrate how even simple spindles, handrails and newel posts can make a powerful statement.
  • On the other hand, floating staircases commonly feature a glass railing, underlining the structural acrobatics and transparency of the stairs.
  • Meanwhile, the traditional-looking timber staircase includes turned spindles (often highly decorative), a profiled handrail and a solid newel post.


Staircase Decorating Ideas

There is no reason not to use the staircase as just another habitable room of the house. So, once you have chosen the type of staircase that suits your space, it’s time to consider ways to decorate it. Make it a standout feature by following some of these staircase decorating ideas:

  • To begin with, plants are a great way to add a touch of nature to your staircase; they can bring life and colour to landings, bannisters and bottom steps. For instance, you could place potted plants on the stair treads or hang them from the handrail to create a vertical garden effect.
  • Additionally, artwork is another way to add personality to your staircase. You can hang paintings, prints, or photographs along the wall, creating a gallery-like effect.
  • Moreover, lighting can also play a crucial role in making your staircase a designer statement. You can install wall sconces or pendant lights to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Recessed and low-level lighting can be used to make the steps more visible or add a dramatic effect.
  • Furthermore, during festive holidays, you could use colourful string lights or draped garlands to create a decorative focal point. By doing so, you can add a touch of holiday cheer and make your staircase a central feature of your home décor.

Thus, with the right decorative elements, your staircase can become a cherished room-like space within your home. A place where life happens, just like in historical films and popular culture.

Bring Your Staircase Ideas to Life

Designing a staircase can be a complex and challenging task, and it is best left to the professionals. Visit our showrooms to discuss your options and receive valuable insights on the best designs for your home.

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