Stair design: An artistic review of stairway design options

Stair design is one of the more challenging areas of interior design, yet very fruitful in terms of creative results. Some historic spiral staircases are considered to be  great examples of architecture, thanks to the feeling of airy lightness that they inspire; however, also modern staircase design can be beautiful and powerfully expressive.

Through these 26 stair design ideas we will show you what great architects are able to make of a trivial tool like a staircase. Curved staircases  are often utilized to embellish mansions and palaces, as they  convey a sense of exclusive elegance. Circular and straight staircases are less common, but the results can be even better. Look and say.


Curved Stair Design Ideas

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - curve staircase turning right with finely decorated iron railings -374

The classical curved white staircase with white skirt board, dark steel balusters decorated with floral motifs, dark walnut wooden stairs and a dark grey Persian carpet. The handrail design is quite simple and linear, yet very appealing because of  the graceful semi-circular volutes.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - curve staircase turning left with wooden handrails and decorated iron balustrade -046

Another example of classical white staircase, but much less sumptuous than the first. The most noticeable element is the fine decoration of the balustrade that makes the whole composition very airy and light. The esthetical effect of this staircase design lays mostly on the fine curved shapes of the artefact.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - curved staircase turning left with silver iron handrail, glass panel balustrade and silver metal skirt board - 051

In this double curve modern staircase design, the traditional balustrade has been replaced by huge glass panels, and the typical skirt board is made out of a unique piece of metal. The silver colour matches with the  cold palette of the room (grey, white),  and the use of the double curve allows a great optimization of space.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - white curved staircase turning left with walnut handrail, glass panel balustrade -117

The balusters are made of glass also in this example of curved staircase, but the handrails are in wood, and the skirt boardis  decisively more traditional than the previous example. The result is a  staircase design that, yet modern, is less formal and more suitable to the living area where the staircase is placed.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design- curved dark wallnut wood staircase turning left -135

This is the first example of a classical curved wood staircase design. The traditionally decorated  balusters and newels, the double return treads, the round starting steps, the round volutes, in one word, all the elements that we expect in an old wood house staircase are present here.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - staircase that forks into two separate staircases that go round a cylindrical volume to join again at the split level with wooden handrails and dark iron balustrade with decorations -146

Inspired by the great staircases of the past, this scenic double staircase forks in two at the intermediate landing, where it embodies a central oval volume on the top of which a small graceful balcony has been placed. The balustrade decorations are simple and airy, and a practical storage closet have been placed underneath its skirt board.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design- curved staircase turning right with double white skirt board, dark wallnut wooden stairs, dark wallnut wooden handrails, dark iron decorated balusters - 180

Curved staircases allow architect to optimize space very well, as this interesting example of classical curved staircase shows. Observe the double line of the white skirt board – a simple, yet fine, decorative element that is often present in many traditional staircases.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - curved staircase turning right with white full skirt board, white stairs, cherry wooden handrails and balustrade with decorations - 204

Very scenic, but cumbersome, this curved wood staircase is the focal point of the huge circular hall where it has been placed. The absence of an intermediate landing allows the designer to exploit of the charm of the semi-circular shape. Newels, balusters and handrails are very classical. Some volutes would have added an airy touch to a stair design that is probably a bit too heavy.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - curved staircase turning right with light wallnut handrails and stairs, silver metal balustrade, very short skirt board of cherry wood - 274

Another example of a curved staircase that takes up much space, yet with a more pleasant effect. The simplicity of the lines and the absence of decorations maintain the staircase design modern and light, while the curved shaped is masterfully exploited to create a design concept that is both functional and beautiful.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - curve staircase turning left with white skirt board, steel decorated balustrade, wlanut handrails and stairs - 300

Another good example of how curved staircases can optimize space. Notice that the semi-circular landing has been utilized to create a nice small corner where to sit down, while the utilization of volutes combined with  the floral decorated light iron balustrade maintain the design simple and light.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - curved staircase turning right with stairs covered with a white carpet, white wooden balusters, wallnut handrails, white skirt board with decorations -323

Last example of a curved wood staircase, this stair design ends the first part of our gallery. It is characterized by a semi-circular shape that is not broken by any intermediate landings. This feature and the utilization of volutes, simple handrails and narrow balusters keep the design light, practical and charming.

