Stairs: design ideas, inspiration & pictures

For most two or three-storey homes, the staircase is a very essential part that needs to be more valued. Stairs are known for its functional purpose, which is to provide a convenient and safe way for people to transfer from floor to floor. We simply walk and run unto them on our everyday routines, but stairs are more than just a useful set to steps to go up and down.

The staircase is usually the first thing you see when you enter a house, so its visual appeal is as important as its purpose. You can even make use of trendy designs for storage beneath the staircase. Whether you are replacing or installing a new staircase, or just wanting to jazz up an existing one with some color, it’s worth thinking about how you and your family can use it before you start as this may help you decide if it can work harder for you. Take the time to make it a real focal point, with our inspiring design and storage ideas for staircases.

1. Staircase designs that will work well

When looking through staircase ideas, your top consideration should be space. Not every type fits in every home: A double-sided stair design only works in large entryways, so for a smaller space, you’ll need to opt for a straight, U- or L-shaped one instead. If you’re set on achieving the look of a grand entrance, try to work in a curved design that will really showcase the railings and any other unique features. For homes that are really compact, spiral staircase designs will be the most efficient in terms of horizontal space; while they may not be the easiest to climb, they do give a quirky and fun feel. After determining function and shape, you can then narrow down the large selection of staircase ideas by style and material to achieve the overall appearance you’re going for.

2. Best materials for stairs

The look of your stairs should coordinate with the rest of your house, so don't try to mix two dramatically different styles, like traditional and modern. For the steps themselves, carpet and stone are popular traditional materials, while metal or floating wood steps are trendier options. The stair railings don’t usually get much love, but really are the perfect opportunity to let your creativity flow. While pairing two opposite styles is not recommended, subtling mixing up the rail and tread styles can make for a show stopping effect; for example, an industrial-style rail can help make wood treads contemporary, or an ornate metal railing can help enhance the Mediterranean feel of stone treads. If you don’t want to commit to full-blown carpeting, stair runners are an easy way to mix up your style and protect the material underneath.

In the end, even though appearance is important, you should first and foremost think about creating functional staircases. If you have young kids, an open railing or hard metal steps can become a safety hazard, while dogs and common household traffic might scratch up wood. If you’re absolutely in love with a few staircase ideas that might be less than ideal for your family’s needs, get creative with faux-look materials and coordinate with your contractor or designer to find a compromise.

3. Incorporate stairway décor and color schemes

Stairway decorating ideas coincide a lot with hallway decor ideas — you want to add interest without interfering with the function of the stairs. Stick to photo frames and artwork with a slim profile so that you aren’t knocking into them while walking up and down the stairway. If you have a landing, you may want to add a small accent table or a potted plant to visually anchor the area, or feature a larger wall sculpture or piece of art. Gallery walls are excellent staircase decorating ideas since you’ll likely have a long stretch of space to work with, plus they’re a great way to finally display all those family photos or vacation snapshots. In addition, if you have children, you can hang their precious medals and awards to show their achievements in school. This is one common Filipino wall design for family houses. If you’re working on a new build or doing a full staircase remodel, you may want to include some shelving built into the walls for extra storage or display spots.

Stairway decors aside, you can also make a statement by getting creative with hallway wallpaper, paint and textiles. Paint the risers with your color of preference, stick on decorative tiles for instant impact, or even use wallpaper or old maps to add interest to each tread or paint the whole shebang in a favorite color. You could paint the spindles and bannister rail to suit your fancy and position wall stickers up the staircase walls or on the facing walls on each half landing. Again, with all these ideas in your head, consider the continuity and flow of the color scheme with the hallways and corridors.

4. Ideas on staircase space in the hallways

The hallway by due to its nature is like a very busy intersection with streets coming from all over the place. This means that this space can be used to store something that has to be at any moment at hand. It can be used to expand your décor or as storage area. A very good idea that also comes in quite handy is to transform that space to store your shoes, hats, and umbrellas. You can leave it open or closed with big doors.

The inside compartment can be easily divided, so every member of the family can have its own place. Storage is not the only option here; you can also use that area to extend your interior setting. A nice couch or a big comfortable arm chair can work just fine in that spot. If you care less about style and just need extra space for your appliances, sports items, and cleaning materials, you can incorporate shelves or baskets so that it will look organized and accessible.

5. Use the space beneath the stairs in the living room

Your living room is a little bit more delicate than a hallway, therefore the stairs from this area is ideally stylish and any rough modification will ruin the overall look either from the materials to be used, or the space around the staircase. In a living room, the secret is not to make something that doesn’t fully integrate in the environment.

Try thinking of putting up a bookshelf underneath the stairs. Not only does it provide convenience for learning and recreation for the members of your family when relaxing in the living room, but a bookshelf also serves as an appealing structure to your home. You can also hang on cupboard or a set of shelves to place knick knacks and family memorabilia to personalize your living area. Electronics, such as a television set or a play station, can be a perfect addition to your living room too. Placing them right under your staircase is a great way to utilize the space while bringing your family closer together during bonding moments.