Stairway to Heaven – top 10 tips to elevate your home
10 Inspiring Examples of Stair Design To Elevate your Home

As architects, we understand that a staircase is much more than a mere connection between floors; it’s a key element of your home’s interior design, significantly enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your living space. Embracing a contemporary staircase design can be the ideal way to elevate your home’s style quotient, seamlessly integrating function with art.

Projects ranging from the dynamic urban environments of London to the serene coast and countryside living in Hampshire and surrounding counties showcase the expertise required to create sophisticated and contemporary spaces. Our staircases are a testament to this design philosophy, characterised by sleek, clean lines and innovative use of materials that complement various interior styles, from minimalist to eclectic.

The beauty of a contemporary staircase lies in its ability to serve as a focal point within a room, adding a touch of elegance or a distinctly modern vibe. Through the use of cutting-edge materials, creative lighting solutions and unique shapes, these staircases transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary ones.

Investing in a stylish staircase also offers practical advantages. It can significantly increase the value of your property, making it more attractive in the competitive real estate market. This is particularly beneficial for homeowners in areas like London and the coast and countryside, where high-quality design is a key selling point.

 

Our Tips for Designing Contemporary Staircases

Material Matters

Innovative Choices: Utilise materials such as glass, steel and timber to achieve a sophisticated look that stands out.

Our Sailor’s House project features a robust single stringer stair with open risers to create an open yet distinct circulation route in the entrance hall. The stair is constructed in steel but finished with matching material to the floor finishes at each level to provide a continuous finish throughout. The glass balustrade and oak handrail give practicality with minimal visual impact.

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The staircase of our Lanzante Pavilion project featured at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was designed to be a discrete backdrop to the main gallery space. The design uses the external timber cladding louvres to provide fall protection without introducing additional protection or balustrades.

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Lighting

Enhance Ambience: Incorporate LED strip lighting or spotlights to create a dramatic effect and improve safety. Designs for coast and countryside homes often feature such elements to highlight architectural features.

This dramatic string lighting feature was included within the design for our Zinc House project (left picture below); the runway of light either side gives a low-level glow to the stair and stairwell with no visible light fittings.

In our Treetops project (right picture below), the open, glass balustrade, lightweight cantilevered stair provides a continuous lightwell across 3 levels allowing natural light to flood through to the open circulation space in the daytime, while at night an elegant teardrop pendent descends from the ceiling lighting the stair tread amd adding another layer to the design.

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Space-saving Designs

Efficient and Elegant: For spaces with limited room, consider floating stairs or spiral designs to enhance the space around the stair whilst providing interesting circulation spaces.

Staircase in front of a window, why not? This elegant single-spine stair is a feature within the entrance hall of our Shorelines project with a view through to the pool and garden spaces (left picture below). The design includes a bottom plinth step to be able to turn at the bottom of the stairs reducing the overall width required. Space saving isn’t just about fitting the stair in, it’s also about using the space under the stairs efficiently. In this project, we utilised this space for the installation of a spiral wine cellar.

Our countryside project Holm Place features a light and minimal structure staircase within a narrow walkway off the main circulation space (right picture below). The area is used for storage at ground floor and links to the utility and rear entrance whilst providing the route to the upper levels. The thin structure treads and string with open risers allow the space to feel much wider even with the staircase to one side.

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Balustrade Style

Unobstructed Views: Opt for glass or cable railings to maintain an open feel enhancing the sense of space and light in your home. Different balustrade styles also give an opportunity to enhance the character of the stair design fitting it into the overall architectural approach.

Centrally located within our Chelsea Townhouse project over six storeys, a continuous winding handrail is fixed to a bespoke metal balustrade profile designed to compliment the feature wall panelling and joinery pieces throughout the centralised circulation space (left picture below).

Simple vertical profile against the complex horizontal stone lines, our Waterside project features a heavy stone base ground floor with a lightweight timber finished first floor. The staircase design was purposefully simple with the rectangular profile of the balustrades and handrail, materials and construction to connect the two contrasting planes (right picture below).

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Contrast

Bold Statements: Use contrasting colours between the stairs and surrounding walls to create a striking visual impact. Alternatively, the form of the stair could directly contrast the architectural design to become a feature in itself.

Connecting the office spaces to the showroom at our Lanzante Supercar Showroom project in the South Downs National Park is a single-spine, super lightweight stair with white metal treads and open risers (left picture below). The finishes of the treads visually stand out against the dark interior finishes and give the illusion of floating treads with the help of the handrail-less glass balustrade.

In the right picture below, a helical stair within a rectilinear house design in the South Downs National Park provides contrast and gives a softer feature to the double-height entrance space against the heavy, robust architecture.

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Incorporating a contemporary staircase in your home does more than serve a functional purpose—it offers an opportunity to express your personal style and enhance your living environment. Our team of London and Hampshire-based architects and designers can create stunning staircase designs that reflect your vision and elevate the overall ambience of your space. Consider these ideas and tips to make a significant impact with your staircase design.