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Transitional Staircase Design Ideas

A staircase is one of the most important transitional elements in architecture which creates a connection between spaces.

Up The Apples and Pears

There are many exceptional examples of beautifully designed and constructed staircases around the world. They have and always will stand the test of time, with influence and inspiration that will continue to amaze and add visual focus within a commercial context. Here are some examples of inspirational staircases in a commercial setting:

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Left Image:
Maxxi National Museum of 21st Century Arts – Rome designed by the late Dame Zaha Hadid – 2009.
Incorporating “swooping curves, dramatic views, and impossible angles. The thick black primer used for undercoating cars was used to create this dramatic effect as the stairs rise up through the museum.” (AOL travel, Amazing Staircases, 2016)

Top Right Image:
Simonetti Staircase at the Vatican MusememsVatican city , Designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932.

The staircase has become one of the most photographed pieces within the museum itself. Because of this, the entrance to the museum was moved so that the staircase is now admired on the way out. The staircase itself is made from wrought iron that curves into a double helix design, with an ornate handrail that highlights the form and structure of the staircase.

Bottom Right Image:
Grand staircase at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Bay in Qatar. The staircase itself is a grand double staircase set below a ‘geometric’ dome in the main entrance of the museum. The steps are cut into its underside giving the illusion of an upside down the staircase.

Transitional Staircase Inspiration

We can take influence and inspiration from infamous staircases and the way they have been designed to encapsulate the architecture of a building. These values of focal importance can be continued into the context of your own residential environments, to enhance the transition between spaces.

“A well-designed staircase oozes presence and often sets the tone for the entire home. Staircase design can define a space, set a mood and some will even provide a sculptural allure.” (Houzz, 2016)

Residential Staircases — Trends for 2016

Currently on trend within a residential context is the implementation of glass, and a fusion of mixed materials.  Incorporating glass panels allows more light to filter through spaces. The staircase will always be a key structural feature that can enhance the open appearance of a domestic space.

residential staircases with glass and mixed materials

Above are some examples of domestic staircases that make good use of an open appearance. The third image to the right illustrates the combination of timber and steel rods, creating a simplistic approach that accentuates the height of the space, with a seamless effect.

Add Some Fun

There are ways in which staircases can be rejuvenated without structural changes. Why not add some creative touches tailored to your own home and personal interests?

There are many different ideas to create fun focal areas in your hallway space. The staircase should combine the practicality of connecting the floors within your home, with style and individuality. Here we have several staircase design ideas to inspire you.

Add Colour

The implementation of colour can be a simple way to create a character and add impact to space. From bold paints to coloured Acrylic panels — don’t forget to utilise the wall space too.

colourful residential staircase ideas

Apply Materials

Applying various materials to the rises of your staircase can transform the look and focus. The ideas below include wallpaper designs, tiles and chalk paint:

examples of using materials on staircase rises


The examples below demonstrate the implementation of stencils in bold geometric chevrons to wood staircases for a modern look.

examples of chevron stencils on wooden staircases rises


Over To You

Think about how you can integrate or take some of these ideas forward into your own homes, whether you are looking at the latest trends in materials or simply adding vibrancy into your hallways and open spaces.

Always ensure that you take into consideration safety and maintenance when implementing any changes to your staircases. Make sure that any changes you make are ‘fit for purpose’, both practically and aesthetically.


If you would like to share your own ideas or even show us how you have transformed your staircase, get in touch in the comments below or on Twitter


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