75 Modern staircase ideas: Transform your staircase into something extraordinary

These 75 striking, jaw-dropping staircase ideas illustrate how modern staircases are stepping up to be the home’s central design statement, raising the bar one tread at a time...

staircase ideas - modern red staircase
(Image credit: Gavriil Papadiotis)

These 75 striking – no, jaw-dropping – modern staircase ideas will make you see staircase design in a whole new light.

From punchy shapes and bold colours to sculptural spirals, built-in slides, recessed hand rails and statement lighting, prepare to completely re-think everything you thought you knew about staircase design.

We've found organic shapes in period homes, boxy shapes in industrial spaces, and even rustic designs in barn and farmhouse style properties. In other words, there's a staircase idea here to suit every type of style and property.

Got a dark place? A floating staircase design will draw in sunlight from higher floors and skylights through the use of open treads. Choosing blonde timber for the steps will further lighten and brighten a staircase.

Short on space? Take inspiration from the below space-saving staircase ideas, or incorporate some clever built-in storage within the treads. And last but not least, have a little fun and add a slide as a fun – and quick – way down.

Take stairs, stairways and staircases to a whole new level with these stunning staircase ideas.

1. Use your staircase to add colour and drama

In this striking Georgian home in Chelsea, architect Michaelis Boyd punctuated an open-plan area with a dramatic floating staircase structure.

(Image credit: Gavriil Papadiotis)

The design was inspired by the floating red “Staircase-III” by Doh Ho Suh, exhibited at the Tate Modern.

Collaborating with Diapo and Webb Yates Engineers, Michaelis Boyd's team created this unique sculptural staircase, made from perforated red steel and floating above the living room floor. “With this staircase we wanted to create a statement piece that was both sculptural and functional,” Alex Michaelis tells us.

red floating staircase by michaelis boyd

(Image credit: Gavriil Papadiotis)

red floating staircase by michaelis boyd

(Image credit: Gavriil Papadiotis)

The perforated metal plays with light and shadows.

red floating staircase

(Image credit: Gavriil Papadiotis)

2. Curved metal

The double-height staircase became an instant focal point in the Hackney home below. Its metal balustrade is created from curved sheet steel, with floating treads stopping it from appearing too heavy. There’s a flush leather handrail, too. 

staircase ideas with dramatic steel spiral staircase

Get the look: Bespoke staircase design by Cousins & Cousins

(Image credit: Jack Hobhouse)

3. Use paint to fake a stair runner

Only the edges of the staircase in this Bloomsbury townhouse were painted, leaving a raw strip of original stone in the middle, acting as a stair runner.

4. Accentuate ceiling height with low hanging pendants

This striking converted barn's dramatic triple height entrance is accentuated with the 'PostKrisi' pendant lights by Catellani & Smith. The lights drop down from the ceiling at different heights, playing with the scale of this open space.

converted barn

(Image credit: © Andrea Ceriani)

The dramatic custom-made composition is suspended from the wood ceiling beams, dominating the entrance of the home.

The lighting feature is even visible from outside, through the tall, wide windows.

The lights have been created in different sizes and installed at different heights, adding a sense of movement.

converted barn

(Image credit: © Andrea Ceriani)

5. Contrast the old with the new

Architect Anna Noguera contrasts rustic, natural stone with concrete, glass, and minimalist design in this rustic holiday home in Girona.

The design blends contemporary design with the old, historical building. In the words of the owner, the property has evolved without breaking with the past.

6. Use the treads to inject a pop of bright colour

In a converted school building in Forest Gate, a lemon-yellow staircase connects what were once two individual flats. The yellow shade refreshes and energises the space, and makes for a bright and cheerful apartment.

7. Use floating treads to let light into lower levels

The curved staircase in this artist's mews house curls up to the first floor bedrooms, and down to the basement studio.

Floating treads mean that light can come in via the skylight at the top of the stairs, and trickle all the way down to basement level.

Similarly, with no windows at the rear, this mews house needed creative solutions to filter in light. This floating staircase design draws in sunlight from higher floors and skylights through the use of open treads. The choice of blonde timber for the steps further lightens the space throughout.

staircase ideas with floating treads

Get the look: This is a bespoke staircase design by Play Associates

(Image credit: Simon Brown)

8. Illuminate steps with recessed lights or spotlights

A sculptural and sweeping staircase takes centre stage in this ultra-modern Victorian terrace townhouse in west London.

