Staircase ideas

Staircase ideas

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Design Ideas
Staircase ideas
Modern open staircase or a grand spiral staircase? We've dug in to the archives to find some extremely stylish ideas
By Emily Senior
Monday 18 November 2019
If you're renovating a house, one of the things that can make the most difference is a well-designed staircase - it's one of the first and biggest architectural features you notice in an interior. We've dug in to the House & Garden archives to find some stylish examples of every kind of staircase, whether you are dealing with a narrow Victorian house or a grand country space, from modern floating staircases to traditional sweeping versions with ornate banisters.
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At this 18th-century house in Bath , restored by Harding & Read, dark walls contrast with the pale stone of the stairs and floor. Several large-filament bulbs at different heights on twisted silk flex hang over the landing at the top of the stairs.
Paul Massey
An elegant monochrome hallway at Audrey Carden's colourful London house .
Michael Sinclair
In a London house designed by Retrouvius , Daniel Heath’s laser-etched oak panels clad a staircase made of aluminium-inlaid teak window frames salvaged from the South Bank’s Shell Centre.
Romain Ricard
Stairs rise steeply from the elegant pale yellow Directoire hallway at Patrick Frey's eighteenth-century house in Paris . The stair carpet is a Braquenie archive design.
Christopher Simon Sykes
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Some 400 years have passed between the building of this farmhouse and its twenty-first-century extension , yet they complement each other like birds of a feather. Old meets new in the restored barn, where an antique gym horse and oak settle bought in Cumbria sit below the spiralling staircase designed by architect Elaine Blackett-Ord. Throughout the house, Earthborn paints, made from clay-based pigments, provide a chalky grey and cream background - at once modern and earthy.
In the bathroom of this Manhattan house designed by Rita Konig , stairs lead directly from the sitting room up to the first floor. The Rug Company runner complements the dark wooden flooring.
Paul Massey
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In a historic rectory in rural Kent , the architect Ptolemy Dean has brought its disparate array of architectural styles into harmony, enabling decorator Alexis Wylie to create inviting interiors with bohemian touches. Stairs from an 18th-century pulpit, installed by a previous owner, lead up to a bedroom. The walls are in ‘Card Room Green’ by Farrow & Ball and the chandelier is Vaughan’s ‘Anjou’.
Oivind Haug
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This idyllic cottage in Oxfordshire was looking rather tired until a trio of creatives - designer Sarah Delaney, architects Barnaby Gunning and garden designer Butter Wakefield - gave it a characterful update, both inside and out. Handcrafted by carpenter Brian Jones, this spiral staircase replaced an awkward Eighties flight of stairs. The steps are made from oak and instead of a solid central post, they wrap around a spiral ribbon of laminated plywood, which saves space as well as creating a stylish architectural feature.
Michael Sinclair
The floating three-tiered staircase at Villa Borsani is a masterful mix of Candoglia marble steps, Murano glass paneling and walnut banisters, and sets a material tone that’s felt throughout the iconic modernist residence.
Courtesy of Alto Piano Studio
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A new, oak staircase was added to this Wiltshire farmhouse after the current owners moved in, to create more space in the second-floor bedroom and bathroom above it. It was a collaboration between owner Ken Bolan and Alex Argo of Burr Woodworks . ‘It was difficult to create due to the tightness of space,’ says Ken. ‘We had to sculpt the walls and the ceiling.’ It was crafted from hand-selected kiln-dried oak, and Alex worked with a local blacksmith on the handrail, which was made from raw steel and finished with beeswax. A similar staircase would cost from £20,000.
Simon Upton
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Known for their restoration of historic buildings in Scotland, conservation architects Nick Groves-Raines and Kristin Hannesdottir relished the challenge of saving Lamb's House in Leith, where they now live and work. The original spiral staircase has been whitewashed and maintains original features such as the small alcove.
Davide Lovatti
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Moving from a cottage to this sizeable rectory , the owners enlisted an antiques dealer to create their imagined ideal. Max Rollitt filled the house with interesting and amusing objects and furniture, thus kick-starting his career as a decorator. A seventeenth-century lacquer long-case clock stands in the hallway between floors.
This staircase in a west London terrace designed by Sarah Stewart Smith features ornate railings, which contrast in style with the abstract monochrome pattern on the runner.
Jake Curtis
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Designer and architect Ben Pentreath created this scaled-up version of Rocque's 1746 map of London for his friend and business partner Bridie Hall's house in Canonbury . The map starts with Canonbury - the location of the house - at the top. 'Of course, in 1746 this was still a field,' Bridie points out. 'In retrospect we should have chosen the Victorian version; then we would have been on there.' Like the look? Create something similar of your own at Surface View .
