Staircase Design Ideas

A staircase isn’t just a structural element that links two floors – it can also help define your style, make a statement, and turn your entryway into a grand entrance. There are a growing range of materials and staircase designs to cater to your personal style and the size of your space. Here are some quick tips to consider while browsing images of staircase designs on Houzz.

What type of staircase works best for me?


The first consideration when planning a stair design is space. A double-sided staircase, for instance, will only work in a large area; whereas an L-shaped staircase or straight staircase are more compact options. The next step in the stair design is deciding on a style. Elliptical or curved stairs offer elegance, while spiral stairs can appear more urban. If you want a contemporary design, floating stairs are a great way to circulate light.

What balustrade and handrail options are available?


Balustrades and handrails are important for safety but also allow you to get creative with your stair design. Many staircases are built up against a wall – if that’s the case, the wall itself can act as a balustrade; it will just need an attached handrail. Glass balustrades are great if you want to show off your staircase as an architectural feature, whereas a timber balustrade tends to be a more timeless option. Metal balustrades are versatile in that they can be industrial, elegant or quirky. Consider functionality, too, especially if you have kids. An open railing, for instance could become a safety hazard.

What type of material should I use for stair treads?


Timber stair treads are strong and timeless, but aren’t suited to those with indoor pets as they’ll show up scuffs. Carpeted or stone stair treads are more traditional options, whereas stainless steel and glass can be quite contemporary. Concrete stair treads are increasingly popular for those looking to create a sculptural masterpiece out of their staircase – just imagine the effect of floating concrete stairs, daringly cantilevered. Also consider using a combination of materials to create visual interest.
Mid-sized traditional wood staircase in Melbourne.

Shannon McGrath
Mid-sized traditional wood staircase in Melbourne.
I like the contrast of the white / dark wood for the stairs - maybe have dark wood floors in our house? - carly_hudson84

Inspiration for a large beach style wood l-shaped staircase in Brisbane.

Caco Photography
Inspiration for a large beach style wood l-shaped staircase in Brisbane.
Fresh crisp colours and lines Too much wall detail though - webuser_589827289

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Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary metal spiral staircase in Brisbane.

A brief to provide access to an inaccessible roof terrace resulted in a small, yet striking intervention. Photographer: Kate Mathieson
Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary metal spiral staircase in Brisbane.
Different woods can work with black - webuser_199870554

Inspiration for a contemporary wood straight staircase in Melbourne.

Photography by Marisa Ho Photography
Inspiration for a contemporary wood straight staircase in Melbourne.
Cabinets under stairs to make use of space plus could be made into walk in fridge. - katrinca50

Inspiration for a contemporary staircase in Sydney.

Julie Crespel Photography
Inspiration for a contemporary staircase in Sydney.
Stairs with support post in front - dadley1

Inspiration for a contemporary wood straight staircase in Melbourne.

mayphotography
Inspiration for a contemporary wood straight staircase in Melbourne.
Balustrade to entry (between stair and slab above) and to stair down to laundry - chdesigndraft

This is an example of a contemporary straight staircase in Sydney.

Brett Boardman Photography
This is an example of a contemporary straight staircase in Sydney.
under stairs devorations/small garden - webuser_392795391

This is an example of a large contemporary painted wood straight staircase in Gold Coast - Tweed.

Phil Jackson Photography
This is an example of a large contemporary painted wood straight staircase in Gold Coast - Tweed.
Colour combination - snooplimsakoune

Photo of a transitional wood curved staircase in Sydney.

The internal stair of the penthouse needs to compete with a lift, and so provides and pleasurable and senusual ascension to the upper living spaces. Placed between the old and new parts of the building it forms a vertical and horizontal connection. © Justin Alexander
The swept staircase gives a grand feeling but it also looks modern. - webuser_216811775

Trusted home professionals turn ideas into reality
Trusted home professionals turn ideas into reality
Photo of a contemporary wood u-shaped staircase in Melbourne.

Tatjana Plitt Photography
Photo of a contemporary wood u-shaped staircase in Melbourne.
stairs with the wine seller - michael_boumelhem

Inspiration for a contemporary wood straight staircase in Melbourne.

Gray tiled floors create a light relief against the dark walls. Painting the architraves, skirting boards & internal doors the same colour as the walls keeps the lines 'clean' and not 'fussy'. The timber is accentuated against the darker colours and the open risers allows much needed natural light to flood into the space. Phtographer - Jessie May
Moody Timber Staircase with Feature Slat Wall - laurashawhhcc

Photo of a large contemporary carpeted l-shaped staircase in Melbourne.

Tatjana Plitt
Photo of a large contemporary carpeted l-shaped staircase in Melbourne.
stairs idea with study nook and storage - kari_sann

Design ideas for a contemporary staircase in Perth.

Design ideas for a contemporary staircase in Perth.
Out stairway to the master bedroom - webuser_5175913

Design ideas for a contemporary wood straight staircase in Brisbane.

Brock Beazley Photography
Design ideas for a contemporary wood straight staircase in Brisbane.
Use of timber and defined lines - admin9910

Contemporary wood straight staircase in Brisbane.

Contemporary wood straight staircase in Brisbane.
ceiling height and stair configuration - katrinca50

Photo of a traditional wood spiral staircase in Sydney.

123 Photography
Photo of a traditional wood spiral staircase in Sydney.
open steps, metal balustrade - emma_coleman2000

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Photo of a contemporary wood l-shaped staircase in Melbourne.

Matthew Mallett Photography
Photo of a contemporary wood l-shaped staircase in Melbourne.
The supporting rail being close to the wall, creating the look of a floating staircase - lindsay_blondeau

Design ideas for a contemporary wood l-shaped staircase in Sydney.

Design ideas for a contemporary wood l-shaped staircase in Sydney.
2 escaliers l’un en dessous de l’autre - david2600