Stunning Staircases: 61 Styles, Ideas and Solutions

Find staircase design inspiration for a variety of situations, from maxing out storage under the stairs to giving stairs more style with painted designs or fresh-looking runners.


You can do much more under a staircase than merely set up storage. Use this area to max out functionality in a dining room, den, foyer or kitchen.

One of the things I love the most about my job as programming manager for is discovering the things you love about us, but also the things you want to see. And long have I labored on a piping-hot laptop eager to fulfill a common desire among passionate DIYers: staircases!Let's face it, very few of us could add an interior staircase where there isn't one now or heavily remodel an existing one. More approachable DIY staircase projects are utilizing them for additional storage or painting them. A wooden staircase, especially one that has lost its luster, can be painted with powder-room-esque gusto, as Shannon Kaye demonstrates here.

How to Paint Decorative Stairs 03:49

Shannon Kaye demonstrates how to paint a decorative "runner" on stairs.

Shannon's project — coupled with your response to it — caused us to dig around for more painted staircase inspiration, like Bryan Patrick Flynn's step-by-step faux runner and seven more colorful examples.

Staircases Painted to Perfection

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Count Your Steps

Photo By: 2009-10-14T10:26:20.000-04:00

Multicolored Hues

Walkway Wisdom

One Stripe at a Time

Photo By: Emilee Ramsier ©2011, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC

Number the Way


Tile Substitute

And then there are those of us who love the infinite design aesthetics of a smartly conceived flight of stairs. Wooden staircases immediately come to mind, but the traditional medium doesn't mean design has to follow convention.

Wooden Staircases for Branching Out

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White Wood

Photo By: Gordon Beall

Charcoal Balusters

Lighted Steps

Photo By: Rhiannon Slatter

Shutter Railing

Coastal White

High Lights

Intricate Banister

Photo By: ©Edward Addeo ©Gibbs Smith, Farrow and Ball, Brian D Coleman, Edward Addeo (photographer)

Geometric Railing

Glass Railing

Interior Windows

Photo By: Eric Perry

Light and Dark Contrast

Photo By: Geoffrey Hodgdon

Another time-honored staircase medium that is enjoying renewed interest is iron. Although the perception of iron staircases can be dominated by the standard bar railing, you'll delight in some of the breathtakingly intricate designs we discovered.

Elegant Iron Staircases

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Photo By: B-Rad Studios

Old World Style

All in the Details

Double Staircase


Photo By: Edward Addeo


Coastal Living


Tropical Glamour

Antique Elegance

Double-Helix Spiral

Photo By: Edward Addeo

Traditional Entry

Photo By:

Geometric Grandeur

Photo By: Ben_Rollins

More and more often, under-stair storage is graduating from standard shelving and cubby holes to more imaginative options that embrace kitchen, home office and family room entertainment.

Stylish Options for Staircase Storage

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Wine Cellar Storage

Pet Alcove

Photo By: Eric Perry

Multipurpose Storage

Small Space Storage

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Basement Storage

Entryway Storage

Living Room Storage

Kitchen Storage

Pantry Storage

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

I don't know about you, but I remember the (shag) carpeted stairs of my youth. They left a lot to be desired in terms of function or looks. Today's runners, however, are a perfect way to enhance your home's style with colorful panache.

Runway-Ready Carpeted Staircases

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The Art of Color

Photo By: unknown



Photo By: Tim Lee


Complementary Colors

Photo By: Edward Addeo


Walking on the Wild Side

Photo By: Scott Womack ©, 2013 Gibbs Smith, Allure of French & Italian Decor, Betty Lou Phillips


A Warm Welcome

Black and White

And no staircase compendium would be complete without the most inspirational style a homeowner could conceive of when considering a remodel or build. Although in line with more Modern homes, floating staircases are enthusiastically embraced in most any home style.

Floating Staircases for Cloud Nine Design

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Walking on Water

Walking on Water

Photo By: Robert B McCue II


Photo By: Jason Kisner






Photo By: Geoffrey Hodgdon

Clean Lines


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