Add Interest with an Artful Staircase Design

iron posts
Use your home's staircase to make a grand entrance. See how these railings, risers, and balusters blend art and function to create beautiful architectural details.

The Long, Winding Rail

This serpentine staircase blends wood, metal, and drywall. The ironwork on the railings creates a focal point for the room while also drawing the eye up to the next level.

Back to the Future

A modern home calls for a modern staircase. This metal and glass version looks cool, yet creates an inviting transition between floors. One-of-a-kind touches, such as glass panels instead of cast baluster uprights and a slight curve as it ascends, make this staircase stand out.

Tall, Dark, and Handsome

Classic elements such as wood and iron can still be eye-catching. Dark wood stairs and a hand-hammered iron balustrade command attention as they move between floors.

A Little Twist

The tricky part of building a twisting stairwell is not the steps, it's making a smooth transition between floors. Here, plasterers created a smooth underside of the staircase that seems to spiral upward effortlessly.

Disappearing Acts

Although this floating staircase appears to lack support, it's actually a strong, stable design. Each step was built as an individual box, then the steps were stacked and joined.

Best of Both Worlds

It's a little bit country. Chunky hunks of fir have been attached to an industrial steel staircase to create a big-city look.

Pearly Whites

This versatile set of stairs has treads stained deep brown and risers dressed with milk-white paint. Keep the stairs looking good longer by choosing the right finish. Choose a paint that promises a scuff-free surface and use a highly durable clear finish over the stain. The harder the shell, the longer you can wait between refinishing projects.

Walking on Air

Maximize natural light in a room by choosing an open design. Built without view-blocking risers between the treads, this freestanding staircase creates an airy feel within this contemporary home.

Fancy Fretwork

Specialty fretwork adorns the spaces between balusters, giving a lift to anyone ascending this staircase. Although the crafted inserts don't fulfill any structural necessity, they add architectural interest to the space.

Solid Statement

A newel stands at the base of a staircase and must be strong enough to stabilize an entire assembly of handrails that climbs upward. Because newels are often positioned near the entry of houses, these posts have a decorative assignment as well.

Avoiding the Pits

A pair of cherries seems ripe as they hang just under the handrail. This simple bangle proves the "less is more" adage. By adding only a bit of ornamentation to the balustrade, this fret piece makes a statement.

A Touch of Class

For traditional-style homes, the tightly tailored look of a classic white-and-wood-tone stairwell is often the best choice. Here, simple square baluster uprights are perked up with a line of white stringers running beneath the natural wood handrails.

Ancient Flare

These filigree iron balusters leave much of the structural work to the less-ornate rods that are also part of the balustrade. The ancient Greek and Roman floral motif added a classic flare to the staircase.

Less Is More

A line of embellished metal shafts gives stairs visual presence. The simple design adds support and interest to any home.

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