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Level Up your Home with an Elegant Stairway

by Blake Herzog

Whether you’re building new or renovating, putting an eye-catching stairway into your house is a terrific way to create an impression of luxury and abundance for all who enter.

Some designs are more beautiful than functional, but you can easily have one for everyday traffic and moving heavy loads and another to provide an alternate route as well a splendid visual focus for a room.

Staircases bring additional opportunities for décor in stairwells and space underneath them, which can be used for storage, desks, minibars or sometimes even quarter- or half-bathrooms.

Dramatic (and adequate) lighting will make it both stylish and safe.

Straight stairways that follow one wall are practical and space-saving but other formats can be stunning design elements.

Split

Found in larger homes, these stairways generally are placed near the entryway and have an initial set of steps that rises to a landing and then splits into two stairways that rise to the second floor at 90-degree angles.

This design instantly makes your home a destination with “estate” vibes. It also gives people two routes to the next level to avoid the occasional traffic jam.

L-shaped and winder

These stairways both have steps running against two different walls. The L-shaped version includes a landing at the turn, while the winder has continuous steps. Because you can see them from more than one angle, you can make a bigger impact with any details on the steps including a runner, tile, wallpaper or decals.

U-shaped

Excellent for tight spaces, the staircase is broken in half so it can double back to reach the second story, usually with a landing at the midpoint.

These staircases add to the usable space in the floor plan, but the 180-degree turn can make it difficult to transport heavy furniture between floors.

Curved

These stairs are a challenge to build and are more costly than most other styles but add a graceful air to a show-stopping staircase, tremendous for grand entrances and departures.

Their lack of sharp turns can also make them easier to navigate with heavy objects.

Spiral

Visually arresting, spiral stairs are wrapped tightly around a single post in a continuous swirl.

They can be a work of art by themselves and are ideal for tight spaces. However, they are generally impractical to have as the only avenue between floors.

Circular

These stairs are not wound as tightly as a spiral staircase but are still built as a circular structure, creating a captivatingly winding component to your home — though some might find it dizzying.

Lots of space and money are required to pull this off but when done right they’re amazing.

Floating

Generally found in modern homes, these stairways are mounted on a wall and generally have minimal or no railing to preserve their “floating” appearance.

Their safety concerns mean they’re not ideal for many situations, but they can be an unforgettable part of any room while still serving their purpose.

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