The treads are illuminated with recessed lights that shine through slits in the curved walls.

The staircase design was inspired by a Barbara Hepworth sculpture called 'Pelagos'.

9. Create a recessed hand rail

The central staircase in this former London hospital was one of the most important features of architect Stuart Robertson’s design.

Aside from it's sumptuous shape, it features other striking design tricks too – including a recessed hand rail.

The same helical staircase by architect Stuart Robertson also incorporates a glass slide between levels.

By using a large helical open staircase, light can flow from the large roof light above down into every nook below, allowing natural daylight into the basement. 

11. Contrast a light palette and soft shapes with a metal bannister 

A modern and minimalist metal banister adds crisp black lines and a modern contrast in this detached Edwardian home in Buckinghamshire.

edwardian renovation

(Image credit: Matt Clayton)

The bottom of the stairs is smooth, white and twisted like a piece of sculpture, while the banister stretches up to merge with the upper banister, creating a taller barrier for safety while also letting in plenty of light.

edwardian renovation

(Image credit: Matt Clayton)

edwardian renovation

(Image credit: Matt Clayton)

12. Strengthen a floating staircase with a metal spine

A dramatic, floating staircase punctuates the main entrance of this chic, monochrome penthouse in Boston.

monochrome penthouse

(Image credit: ©Bob O'Connor)

A glass banister follows the treads up to the upper landing, while cascading strings of lights hang down the stairwell, adding further drama.

Aside from giving the floating treads strength and support, the metal spine also creates a dramatic, skeletal-like shape.

monochrome penthouse

(Image credit: ©Bob O'Connor)

13. Design treads to punctuate through a glass banister for dramatic effect

Designed by Antonio Tadrissi with PD Lab, this designer's home is brimming with modern design ideas, modern art and design classics.

modern house

(Image credit: Anthony Barcelo)

But our favourite aspect is the striking staircase, where wood treads punctuate through a glass banister.

The striking home belongs to the man behind Toy Room and NYC's iconic Harry's restaurant.

designer house

(Image credit: Anthony Barcelo)

Similarly, a wooden staircase punctuates through the glass banister in this Islington townhouse.


14. Use a suspended staircase to play with atrium style spaces

The layout of this Grade II listed wine warehouse is centred around a birch plywood clad suspended staircase in the triple height void.

converted warehouse

(Image credit: Adam Carter Photography)

The dramatic design can be viewed from above, below, and even from across the mezzanine floors.

converted warehouse

(Image credit: Adam Carter Photography)

converted warehouse

(Image credit: Adam Carter Photography)

15. Consider a netted banister for a playful or sporty look

A netted banister creates a sporty and playful look in this Islington townhouse.

This particular staircase leads up to a mezzanine level where the netted banister wraps around to create an enclosed playroom space.

The first floor was transformed into a maritime playground with curved steel walls lined with fishnets to create an open plan, secret and playful space.

16. Connect two levels across a deeper surface area to spread steps out

In this period house in Hackney, architects from Scenario Architecture created curved treads to connect the downstairs kitchen with the upstairs living area. By spreading the treads over a wider floor area, they were able to create a smoother flow between the spaces.

Period house in Hackney

(Image credit: Matthew Clayton)

Variations in level help to create definition, while built-in furnishings and storage add interest and balance the open plan.

See more clever under stair storage ideas

Period house in Hackney

(Image credit: Matthew Clayton)

17. Don't forget the ceiling

The original staircase in this period home in Hackney (same as featured above) was preserved, leading up to the bedrooms. To make the staircase modern, the ceiling was given a smooth curve.

Period house in Hackney

(Image credit: Matthew Clayton)

Meanwhile in this reconfigured flat in Hampstead, the architects turned a design problem into a creative feature.

The key to unlocking the potential of this property was installing a staircase which worked with the building. The first section of the staircase rises to a lower landing, turning right underneath the chimney stack and left into a new staircase rising to the upper floor. This clever reduction in the landing height allowed for space to walk under the chimney and created a beautiful feature that is the talking point with all guests. 

