Take stairs, stairways and staircases to a whole new level by creating an architectural centrepiece.
Hit new style heights and create immediate impact with a statement staircase. Whether you prefer sweeping, traditional stairs, ultra-modern floating steps, brightly painted wooden hills, see-through risers or even steps that lights up, there are countless captivating designs of stairs and staircases that are as practical as they are impressive.
Making a statement with your staircase opens up a hall area to a host of other statement-making opportunities. All that extra ceiling height cries out for an out-there chandelier. A bright coloured stair runner is not only practical for high-traffic areas, but will help draw the eye up. Take wall colour upstairs and create a unified scheme by painting the skirting boards, railings and dado in the same shade as the hallway and landing. Then take the design all the way around the room, doors included, for extra impact. Crittall doors are an effective way of framing a stairway space while also letting the light flood in. Alternatively, clad a wall from top to bottom in mirrored tiles so the daylight can bounce around.
This staircase was conceived as a sculpture to be looked at and a stage to be seen on. The overall appearance alludes to the fantastical in infinity Penrose stairs made famous by the lithographs of Escher. Beata Heuman has added to the effect with simple ‘Pernell’ pendant lights from Arteriors that mimic the balustrades without competing with its visual impact.
The strong red and grey echo the blocky exterior architecture, while wood was chosen for the stairs to herald entering the softer, more private part of the house upstairs.
Get the look: Patricia Urquiola collaborated with Martino Berghinz on the architecture of the house.
This staircase was created in three sections off-site, made from mild steel which has had an acid wash and then oiled, then welded together on site and bolted on to a steel plate inserted into the wall opposite the front door. Not only is the slimline staircase space-saving but its burnished bronze colour makes the living room look more enticing and its zigzagging steps pleasingly echo the parquet floor’s chevron pattern.
Get the look: Wooden parquet floor from Broadleaf Timber. Living room pendants from Le Deun Luminaires. Staircase bespoke.
This striking, sculptural staircase was designed by Peter Mikic.
This steel staircase is coated in a wax finish with a leather carpet glued centrally on the treads and the landing.
Get the look: The staircase is a bespoke project by Elite Metalcraft. For leather tiles suitable for flooring, contact Edelman Leather.
The architecture in this basement is predominantly crisp and precise, but it’s softened with rugged elements such as the cast-iron columns – painstakingly stripped of 20 layers of paint – exposed brick walls, original joists and the birch ply floor.
Get the look:The Frog chairs and ottoman are by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani. The digital pigment prints are by Shirine. Visit shirinegill.com to see more of her work. The rugs are from Morocco. Find similar at Larusi.
Removing the wall in this space was a deliberate ploy to draw attention to the spiral staircase, which swirls like a piece of Modernist sculpture to the bedrooms upstairs.
The leopard print stair runner in this hallway is a real Marmite thing – people love it or hate it. Either way, it gets a reaction.
Get the look:
This penthouse apartment has it's own lift, but it's the sputnik pendant that steals the show in this entranceway.
Get the look: For an original Sputnik-style chandelier by Gino Sarfatti, check out 1stdibs.com. The bespoke bench is upholstered in a teal velvet by Kravet. The rug is a vintage Moroccan design. François Gilles can source antique Berber rugs similar to this one.
Enhance a Mad Men-style staircase with witty references to the past with vintage furniture, art and ceramics. Original to the house, they're made from oak and contrast against the blue stone patchwork floor.
Get the look: For a similar Andy Warhol lithograph, try Scream London. The vase is vintage Rosenthal Netter.
Suspended glass-sided staircase are ideal for adding a modern twist to period properties. Here, the slender gaps in the wood risers let slivers of sunlight shine through, creating a feeling of lightness and space.
Get the look The kitchen is by Smallbone and is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Light Blue estate eggshell. These are Tom Dixon’s Beat pendants. The floor tiles are from European Heritage.
Spiral staircases are ideal for compact homes – and also a great place to add colour. Even the undersides of these staircase treads get a vibrant splash of turquoise to match inset shelving nooks.
Get the look The painting is by James Aldridge.
Seeing is believing when it comes to this floating timber staircase. These treads have been hollowed out and fitted on to a massive steel frame hidden in the wall and roof that helps support the entire building.