Simon Brown
A spiral staircase, painted white to match the floorboards in this bedroom, leads to a bathroom on the floor above in Miranda Alexander's delicate, sophisticated Dorset cottage .
Simon Upton
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A tiled staircase can look spectacular, but it is hard to achieve due to the weight of the tiles and the necessity for a perfectly flat surface. The staircase at the house of design writer Maryam Montague , just outside Marrakesh, looked tiled, but the risers are in fact painted with designs that Maryam created in collaboration with stencil artist Melanie Royals .
Richard Powers
A 'Globe' lantern from Jamb takes centre stage in the elegant hallway at this Cotswolds house decorated by Joanna Plant .
Paul Massey
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When adding a new wing to Ballintubbert, a grand eighteenth-century house in the republic of Ireland, architect Matthew Shinnors and designer Hugh Henry of Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi were tasked with creating a space sympathetic to the architectural period, but with a twenty-first century sensibility.
The large cellars beneath the house are approached by this elegant double staircase. The railings and overhanging light - based on a Soanean design - were made by the local blacksmith, and are offset by a huge slice of old yew, emphasizing the graceful curve of the stairs.
Simon Brown
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Still in this Suzy-Hoodless-decorated house , the filigree pattern of the original Victorian cast-iron balusters is picked out in a soft black. Underneath a second staircase leading to the basement has been encased in a frosted glass box, with black Crittall-style panes lending a clean, graphic modernity to the hallway.
Sharyn Cairns
The hall at Bowood , with its cantilevered staircase, was converted from a dining room in the Fifties, under the direction of John Fowler.
Simon Upton
In Made.com founder Chloe Macintosh's London home routed oak panelling wraps the 'core' of the house, its warm tones linking old and new. It 'unwraps' to form the cantelievered staircase, which is boxed in by a delicate wall of glass.
Jake Curtis
Designer Suzy Hoodless designed the black-and-white striped wallpaper that spirals down the staircase of this London house. It has been combined with bold, sophisticated colour choices and - our favourite idea - monochrome treads.
Lucas Allen
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In this Victorian house designer Suzy Hoodless has used a chaste monochrome palette to give definition to the architectural details. A simple black stair runner, coupled with a collection of delicate 'Ball Pendant Lights' by Michael Anastassiades gives the space a paired back elegance.
Sharyn Cairns
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In this picture-perfect beach house on Cap Ferret, near Bordeaux, the architect Jonathan Tuckey has installed timber claire-voie screens that subtly separate the hall from the sitting room, helping to achieve the sense of 'generous nothingness' that the owners had requested from the open-plan space. The striking device cleverly couples transparency with enclosure, allowing each space to have its own identity.
Paul Massey
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Interior designer Amanda Hornby has ensured the staircase of her converted dovecote in the Cotswolds is flooded with light by installing a double-glazed skylight in the roof. A palette of pure white maximises the feeling of brightness and space, warmed by dark wooden treads and banisters.
Alexander James
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If you can't afford a complete architectural do-over of your staircase, pepping it up with colour can transform the energy of a space. Dynamic contrasts between rooms work beautifully in this east London home, transformed for a young client by designer Adam Bray to create an environment that is 'dark, exciting and sexy' using a combination of oxblood red and blue-grey paint from Papers & Paints .
Chris Tubbs
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Vincent Frey and Bianca Lee Vasquez commissioned architect friend Marika Dru to overhaul their home in the center of Paris, a space which had previously contained the Pierre Frey fabric archive. The floating, cantilevered staircase that leads down to the games room is elegant and unobtrusive, taking up little space and fitting with the minimalist décor.
Rachel Whiting
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Decoration director Gabby Deeming has used the architecture of this house as a canvas on which to play with the effects of bold graphic colour.
WALLS Chalk paint, 'Napoleonic Blue' and 'Henrietta', £18.95 a litre, at Annie Sloan. FLOOR Bikaner wool rug, 'Colour Block Persian', by Luke Irwin, 300 x 200cm, £5,200, at The Conran Shop.
FURNITURE Lacquered-aluminium armchair, 'Yale', 76 x 100 x 86cm, £3,600, at The Conran Shop; seat and back covered in 'Fontainebleau', by Verel de Belval, silk mix, £627.40 a metre, at Abbott & Boyd. Side cushion fabric, 'Mika' (6 - reversible, both sides shown), linen mix, £49 a metre, at Harlequin.
ACCESSORIES Steel, iron and brass, 'Wall Lamp', by Workstead, 132 (maximum height) x 23cm shade diameter, £415, at Another Country.
Alicia Taylor

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