Skip to main content

5 Tips for Stunning Staircases


Staircases are more than just a passageway from one floor to another. They can welcome and wow you when you get home each day, set the tone of your home, and make it feel unique. But there’s more to it than that…

Staircases are also where memories are made. Remember installing that baby gate when your bundle of joy learned to crawl? Remember listening to that same bundle of joy stomp up to their bedroom after a fight? And someday in the not-so-distant future, we’ll watch them descend dressed to the nines for *gulp* prom. (Give me strength…)

All that to say, your staircase is at the heart of your home, and it deserves to be treated that way. How? It’s easier than you think. Keep scrolling because these tips are good


This West London staircase (photographed by Simon Kennedy) has an amazing shape and great use of natural lighting.

Tip 1. Install Lighting

Lighting is both beautiful and necessary. You could go dramatic with a chandelier or opt for elegantly understated with a chic wall sconce. Whichever way you go, the lighting you choose gives your staircase presence and personality, not to mention the safety factor. 

For well-lit evenings (or for policing any late-night teen excursions), you can install LED lights under the handrail or low lights with motion sensors.


This show-stopping stairway by Studio H has great lighting and moves in all the right places.

Tip 2. Consider a Spiral Staircase

Break with tradition and push your design to the next level with a head-turning spiral staircase. Spiral staircases are great options when floor space is limited, or when a traditional staircase isn’t an option due to building codes. And let’s face it. They look like a million bucks.

If a spiral staircase is your only option, take the opportunity to turn it into a work of art like this sweeping staircase photographed by Grace Picot in New South Wales.

Note: When building a staircase, building codes will be the biggest challenge to solve. For example, balusters (the rods providing vertical support) need to be a certain distance apart, and treads and risers have to be a certain length and height. If you’re adding a second or third floor to an existing home, you will need to make sure you have the space required… or go spiral!

Tip 3. Mix Materials

You can transform your staircase from builder-grade to designer-worthy by mixing the materials you use. Mixing materials never goes out of style. Simply change out the handrails and balusters, and voilà — texture and style.

Some ideas? Mix a wood handrail with a metal baluster or vice versa. Right now, white oak handrails with black iron balusters are all the rage, but we also like to test the boundaries of design and create something unique for each client.


This home’s staircase sits center stage and mixes metal and glass to impressive effect. The photo shared in Tip #1 is also a great example of mixed materials: wood steps, matte black balusters, and a brass handrail.

P.S. The pandemic has changed the way we renovate, so be sure to order your stair’s materials early on because lead times are so long right now. 

Tip 4. Why Not Wallpaper?

Using wallpaper on the walls of a staircase can elevate it to the nth degree. Just like a powder room, using patterned wallpaper in a tight space has a significant design impact. It’s also a great place to splurge — for a little extra investment, you have a memorable design moment to enjoy each and every day. 

(Want to know where else to splurge? Read the 5 things designers always splurge on in their own homes.)

Tip 5. Carpet Runner 

Wet paws and constant traffic can wear down your stairs quickly. A carpet runner helps you create a pet- and kid-friendly staircase that prevents slipping and keeps the wear to a minimum. However, practical doesn’t have to mean boring…


This gorgeous climbing leopard rug from the Rug Company is featured in Cara Delevigne’s pad. It adds bold colors and patterns for a fun yet intentional space. I spy some great wallpaper here, too…

Pro Tip: You should plan on having the carpet cleaned professionally once or twice per year to prevent excess wear and tear. 

Looking to make your whole home the supportive, uplifting retreat you know it can be? That’s what we do. Book a call with us here and let’s chat.





Subscribe for the latest news, special events, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.

Newsletter signup

Please wait...

Thank you for subscribing!