Our favorite staircases are more than just functional. Often a focal point, they have aesthetic appeal that elevate a home’s style factor. Here, we round up some serious stunners that master the art of leveling up.
RIDE THE WAVE
A custom light fixture by Jeff Zimmerman crowns a West Village home’s striking stairwell, which was fabricated by Legacy Stairs & Millwork, Inc., sheathed by Bogen Construction Management. Designers Rendell Fernandez and Inna Medvedkina selected custom leather wall panels by Spinneybeck offering modern contrast to the cerused white-oak flooring from I.J. Peiser’s Sons.
REACH FOR THE SKY
Beneath an expansive skylight, a ficus and a graceful wood-and-steel staircase mark the entrance to a Manhattan Beach residence by architect Grant Kirkpatrick. General contractor Shawn Nelson oversaw the building of the exquisitely crafted structure.
Designer Lynn Kloythanomsup reimagined this San Francisco home’s stairwell as a place to display a series of portraits by the homeowner, artist Michelle L. Morby, and a figure (far left) by Chelsea America. The vintage chair is from Elsie Green and the console is from Design Within Reach. A runner by Mark D. Sikes for Merida adorns the home’s original staircase.
WALK THE RAINBOW
“We decided to have fun with the rear staircase,” says designer Timothy Corrigan, who united the home’s palette into a singular design with a colorful carpet from Stark for the back stair. “The result is whimsical and brings a smile to everyone’s face.” The floor runner is also from Stark.
The staircase is a feat of engineering with wood treads that seem to levitate between the wall and a ribbon-like metal railing. A rustic planter sits at the base of the stair, and artwork by Laurent Laporte decorates the landing.
Architect Leann Crist skillfully updated a midcentury Ralph D. Anderson gem in Clyde Hill, Washington, preserving many original details, while carefully tweaking it for a new era. The gracefully curving staircase required little attention beyond refinishing the treads to match the new custom milled rift sawn white oak flooring by Advanced Floor Design throughout the house.
CENTER OF ATTENTION
“Working in these furniture pieces around the center staircase felt like a challenge,” says designer Jill Mitchell, of creating an easy-to-navigate guest lounge with the Modway Lippa tulip table, Sunpan chairs and Barrington Urban Collection Shuffleboard Table. “But I love the way the space turned out—it’s like a sophisticated yet fun lounge in a luxury resort.”
A wall of Starphire Ultra-Clear glass within a stainless-steel frame shields the staircase and, beneath it, one of light artist Leo Villareal’s illuminated displays on a pedestal. The stairs consist of welded and painted cantilevered steel plates.
Paneled walls painted Benjamin Moore’s Golden Bounty set the tone for the interiors, radiating a sunny sensibility among refined antiques including the 19th-century Louis Phillipe chest from Huff Harrington in Atlanta and a lamp from Antique Pavilion. A Couristan Cape Town Collection Antelope runner leads upstairs.
In the entry, set against a backdrop of Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, “The stair creates a sculptural element experienced from all angles as you move through the space,” says architect Amanda Cavassa. It was fabricated by Beautiful Custom Stairs with stone from Meta Marble & Granite and railings by Twisted MetalWorks. Hovering above is a Cameron Design House light.
“There’s a minimal, modern simplicity to using oak to wrap this stair,” says Architect James Merrell of this dramatic wood-and-glass design. To complement it, designers Elizabeth McNellis and Alexis Litman selected an equally streamlined furnishing: Blu Dot’s Daybench, which combines a powder-coated-steel base with a leather cushion in a subtle gray-green hue.
Antiques and clean lines mix in the entry where a Louis XVI settee from Shabby Slips Home, Art Deco-style sconces and a contemporary stair railing—designed by Chandos Interiors and fabricated by Thompson Custom Homes—add a touch of shine to the entry.
Sunlight pours through oversize Sierra Pacific windows in the stairwell of this Atlanta home by designer Tanya Lacourse. Architect Linda D’Orazio MacArthur and designer Jane Hollman strategically positioned the feature within the residence to maximize traffic flow. Charles Calhoun of Calhoun Design & Metalworks forged the iron railing, which converses with a simple Circa Lighting sconce.
UP AND AWAY
This Austin home’s central core, clad in millwork painted Benjamin Moore Harbor Haze, features a dramatic staircase fabricated by Austin Iron and Soledad Builders with custom floating steel treads and a handrail capped with white oak.
The team “future-proofed” the home “by putting in an elevator shaft so it’s ready if and when the homeowners need it,” architect Joseph Herrin says. Until then, they use a three-story staircase with white-oak treads that wraps around the shaft and appears to float in midair thanks to some clever engineering.