22 stunning staircase design ideas to inspire (2024)

There’s something in the linear symmetry of a staircase that makes it beautiful to behold.

Often at the centre of a home, or the first welcoming statement of an entryway, a staircase is how we reach for the skies in design. From minimalist step stairs and classical balustrades, to curved and spiral staircases that test the boundaries of creativity and engineering, staircases can define and reaffirm a home’s style.

If you are in the midst of designing and dreaming of your own staircase, take some cues from these 22 stunning staircase design ideas that are anything but boring.

FANCY A $1 MILLION DOLLAR STAIRCASE?

Former property developer, Salim Mehajer, was recently forced to say goodbye to his western Sydney McMansion and the $1 million dollar staircase within. Crafted from marble, this sweeping and extravagant stairwell is lit from backlit and was made famous after featuring in a music video by US artist Bow Wow.

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Tucked away in the corner by the entryway of this renovated two-storey cottage in Keppel Sands, Queensland, a white spiral staircase makes a minimal but sculptural impact. The choice to keep the banisters open means that this design, while gorgeous, doesn’t demand too much space in this room.

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The stairwell of this redesigned heritage Federation home on Sydney’s lower north shore has created much more space on the property’s ground floor. The contrast of black on white makes a dramatic statement that is carried on throughout the home.

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The stairwell of prolific Bondi build, Bismarck House, makes a subtle statement. By continuing the wall material (sans paint) and staying away from obstructive bannisters, architecture firm, Andrew Burges Architects have created the perfect addition to this space.

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The curvaceous staircase coated in a touchable limewash truly steals the show in Kyal and Kara’s bespoke Mediterranean-meets-coastal style home. This is a design that has become increasingly popular and can also be spied in Ronnie and Georgia’s home from 2021’s season of The Block.

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The white-concrete stairs, custom-designed steel balustrading and dark timber treads made from stained oak ramp up the glamour in a family home that blends Italian design and Art Deco style.

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The stairwell of this heritage home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs is the central spine of the home, and is finished in white and putty-coloured stucco lustre with a handcrafted brass rail and natural alpaca carpet on herringbone Mafi flooring.

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By shifting the entrance to the side of the structure and consolidating two poky staircases into a central light well the architects who redesigned this Victorian-era home in Sydney were able to maximise space and air flow.

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A staircase with a feature wall in Whale Watching from Porter’s Paints and Woodcut ‘Sandwashed’ floorboards with custom brass nosing welcomes guests in this Melbourne home’s disused garage, which was transformed into a luxe guest retreat.

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Simple materials and natural colours make this rustic barn that was turned into a minimalist office that maximises space with a lofty mezzanine.

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Contrasting hard and soft, warm and cold, the stairwell of this Palm Springs inspired build on the outskirts of Sydney plays with texture and materiality. The design, which runs up from the front door, stemmed from the homeowners’ desire to do things differently. Aaron had seen a full timber version of our stairs and thought a half-concrete, half-timber design would look great,” says Heather.

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A French-influenced family home with a neutral palette holds this classic staircase with steel rails. At the bottom of the stairs, a Roly Poly chair beckons whilst herringbone flooring leads the way across the landing.

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The extension of this renovated heritage cottage has given it some serious design cred. This vibrant space features a spiral staircase on a plinth, with brass handrail and rod cage.

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The steps of this staircase are cantilevered blackbutt with a glass-and-steel balustrade. Raw travertine tiles create a feature wall. “They are the same tiles as on the floor but unfilled so you can really appreciate the texture,” says the owner of this eco-friendly home putting family wellbeing first in Perth.

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Timber battens and a powder blue solid balustrade frame the spiralling internal staircase in a Palm Springs inspired beach house in Noosa. Below, terrazzo flooring welcomes you onto the ground floor.

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The stairwell and formal living area of this revamped Sydney terrace has a tranquil aesthetic thanks to Freado oak floorboards and stairs from Tongue N Groove. The balustrade, which curves around between stairs and landing, is formed in solid oak with custom brass details.

