Your staircase is one of the primary focal points of your home, and as a result, it can make or break your overall design scheme. Whether you’re looking to create a new staircase completely from scratch or you just want to enhance an existing one, there are many methods you can use to take your staircase’s style to the next level.
If you’re hoping to create a look and feel you can appreciate for a lifetime, the first step (no pun intended) is understanding the areas in which you can inject your own sense of style into your staircase.
Elements of a Staircase
Most stairways feature three primary components:
- The steps themselves (which are comprised of treads, risers and stringers)
- The newel posts and balusters (the pieces that support the handrail)
- The handrail
Regardless of whether your stairs are wooden, wrought iron or a combination of the two, there are numerous design ideas you can take advantage of that elevate the aesthetic appeal of your home. Here’s a closer look at the various design choices you can consider when crafting your ideal staircase.
Design Options for Treads, Risers & Stringers
The treads, risers and stringers are the three subsections of the steps themselves, with the tread being the part you step on, the riser being the vertical section and the stringer serving as the component that holds the treads and risers together. When it comes to style and design, your options are numerous. If you’re opting for a metal design, consider relying on wrought iron for an industrial appearance, or opt for wooden treads, risers and stringers if you’d like to choose from a broad array of shades and hues.
Design Options for Newel Posts & Balusters
The newel posts and balusters connect the steps and the handrails while providing support for the latter. The newel posts are typically the thicker, more supportive posts that often appear at the beginning and ends of the staircase, while the balusters are the thinner, generally less supportive and often more decorative posts that fall between the newel posts. You can opt to use wood for both elements, or you can combine the two materials to create entirely new looks. Generally, you have more opportunities for customization when it comes to the balusters, and using especially ornate or elaborate designs can give your home a sense of sophistication and prestige that more basic designs fail to do.
Design Options for Handrails
Your handrail presents another opportunity to add a dose of glam or style into your staircase. Typically, handrails are made of wood, and they generally maintain natural shapes to ensure they serve the purpose of helping you and your guests climb and descend. Beyond that, however, you can customize them in a variety of different ways. You can opt for flat, round or oval-shaped handrails, and you can utilize hand-carved options and elaborate wood designs to ensure an end result that’s uniquely yours.
In summary, your stairs can serve as far more than a simple way to move from floor to floor – with a little effort and pre-planning, they can act as pretty, practical conversation pieces that draw envy from all who ascend them.