Step Up Your Stair Design

When building your house, stairs can be some what of an afterthought. We always find ourselves thinking only about the functionality of stairs however, stairs can, in fact, be an integral part of your architectural design.

It may be small and narrow, but that doesn’t mean that your stairway shouldn’t get the same amount of decorating and attention as the rest of your house.  A stairway can be a highly-visible feature in your house and can be the first things your guests see when they walk in. When designed and styled correctly, your stairway can be the statement feature you need to make your home really stand out. Try designing or dressing up your stairs in fun and interesting ways. Although building stairs can sometimes be a big project, there are other ways to amp up your stairway to make a big visual impact while not breaking the bank.

First, think of the shape you want…

There are 4 classifications of stairs

Straight stairs 

  • Straight stairs are generally used in small houses
  • They are usually the cheapest to construct and are the most common
  • Straight stairs can leave a lot of space underneath that can be used in a number of ways like a small closet or for decorations

Turning stairs

  • Turning stairs consist of two flights parallel to each other that run in opposite directions
  • These stairs use much less floor area than straight stairs
  • Turning stairs can be a bit more difficult to build

The Open-Well Staircase 

  • These may have two or more flights of stairs
  • They look extremely grand and can be used as your statement piece at home
  • The open-well staircase provides visual connectivity from top to bottom regardless of the number of floors
  • Open staircases can be dangerous for young children
  • These staircases do take up a lot of space

Geometrical Staircase 

  • These include spiral staircases, open-well staircases or even elliptical staircases
  • These don’t occupy as much space as normal stairs
  • These stairs are famous for being the most aesthetically appealing
  • The uniqueness and complexity of the design can result in a costly build

Make sure you talk to an architect to get the perfect measurements and design for your home. They’ll tailor everything to your exact wants and needs.

Once your stairs are built – think about what you can do to dress them up. Here are a few tips & pics for inspiration!:

  • Add a playful pattern – completely change the look of a plain white staircase with just a few coats of paint for some wonderful pops of colour.


  • Try an ombre effect – for a more subtle painted look, create a trendy ombre style. Start at the bottom with your favourite colour then add a little more white to the paint mix each time you move up to the next step.



  • Try tiled stair risers – Add some glass tiles for pops of colour and texture.


  • Make use of wasted space – Turn your space under the stairs to a cute home office or a spot for some colourful plants.


  • Family photos! – You can never have enough family photos and stairwells are the perfect place to create a lovely gallery.


  • Statement wall – Create a statement wall for your staircase with paint or a print wallpaper. It’s sure to draw attention


  • Lights – Insert track lighting underneath stairs to add a dramatic effect. Perfect for entertaining and outdoor steps. OR add statement lighting fixtures over spiral staircases to add a dramatic effect.


  • DIY Railings – Turn old shutters into creative railings – both functional and decorative! OR use an old nautical rope as an alternative to the standard banister – perfect for beach houses.


  • Home art gallery – Hang small pieces of art on staircase risers for an unexpected visual appeal

As you can see, there are countless ways to create stairs that are anything but ordinary. Think about your personal style and talk to your architect or contractor about your statement stairway.


Jessica Buckmaster

Jessica Buckmaster is currently finishing her undergraduate degree and joint diploma in Media and Production at Western University in Canada. She has chosen to specialize in Journalism as she has a passion for current affairs and interacting with many different personalities. Jessica has had the opportunity to fine-tune her writing abilities as well as her interviewing techniques and loves all aspects of media. After graduating, Jessica is looking to travel and work in freelance journalism before she returns home to Barbados.

jessica has 21 posts and counting.See all posts by jessica

One thought on “Step Up Your Stair Design

Comments are closed.