8 Steps to a Stunning Staircase
When deciding on the details of a new home, the staircase is one area that’s often overlooked. Apart from serving the obvious functional purpose of connecting one level of the home to another, a well-designed staircase can also be an appealing focal point that sets the tone for the rest of the house. But, before you begin making any big decisions, it's important to understand some basic staircase vocabulary. This will make it a lot easier when it comes to discussing your vision with a builder.
- Risers - vertical part of the stairs
- Treads – the horizontal part you put your foot on
- Rise - the height the staircase runs
- Nosing – the front edge of stair tread
- Stringers - side components that support treads and risers
- Vertical posts – the posts that hold the handrail
- Balusters - parts between posts
Now you’re ready for our 8 Steps!
Step 1 - Make sure you follow the rules. There are lots of building rules around staircases, including the minimum height of the balustrade and the dimensions of the actual steps. Discuss your design ideas with your builder, they will be able to walk you through all the guidelines.
Step 2 - Choose the style you are going for. The overall design of your home will play a big factor in your choices. If your home is going to have a modern look, then a glass and steel staircase may fit in perfectly, whereas a traditional home might favour a timber look. Just remember that whatever you choose, it must fit in with the rest of the home.
Step 3 - Measure the area that your staircase will occupy. The space you have to work with, will impact your design choices. If you have limited space then a straight staircase would suit, whereas L and U-shaped stairs require a larger area.
Step 4 – Believe it or not, choosing a balustrade is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make. There are a number of materials that can be used, and all have a different look and feel. Timber gives a definite feeling of warmth and comes in a large variety of tones. Glass is more expensive but gives the staircase an open look. Steel is durable, versatile and sleek. For ideas and inspiration on balustrades, visit one of the many Ben Trager double storey display homes.
Step 5 - Pick your treads carefully. There are two types of treads – open and closed. Open treads make a space feel larger and allow the flow of any natural light in the home, whereas closed treads are great in households with small children, as there is no risk of things being dropped between stairs and if they are carpeted they are also slip resistant and quieter. Closed treads have the added bonus of allowing for concealed storage underneath the staircase.
Step 6 – To finish the look, choose the perfect shade of paint for the wall along the staircase. Pale walls allow light to flow and make the area feel larger, while darker tones create a more intimate feel. Make sure you use durable/washable paint as staircases are high traffic areas and can be a magnet for grubby little hands.
Step 7 - You might also want to add art or photos to the walls; this not only enhances the look of the space, it breaks up large walls making them more visually appealing.
Step 8 – Last, but not least, get creative with lighting. Using suspended pendants or a grand chandelier if space allows, will help to fill the void above the staircase and will be a great talking point.