Straight Stair Design Ideas

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - straight wllnut wood staircase with long silver tobular balusters - 002

Straight staircases are more common in modern staircase design, probably because they are more versatile and less affected by the tradition. In this example of wood staircase, the minimalism’s design principles are applied at a high grade, and the effect is a high level of stylisation of shapes, lines and volumes.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - unusual iron straight staircase with single iron handrail fixed to the ceiling, no balustrade -, 004

An example of modern (and disruptive) metal straight staircase design. The handrail is extremely stylised being reduced to a V-shape tubular module fixed to the ceiling; There is neither a skirt board  or a sustaining beam, being the stairs fixed directly at the wall. The space-optimization is high, the artwork well-thought-out.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - classical straight staircase with iron handrail, glass panel balustrade, dark iron skirt board, wooden stairs -024

This is the first example of a classical straight staircase in our gallery. The frame is in metal, while stairs are in light walnut wood. The level of stylisation is high, yet not so extreme as in the previous examples. The skirt board has been removed, the balusters and handrails have been designed extremely linear and functional.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - straight staircase going left with no balustrade and no handrail and stairs in dark plastic -028

A real disruptive stair design showing a unique combination of aesthetics and space optimization. Handrails, balusters and landings have been removed, reducing the staircase to the minimum: the stairs themselves. Notice the small lights positioned on the side and on each stair; they are undoubtedly practical and useful especially at night, considering the lack of the handrail.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - white straight staircase running left without handrail and balustrade sustained by a single beam -037

Modern and light, this stair design shows how beautiful industrial architectures could be when they are drawn by a good designer. The stairs lie on a sustaining beam that is shown in all its bare elegance, thanks to the absence of the skirt board.  Balusters are present, yet reduced to simple metal strings.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design unsual wooden satircase with balustrade made of long iron sticks fixed to the ceiling and no handrails -049

The staircase is composed only of  wooden parallelepipeds and very thin tubular units in this example of really disruptive design. The material – light walnut wood – gives a special charm to the whole composition, as it conveys feelings of informality and warmth. We can really conclude that this artefact looks more like an artwork than a staircase.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - classical wooden staircase with wooden handrail, skirt board and stairs, and wooden intermediate landing - 059

These is one of the few examples of straight staircase designs that we can define “traditional”, at least the upper part. All the classical staircase elements are present ( the landing, the handrails and the balusters), except for the skirt board. The variation between the lower part and the upper part is unusual, but it creates a pleasant dynamic effect and breaks monotony.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - straight staircase going right with finely decorated iron balustrade, wooden handrails, wooden stairs and intermediate landing -160

Modern and traditional elements are present in this nice stair design that completes the fine living room in the foreground with a graceful touch. Noticeable the dark iron balustrade with modern ornaments and motifs, and the rounded starting steps.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - sraight staircase going right with intermediate landing, wooden stairs, no skirt board, iron balustrade and handrail, singe iron substaining beam -208

The utilization of a unique sustaining beam has become a common solution in many contemporary straight staircase designs. Derived from the industrial architecture, the unique sustaining beam for staircases  allows architects to save on the materials, while  the whole structure becomes less heavy and more airy, in one word, more beautiful.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - straight staircase going left without landings in wood. Grey stairs, dark iron balustrade and handrail-265

A stair design must be seen in context, like in the stunning example above. The dark metal balustrade with its abstract decorations matches perfectly with the unusual design of the dark wall on its side. The other elements of the staircase are reduced to wooden blocks of different sizes, while the small lights on the side masterfully completes this really cutting-edge design.

Circular Stair Design Ideas

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design- circular wooden staircase going left with thin tubolar handrail, no baluster, no skirt board or intermediate landings -222

Circular stair designs are always able to join space optimization, functionality and aesthetics in particular, probably because of the inner beauty of spirals, one of the most appealing forms in nature together with the golden rectangle. This first example of wood spiral staircase clearly proves this assumption.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - circular dark metal frame staircase going right with metal thin handrail and balusters, stairs in light wallnut wood -118

The archetype of a spiral stair design is quite simple, and it is shown in the above  example. The stairs – in wood or other material –  are disposed all around a central axis that sustains the whole frame. In this way the quantity of necessary space is reduced to almost none.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - circular staircase going right with light wallnut wooden stairs, white central substaining frame, wooden handrail, silver metal thin balusters -123

The variations on this basic model are obtained mostly by working on the materials and the balustrade design. In this example, light walnut wood handrail and stairs combine with the white smoke colour of the central sustaining beam and the tubular elements of the balusters, in order to create an informal and warm effect that matches perfectly with the stone wall of the room.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - circular staircase going left fully made out of silver steel with handrail and balusters -165

Spiral staircases are often a matter of necessity, and not a free choice. The problem is that they only allow that level of space optimization that is necessary in many interior designs. In the example above, a fine silver spiral staircase made out of metal connects the two split levels of a modern flat.

Lifetime Luxury Amazing Stair Design - traditional iron circular staircase with intermediate landings going left. The balusters are white and heavily decorated with floral motifs; handrails in dark wallnut wood, white large skirt board with wooden edge -211

Naturally, they exists also traditional spiral staircases, as this form has been always utilised in architecture because of its properties. In this library, a spiral staircase connects all the split levels of the big hall. Notice the finely and heavily decorated balustrade and the presence of the skirt board that gives to the artefact a graceful touch.

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