18. Add zest with a block colour staircase

The living room in this colourful San Fransisco home is punctuated with a vibrant yellow spiral staircase. It adds drama, colour, and sets the tone for the rest of the design and colour palette.

colourful house

(Image credit: Suzanna Scott Photography)

19. Or mix and match contrasting shades for a more unexpected look

You wouldn't usually consider the staircase as a way of injecting a pop of colour, but as this candy coloured home in Islington proves, it can be a very fun and effective way of introducing a contrast colour.

colour block house

(Image credit: Photos © French + Tye)

Canary yellow, bubblegum pink and navy blue sit unexpectedly but harmoniously together.

colour block house

(Image credit: Photos © French + Tye)

20. Opt for a honeycomb steel balustrade to achieve a utilitarian, industrial look

Balustrades and banisters can go a long way in giving a certain ‘look’ to your stairs, like the cool vibe of this honeycomb steel. 

staircase ideas with Honeycomb Steel Balustrade

Get the look: Canal Engineering can create bespoke staircases like this. Caged wall lights in x-large, £719; large, £454, both Buster + Punch

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

21. Let in light with a slatted banister

The start of this modern staircase features floor-to-ceiling wood slats which open the space up, and let through light while still separating it from the rest of the downstairs entrance.

22. Hug the staircase with a curved wall to separate it from living areas

 We love the curved half wall that hugs the bottom of the staircase in this Bloomsbury townhouse.

23. Use smooth plaster and a slim frame to inject modern Scandi vibes

By using slender balusters that gently bend at the beginning of the stairs, this modern staircase design sings with elegance and offers a lightness further complemented by the natural wood banister. Using a deep first step is another clever touch, as it has the effect of leading upwards, creating a seamless sense of movement and flow. 

smooth staircase ideas

Get the look: Staircase, bespoke design by Studio DB

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

24. Make an entrance with a suspended design

When a staircase forms part of a living space, an architectural design acts as a focal point rather than just a practical object. The staircase below is open and is seemingly suspended.

The use of thin balustrades and the addition of white underfoot add a forgiving sense of lightness to the large structure.

staircase ideas that go down into basement

Get the look: Try Arc Fabrications for similar metal balustrades. The light is the Series 21 pendant by Omer Arbel for Bocci

(Image credit: James Merrell)

25. Highlight the twist of the inner banister

This design uses a sweeping staircase to create a feature, and uses the gentle curve of the base of the steps above to add a feeling of continuous space. An integrated banister in sleek wood enhances the curves. 

staircase ideas with a curve at the bottom

Get the look: Staircase, designed by Guy Stansfeld. This is Poul Henningsen’s PH 50 pendant for Louis Poulsen

(Image credit: James Merrell)

26. Create a feature wall that stretches up to the top

A double-height pine wall lines the staircase and links the two floors in this minimalist Amsterdam home.

modern house amsterdam

(Image credit: i29 interior architects)

It mirrors the material used to create the staircase.

modern house amsterdam

(Image credit: i29 interior architects)

27. Incorporate storage in the treads in compact homes

Alternate-tread stairs that double as a bookshelf lead up to a mezzanine. 

staircase ideas with built in storage

Get the look: The stairs were designed and built by David Money Architects. This is the Saltbak rug from Ikea.

(Image credit: Future)

28. Incorporate a slide down the length of the staircase

The architect-owners of this property installed a slide on the inside of the staircase, offering a fun – and quick – way down. Psst! This architect's house is for rent...

staircase ideas with built in slide

Get the look: The staircase and slide are both bespoke. The crash mat is by Craftwood.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

29. Incorporate fitted storage

This original iron staircase used to be part of a former newspaper printing house. It leads up to the roof terrace, and has been outfitted with custom walnut storage by RJ Millworkers that conceals a TV and toys. 

staircase ideas for loft apartment

Get the look: The custom walnut millwork is by RJ Millworkers. The walnut chairs are by Elijah Leed and are upholstered in Holland and Sherry fabric. The mahogony side tables are family heirlooms.

(Image credit: Emma Tannenbaum)

30. Or use staircase walls as a home library

In photographer Paul Craig's Victorian villa, function and form combine to transform the staircase into a striking centrepiece. "Think gentleman's club," says Paul. "This is designed as a comfortable spot to read a book." The home library shelves were imagined by Paul and made by Andwoodcraft, then painted in Little Greene's Lamp Black eggshell. The chair is Matthew Hilton's Balzac armchair, covered in Zoffany Quartz velvet in Berry. The light is the Estado pendant by Miguel Mila for Santa & Cole

Staircase Decorating Ideas

(Image credit: Future)

Paul Craig's house

31. Use all-over, floor-to-ceiling materials for a 'zen' look

The concrete walls and floors of this cottage conversion near Cheltenham in the Cotswolds create a calming effect, blocking out distractions and focussing the mind.