Get the look The cantilevered stairs are made from salvaged railways sleepers.
When a main living space is above or below the entrance, a striking staircase can be cleverly employed to keep the wow factor going. A long spectacular pendant maintains the drama as you enter in this split-level design.
Get the look This is the Series 21 pendant by Omer Arbel for Bocci. Arc Fabrications makes similar metal balustrades. Ecora’s Black Oiled oak flooring is a match for this one.
A double-height space around a staircase is ideal for showcasing statement wallpaper or decoration but it can also be used to create your own slice of tropical paradise. This atrium is filled with bamboo that will eventually soar through the space.
Get the look The Rainforest marble flooring is from Crystal Tile & Marble; the wood flooring is Trendtime 8 Oak Smoked Elephant Skin from Relative Space. The floor lamp is from Palazzetti. The collection of designer Barbie dolls, in fashions by the likes of Versace and Oscar de la Renta, top left, are displayed in a recessed cabinet made by Prototype Design Lab.
A plain staircase cries out for some kicks of personality. Barely-there glass and a shimmering curtain of chain-mail flank these stairs, turning them from simple steps to stylish addition to the colourful room.
Get the look The chandelier and Gregor Jenkin dining table are from ABC Carpet & Home. The bone dining chair is from Talisman.
Need to draw a line between public and private areas? Use your stairs to say it. Here, the strong red and grey echo the blocky exterior architecture, while wood was chosen for the stairs to herald entering the softer, more private part of the house upstairs.
Get the look Patricia Urquiola collaborated with Martino Berghinz on the architecture of the house.
This staircase to the lower floors changes direction. Rather than following the pattern of the stairs on the upper floors, it travels towards the contemporary extension at the back.
Get the look: These are Douglas fir floorboards from Dinesen. The pedal car is from Baghera.
Disco balls on the stairs are a fun touch, and help bounce light around. Unusual artwork, such as the African heart sailcloth painting, draw the eye further into the home.
Get the look: For a similar chandelier, try Gustavian.
A spiral staircase, as white and curved as a bleached seashell, flows down from a galleried library to an open-plan living room that’s 100 per cent contemporary.
Get the look: The spiral staircase was commissioned by Andy Martin. The herringbone flooring is in oak.
A gloss white banister and vibrant red runner brighten up this dark and moody space.
Get the look: The mid-century sideboard is from The Old Cinema.
A multi-tiered light that transcends all three floors adds drama, while the simple design and monochrome scheme has a sophisticated, elegant effect.
Get the look: This is the Hanging Mobile No.405 light by David Weeks Studio. The framed photograph is 5Pointz by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao.
This striking floating staircase fuses soft colour with natural textures and surprising juxtapositions. Vertical panelling enhances the sense of scale. Part of the first floor was removed to create the dramatic double-height entrance, designed by architect Richard Parr.
Get the look: Find a similar bench at Pinch. Similar rug, Moroso, similar vintage mirrors, Kiki Design.
Ombre walls chase the stairs up to the landing.
Get the look: The sofa was originally from The French Bedroom Company and has been reupholstered in Tulipani Linen FDG2356/03, seat in Varese Currant F1190/63 and arms in Franchini Moss F1454/03 from Designer’s Guild. The rug is in Tauriani Pale Jade from Designer’s Guild. The white console table is from The French Bedroom Company.
Clean and classic wooden stairs are offset by a modern sculpture. The wire sofa is a show stopper.
Get the look: This is the Corallo wire chair by Fernando and Humberto Campana for Edra. Find it at Chaplins.
Dark banisters offer a dramatic line that zigzags through the house. The stairs are framed by these tall and wide steel doors that help open up the ground-floor space, flooding it with light.
Get the look: The metal glazing is from Clement Windows. These are Popham Design tiles at Ann Sacks. The banisters are painted in Railings estate eggshell by Farrow & Ball.
Alternate-tread stairs that double as a bookshelf lead up to a mezzanine.
Get the look: The stairs were designed and built by David Money Architects. This is the Saltbak rug from Ikea.
The owners of this property installed a slide on the inside of the staircase, offering a fun – and quick – way down.
Get the look: The staircase and slide are both bespoke. The crash mat is by Craftwood.