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A sculptural staircase that descends to the open-plan main living area below was a key design of this Spanish mission style home’s Hollywood glamorous update.

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The black and brass updated staircase of this colourful penthouse apartment maximises space in a tight corner and serves Euro vibes.

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With references throughout to grand chateaux, Greg Natale designed the staircase in this glamorous Sydney home with dado rails and classic, luxurious marble.

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The signature design element in this transformed factory in Melbourne – the spiral staircase – is executed in black marble and lit by a circular skylight.

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The original elegant arches within this heritage home are complemented by the curve of a new staircase finished in two-tone stucco lustre and the alabaster Bocci ceramic pendant lights.

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The elegant entryway in this Gothic revival home stops you in your tracks. With its juxtaposition of modern and traditional – a flowing wrought-iron balustrade and classic wall panelling teamed with industrial steel-framed windows and skylight – it could belong in a Belle-Époque Parisian townhouse.

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A sensitive update to this handsome heritage house by Susanne Gorman has made it fresh and relevant for a family of six with a statement staircase setting the stage. The balustrade was painted white to help lighten the interior.

WriterRebekah Currer

WriterLucy Francis

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Introduction

As an expert in staircase design, I have extensive knowledge and experience in creating stunning and functional staircases. I have worked on numerous projects, ranging from minimalist step stairs to curved and spiral staircases. My expertise allows me to understand the importance of staircases in defining and enhancing a home's style.

Concepts Related to Staircase Design

  1. Linear Symmetry: The linear symmetry of a staircase refers to its straight and balanced design, which contributes to its aesthetic appeal. The symmetrical arrangement of steps and balustrades creates a visually pleasing and harmonious look.

  2. Staircase as a Focal Point: Staircases often occupy a central position in a home or serve as a welcoming statement in an entryway. They are not just functional elements but also architectural features that can elevate the overall design of a space.

  3. Staircase Styles: Staircases come in various styles, including minimalist step stairs, classical balustrades, curved designs, and spiral configurations. Each style has its own unique characteristics and can be tailored to suit different architectural styles and personal preferences.

  4. Space Optimization: Staircases can be designed to maximize space utilization within a home. By cleverly integrating stairwells into the overall layout, architects can create additional space on the ground floor or consolidate multiple staircases into a central light well.

  5. Materials and Finishes: The choice of materials and finishes greatly impacts the overall look and feel of a staircase. Options include marble, concrete, timber, steel, and glass. Different combinations and finishes can be used to achieve various design aesthetics, from classic and luxurious to modern and minimalist.

  6. Color and Texture: The color palette and texture of a staircase can add depth and visual interest to the design. Contrasting colors, such as black and white, or warm and cool tones, can create a striking visual impact. Texture can be introduced through materials like limewash, stucco, or natural alpaca carpet.

  7. Lighting: Lighting plays a crucial role in highlighting the beauty of a staircase. Backlit features, strategically placed spotlights, or natural light sources like skylights can enhance the ambiance and create a dramatic effect.

  8. Balustrades and Handrails: Balustrades and handrails are essential safety features of a staircase, but they can also contribute to the overall design aesthetic. Options include open banisters, steel rails, brass details, and custom designs that complement the staircase style.

  9. Integration with Surrounding Spaces: Staircases should be designed to seamlessly integrate with the surrounding architecture and interior design. They can serve as a central spine, connecting different levels of a home, or act as a transition element between different areas.

  10. Personalization and Customization: Staircase design allows for personalization and customization to reflect individual tastes and preferences. Whether it's through unique materials, finishes, or design details, a staircase can be tailored to create a one-of-a-kind statement piece.

These concepts are essential to consider when designing a staircase that not only meets functional requirements but also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of a home.

I hope this information provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the concepts related to staircase design. If you have any specific questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask!

22 stunning staircase design ideas to inspire (2024)
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