Whether you use all-over concrete like this, all-over plaster, or even all-over clay, the result will be a soothing space.

staircase ideas with plastered walls and plastered staircase

(Image credit: uniquehomestays.com)

32. Invest in a modern, space-saving and sculptural spiral staircase

This clever space-saving staircase by Bisca is unobtrusive, takes up a minimal amount of room, yet still looks great. We love the integrated lighting.

smooth spiral staircase

Get the look: Bespoke Bisca staircases starts from £22,000.

(Image credit: Jake Fitzjones)

33. Install a super-skinny banister for a contemporary look

A super skinny metal banister creates a highly contemporary look in this modern home...

modern staircase ideas with metal banister

Get the look Patricia Urquiola collaborated with Martino Berghinz on the architecture of the house.

(Image credit: James Merrell)

34. Add colour with a bright stair runner

For a simple and achievable staircase decorating idea with impact, introduce a bright stair runner into a pared-back, classic space. This hit of colour will give the room an instant lift. Roger Oates, Crucial Trading and Alternative Flooring are our go-to sources for design-first solutions. 

Staircase Decorating Ideas

(Image credit: Future)

35. Bounce light in a tight stairwell with a mirrored wall

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.

staircase lighting ideas

Get the look: The Lee Broom Crescent pendant light from Houseology is similar. This is the Mellow pouffe by Munna.

(Image credit: Future)

36. Clad a suspended staircase in aluminium panelling for a clean look

A modern staircase that’s clad in extruded aluminium panelling cuts through this double height converted power plant in Copenhagen, while bedrooms at mezzanine level feature floor to ceiling glass walls, offering views into the cavernous space below.

staircase ideas - criss cross staircase in open plan atrium

(Image credit: Vipp)

37. Dangle modern pendant lighting down the centre stairwell

A multi-tiered light that transcends all three floors adds drama to this stunning Connecticut home, while the simple design and monochrome scheme has a sophisticated, elegant effect. 

staircase ideas with statement stairwell lighting

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.

(Image credit: Future)

38. Use leather-clad treads to add an element of surprise

This steel staircase is coated in a wax finish with a leather carpet glued centrally on the treads and the landing. Explore more of this converted sorting office...

staircase ideas with steel banister and leather staircase

Get the look: The staircase is a bespoke project by Elite Metalcraft. For leather tiles suitable for flooring, contact Edelman Leather.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

39. Achieve a rustic effect with exposed timber treads

This 17th-century former mill in Gloucestershire throws out the design rulebook and is a masterpiece in contemporary meets classic design. Interior designer Nia Morris worked with architect Richard Parr to create the dramatic entrance. The sleek balustrade works beautifully with the exposed timber treads. 

Staircase Decorating Ideas

Get the look: Find a similar bench at Pinch. Similar rug, Moroso, similar vintage mirrors, Kiki Design.

(Image credit: Future)

40. Save space with a super skinny one-piece

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. The skinny house in Brixton is up for sale...

slimline skinny staircase ideas

Get the look: Wooden parquet floor from Broadleaf Timber. Living room pendants from Le Deun Luminaires. Staircase bespoke.

(Image credit: Photography by Taran Wilkhu)

41. Give a subtle nod to famous designs

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.

modern staircase ideas with large stairwell

(Image credit: Photography by Simon Brown)

42. Or honour famous artists with a copy-cat look

Inspired by David Hockney, interiors stylist Hannah Franklin painted large blocks of colour on the wall of this loft-style contemporary home. These chalky sorbet hues are Pink Perfection, Twice Shy, Spring Gentian, Ultramarine and Cheerio, all Valspar at B&Q. The Stay Swivel armchair, Gubi, is available from The Conran Shop

Staircase Decorating Ideas

(Image credit: Future)

43. Dare to go bold with gothic design

This moody space is owned by Matt Goss who runs Pure White Lines, an emporium of industrial-style vintage homewares and furniture in London. He has combined a dark wall colour with an imposing Murano glass sputnik pendant. The walls are painted in Downpipe estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball

Staircase Decorating Ideas

(Image credit: Future)

Explore more of his gothic home...