Basement access is often from the front, so you usually have stairs under stairs. In order to help make the basement feel part of the house, the stairs are in the middle of the ground floor and sit on dainty legs with glass balustrades. This was crucial in order to bring in lots of light.
Get the look: Rug, Designer’s Guild.
This clever space-saving staircase by Bisca is unobtrusive, takes up a minimal amount of room, yet still looks great.
Get the look: Bespoke Bisca staircases starts from £22,000.
Traditional stone stairs are made modern thanks to the artwork and bright yellow cabinet.
Get the look: The lanterns were made by a local blacksmith. The rug was designed by Roddy Murray for Boxer Rugs. The velvet upholstered chair is by Luca Nichetto at Lane Crawford. For similar Native American portraits, visit fineartamerica.com.
These stairs span four floors and are lit by a chandelier of multiple opaque globes. One entire wall, from the bottom to the top of the house, is clad in striking mirrored tiles.
Get the look: The Lee Broom Crescent pendant light from Houseology is similar. This is the Mellow pouffe by Munna.
The clever birch ply stairway conceals a laundry area, bike store and entrance to the cellar behind its panelling.
Get the look: The stairway and storage system was designed and built by David Money Architects.
The classic sweeping staircase is the centrepiece, setting the tone and design template for the whole house. The curves soften the space and this idea is echoes on the furniture and artwork too. At the top of the staircase there’s a skylight, allowing natural light to flow all the way down.
Get the look: The staircase is bespoke by Studio DB. The side tables are from ABC Carpet & Home. The herringbone parquet flooring is from Brooklyn’s The Hudson Company.
A red stair carpet injects a pop of vibrancy to the neutral scheme.
Get the look: The vintage New York bus station poster was found on eBay.
Period-look panelling adds elegance to the already grand staircase. That definitive Farrow & Ball palette of cool neutrals, such as Cornforth White and Purbeck Stone, complements the inky navy of Railings used on the staircase.
Get the look: The Chehoma pendant is from Holloways of Ludlow. The Swedish bench is an antique.
The star-splattered stair runner contrasts brilliantly against the dark-stained oak parquet flooring and walls painted in a historic shade of blue.
Get the look: The stair runner was made out of a rug by Solange Azagury-Partridge. The vintage Seventies chandelier is by Vistosi. The walls are painted in Oval Room Blue estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The butterflies were custom-framed.
Walls are kept simple, but a cleverly painted dark strip below the dado helps carry colour from the ground floor up.
Get the look: Try Original Style for Victorian encaustic floor tiles. The Mongolian sheepskin bench was bought at 1stdibs.com. The cushion is from Graham and Green.
The stairs have a subtle ombre effect; light grey to to match the pale grey flooring at the bottom, getting gradually darker to match the dark grey floor on the mezzanine.
Get the look: This is the Swallow artwork by Roger Taylor at Jamm Gallery.
A stair runner dyed in rainbow shades gives the house’s dark wood detailing a new vibrance.
Get the look: The runner was made bespoke for Barkerdesign. The wall covering is by Stereo Interiors. The limited edition print is by Patrick Caulfield from Iaysha Contemporary Art.
The spiral stairway forms a captivating focal point, winding up through the house.
Get the look: The staircase is bespoke – try Bisca for similar. Find comparable flooring at Element7.
The perfect helix of a seashell was the inspiration for this staircase, which rises towards a circular light well.
Get the look: The artwork is Dark Moon by Douglas White. Find his work at Artsy.net. The flooring is Douglas Fir by Dinesen.
Dark walls and a spiked ceiling pendant add drama to this stairway.
Get the look: The Murano glass Sputnik pendant and reproduction turtle shells are from Pure White Lines. The walls are painted in Downpipe estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball.
Soft blues make for a stylish and calm interior, and tone down the modern staircase.
Get the look: The feature wall is painted in Maritime marble emulsion by Mylands. The flooring was custom made by Mosaic Del Sur.
All eyes fall on Harlequin’s bold, geometric Sumi wallpaper in this striking stairway.
Get the look: This is Harlequin’s Sumi wallpaper in Hessian/Copper. The bespoke stair runner is from Tim Page Carpets. The console table was bought at Lots Road Auctions.