Stairway Railing Ideas

Stairway railings serve more than a functional purpose -- they give stairs a visual presence and make a staircase a work of art. Find ideas for the perfect railing for your stairway.

Smartly Synced

This entry staircase and railings stay in step with the home's Victorian origins. Paneled posts stained to match the handrails and staircase trim add a sense of importance. White balusters keep the look bright and link well with the home's architecturally significant woodwork.  

Traditional Turn

Formal foyers call for elegant staircases equipped with finely detailed stair railings. This railing, which boasts a black-painted handrail and classically contoured white balusters, takes an interesting turn at the start. The handrail wraps to the right (a right-hand volute in stair speak) on the staircase's first step and is supported by balusters and a black newel post that adds weight to the staircase's entry point.  

Fashionable Beginnings

Striking in its simplicity, an iron stair railing captivates attention thanks to its kicky newel post and linear design. Straight balusters embellished with knucklelike details partner with a slim rounded handrail to guide eyes and traffic upward without disrupting the home's peaceful rhythms. 

Curvaceous Climb

Intricately detailed iron railings garner attention without blocking incoming light or views of the arched window located behind the staircase. Rising from a white foundation, dark stair railings turn at the starting steps and undulate upward to emphasize the staircase's distinguished architecture.  

Unfussy Form

Sometimes staircases need to blend in instead of stand out. Paired with square balusters, plainly profiled handrails and posts, and a white-painted finish, this stair railing perfectly suits the breezy monochromatic color scheme.    

Detailed Design

Following the curves of a spiraling staircase, this railing combines plain steel balusters, high-polish wooden handrails, and black iron newel posts. Note how the balusters extend past the steps to fit into brackets, which add jewelrylike sparkle that works with the stair railings to reinforce the staircase's shape. 

Progressive Passage

The horizontal lines of this stair railing enhance (and safely enclose) a floating stairway ascending behind a kitchen's serving area. Available in various metals and finishes, these clean-lined stair railings immediately establish contemporary character. 

Finely Forged

Gracefully shaped baluster details create a sophisticated iron stair railing that takes a slight twist at the landing. The single railing complements the homeowner's elegant furnishings and provides a rich counterpoint to the more restrained wood stair treads and white risers.

Shipshape Silhouette

Contemporary homes benefit from staircases and stair railings that sport crisp, clean lines. You won't find a more streamlined railing than this structure constructed of inexpensive lumber stained dark gray. The railing's short length requires only two posts to support its span from the starting stair to the upper wall. Plexiglass installed between the railing and the stairs ensures safety without detracting from the minimalist look. 

Elegantly Engineered

This wrought-iron staircase railing makes a sculptural statement that originates with its floor-set newel post. A curving rail and beautifully detailed balusters held in place by decorative brackets combine for a fabulous focal point. The simply lined handrail on the inner wall ensures safe passage for pairs traveling the stairs at the same time.

Refined Rustic

Juxtapositions of materials and finishes produce unique stairwells. In this updated farmhouse, a wooden handrail and clear plexiglass panels secured with sleek hardware fashion a contemporary stair railing that becomes more interesting when paired with weathered barnwood steps. 

Handsome Harmonies

Whether forged from iron or carved from wood, custom stair railings add a grand finish to formal stairways. This stairway's soaring paneled wall inspired the stair railing's substantial forms and neutral finish. Stair posts with carved details handsomely balance the railing's hefty carved balusters and broad handrail. 

Theatrical Installation

With the look of a ship's rails, this steel balustrade bends along with the stairs as they ascend from landing to landing. Horizontally set balusters extending beyond the posts add artistic dimension, perfectly in sync with the staircase's fetching form. Glass stair risers allow light to reflect from the multistory stairwell. 

Pleasing and Practical

Stair railings should be sturdy structures that guarantee safe journeys. This charming design has every step and potential hazard covered. Stair rails offer handholds from the first step to the landing, which is enclosed with a lattice-paneled railing that gives way to a white-painted handrail mounted on brackets secured to wall studs.  

Shaped to Perfection

Dark railings and light balusters paired with stained steps and plush runners fashion timeless staircase designs. Black-finished handrails and post caps top white-painted fluted newel posts and traditionally detailed balusters for a luxurious look that is sure to stylishly endure for ages. 

Cottage Railing

Wood blocks connecting the balusters give custom style and a bit of sturdiness to this staircase.

White-and-Wood Stairway

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 and a stringer are perked up with a natural wood handrail and treads. 

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