44. Hide a private space with a secret staircase

Double doors open to reveal a secret staircase in this country home in Petworth, West Sussex. It's a clever way to keep master suites or adult spaces private and separate from the rest of the home.

Similarly, a secret staircase inside the master bedroom suite of this historic Notting Hill townhouse leads up to a private home office and a rooftop garden.

Secret Staircase


(Image credit: Future)

45. Use plywood for a raw and modern look

The modern plywood staircase in this Victorian terrace by architect David Money sits on a backdrop of exposed reclaimed brick, which brings warmth and texture into the home. 

The clever birch ply stairway conceals a laundry area, bike store and entrance to the cellar behind its panelling.

Add on the glass roof, and you've got a pretty spectacular space. The bike on the wall? A practical solution that also looks good. "I did choose the best-looking bike," says David. 

Staircase Decorating Ideas

Get the look: The stairway and storage system was designed and built by David Money Architects.

(Image credit: Future)

46. Go for sweeping grandeur

This sweeping staircase is in a five-storey townhouse in Antwerp, Belgium. Bare footboards are a clever foil to the decorative balustrade, ensuring the overall scheme remains elegant and contemporary. Source a similar bespoke creation from Arc Fabrications. 

Staircase Decorating Ideas

(Image credit: Future)

47. Honour warehouse properties with something more utilitarian

Showcasing an industrial-style space, Florence and James Kennedy's converted dairy in Clapton has been converted into an impressive and open family home. A raw, industrial-style spiral staircase links the two floors.

Warehouses can feel cold but here atmosphere comes from a wood burner, mid-century furniture and an abundance of indoor plants.

See more of this home here.

48. Give modern architecture satisfyingly smooth curves

A delicate ribbon of polished plaster, this smooth staircase ties this ultra-modern Victorian terrace townhouse together.

Internal partitions were removed to create a free flowing space. The open plan allows for dual aspect at every level, drawing in light and creating a bright yet tranquil interior.

49. Change direction

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. 

staircase ideas - staircase that changes flow inside terraced home

Get the look: These are Douglas fir floorboards from Dinesen. The pedal car is from Baghera.

(Image credit: Future)

50. Even small spaces can feature striking curves

Designer Harriet Paterson's eco house in Camberwell features a staircase by former owner, architect John Eger. The property is very narrow, making this curvaceous oak design a space-conscious solution. It replaced a lift. 

Staircase Decorating Ideas

(Image credit: Future)

51. Go for wall-to-wall colour

This contemporary new-build home on the outskirts of Stockholm is all about double-height ceilings, dazzling artwork and sleek details. "Every great house needs a great staircase," owner Matt enthuses. "It was too expensive to carpet and another wood would have competed with the plywood window frames." This wide design takes the eye straight from the front door up towards the window and right out into the forest canopy. For a similar paint shade, see Little Greene's Tivoli intelligent eggshell. 

Staircase Decorating Ideas

(Image credit: Future)

53. Use reclaimed materials for a rustic look

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. 

rustic staircase ideas with raw wood stairs

Get the look The cantilevered stairs are made from salvaged railways sleepers.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

54. Contrast metal with organic materials for an eye-catching look

This custom black sculptural steel staircase was created by Studio David Thulstrup. The black staircase stands light yet stringent in a contrast to the adjacent wood-cladded wall. The wood cladded wall draws the viewers’ attention upwards, where the light influx from the second floor creates a play of light and shadows on the semi-cylindrical wood cladding, offering warmth and texture that contrasts the raw concrete flooring.

Explore more of this modern beach villa in Copenhagen...

steel staircase against wood wall


(Image credit: Photography / Mark Selen)

55. A double helix staircase will give instant grandeur

Double staircases connect each of the floors in this Georgian country mansion.

The stairwell atrium floods the marble floors with natural light.

grand helix staircase ideas


(Image credit: uniquehomestays.com)

56. A compact helix design will give small spaces a modernist look

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.

Modernist staircase ideas with minimalist spiral staircase

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

57. A ribbon of wood adds a sculptural element to this curved staircase

This striking, sculptural staircase was designed by Peter Mikic.

Curved Wood staircase ideas

(Image credit: Photography by Kate Martin)

58. A translucent staircase will draw the eye further into the property

A translucent staircase makes for a bright, light entrance in this penthouse apartment.

translucent staircase ideas

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.

(Image credit: Matthew Williams)

59. Add funky wall lighting for instant cool-factor

A neon light-up bird and Tom Dixon pendants add further coolness to the striking staircase in this late Victorian terrace in north London.

industrial staircase ideas

Get the look: This is the Swallow artwork by Roger Taylor at Jamm Gallery.

(Image credit: Future)

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.

industrial staircase

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

60. Add disco balls for a shot of glamour

Disco balls on the stairs are a fun touch in fashion designer Alice Temperley's country home, and help bounce light around. Unusual artwork, such as the African heart sailcloth painting, draw the eye further into the home. 

staircase in alice temperley home

Get the look: For a similar chandelier, try Gustavian.

(Image credit: Future)

61. Add a statement wallpaper

All eyes fall on Harlequin’s bold, geometric Sumi wallpaper in this striking stairway.

staircase with statement wall

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.

(Image credit: Future)

62. Update a traditional staircase with gloss paint

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. 

painted staircase ideas

Get the look: The Chehoma pendant is from Holloways of Ludlow. The Swedish bench is an antique.

(Image credit: Future)

63. Paint the walls ombre / two-tone to signal the change in levels

Ombre walls chase the stairs up to the landing. 

curved staircase design with ombre painted walls

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.

(Image credit: Future)

64. Inject a shot of colour with a red stair runner

A red stair runner injects a pop of vibrancy to the neutral scheme. See our gallery of stair runner ideas for more stair runner inspiration. 

staircase with red stair runner

Get the look: The vintage New York bus station poster was found on eBay.

(Image credit: Future)

Similarly, a gloss white banister and vibrant red runner brighten up this dark and moody space. 

staircase with red stair runner

Get the look: The mid-century sideboard is from The Old Cinema.

(Image credit: Future)

65. Cheer up a stairwell with buttery blue walls

Soft blues make for a stylish and calm interior, and tone down the modern staircase. 

Buttery Blue painted staircase

Get the look: The feature wall is painted in Maritime marble emulsion by Mylands. The flooring was custom made by Mosaic Del Sur.

(Image credit: Future)

A gallery wall adds instant interest to this eclectic family home in Massachusetts.

67. Use black accents to frame a vignette

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. 

staircase ideas with crittall doors

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.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

68. Paint below the dado

Walls are kept simple, but a cleverly painted dark strip below the dado helps carry colour from the ground floor up.

painted staircase with painted dado rail

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.

(Image credit: Future)

69. Take inspiration from nature

The perfect helix of a seashell was the inspiration for this staircase, which rises towards a circular light well. Explore more of this contemporary beach home in Cornwall

staircase ideas smooth helix curved staircase in cornwall beach house

Get the look: The artwork is Dark Moon by Douglas White. Find his work at Artsy.net. The flooring is Douglas Fir by Dinesen.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

This spiral staircase, as white and curved as a bleached seashell, flows down from a galleried home library to an open-plan living room that’s 100 per cent contemporary. 

smooth spiral staircase

Get the look: The spiral staircase was commissioned by Andy Martin. The herringbone flooring is in oak.

(Image credit: Future)

70. For basement staircases, stick to glass and light, open designs

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. 

staircase with glass banister leading into basement lounge

Get the look: Rug, Designer’s Guild.

(Image credit: Future)

71. Give old bones a modern lift

This Georgian home in Edinburgh gives its traditional stone staircase a modern lift through artwork and a bright yellow cabinet.

staircase with stair runner on stone steps

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.

(Image credit: Future)

72. For Mid-Century homes, keep within the period

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. 

staircase in mid century modern home

Get the look: For a similar Andy Warhol lithograph, try Scream London. The vase is vintage Rosenthal Netter.

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

73. Use glass banisters to create a light, airy scheme

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.

floating minimalist modern staircase ideas

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.

(Image credit: James Merrell)

74. Small space solution

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. 

modern staircase for tiny space - space saving staircase ideas

Get the look The painting is by James Aldridge.

(Image credit: Paul Massey)

75. Add a modern sculpture

Clean and classic wooden stairs are offset by a modern sculpture. The wire sofa is a show stopper. 

plain staircase with a modern sculpture at the bottom

Get the look: This is the Corallo wire chair by Fernando and Humberto Campana for Edra. Find it at Chaplins.

(Image credit: Future)
Lotte Brouwer
Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.