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The top 7 things to consider when redesigning your staircase


Stairs are possibly the most frequently overlooked element of a home when planning a redesign. This is primarily because often, the staircase location isn’t changing. But even if your stairs are staying in the same place, there is no reason you shouldn’t give them a new lease of life. Here are seven things to consider to help you give this prominent feature some wow factor.

Should you relocate your staircase?

Your staircase is a structural part of your home so moving it is similar to knocking down a structural wall with structural and cost implications. However, if your stairs are poorly positioned and disrupt the layout of the house. Or, if they are in an area that blocks light flow through your home, then it’s worth considering relocating them. If you are planning an extensive renovation, the cost of doing this will be relatively minor in the overall scheme of things.

Staircase design ideas

How to deal with stairs to attic or loft conversions

Ninety per cent of new staircases are constructed to create access to an attic or loft conversion. The staircase solution is to go for a stair design that looks and feels like a continuation of the existing stairs in your home. It will feel like a fully integrated part of your home rather than an afterthought.

Dare to be different with your material choices

If you are planning a new staircase, don’t limit yourself to the traditional materials. Timber staircases work well in most homes and can instantly create a much more contemporary feel. If your stairs are in a living space, look for ways to integrate them to maximise space. For example, we had clients whose stairs were in the kitchen area. We designed it into the run of kitchen units utilising the under-stair space for extra storage space. 

Staircase - lighting

Have fun with lighting

Lighting for staircases is also crucial as they often don’t get much natural daylight. Illuminating steps with lights recessed into the wall at a low level can be very effective and works well with a contemporary-style staircase.

How to go big on style in your small space

Revamping an existing staircase?

Try these simple updates to turn your staircase into a design feature if your budget doesn’t stretch to a whole new staircase. Replace solid balustrades or dated spindles with a more modern equivalent. Sheet glass, for example, creates a minimal more contemporary look and will allow light to flow more freely. If your hallway is long and narrow, you might consider removing the under-stairs cupboard to create a more open feel.

Spiral stairs arent as space-saving as you think.

Spiral staircases are the first thing that spring to mind where space is tight. But they take up a lot of floor area, so they aren’t always the best option. If you are considering a spiral staircase for access to an attic space, remember that getting things up and down can be awkward, especially if you plan on using the attic space to store bulky or large items.

Staircase design ideas

Jazz up your carpet

If you do favour the more traditional finishes, such as carpet, make sure you choose the right product to ensure it stays looking its best. An 80% wool to 20% nylon mix is an excellent choice as it will stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

Use a good quality underlay over both tread and riser and fit the carpet so the pile runs down the stairs. It’s also possible to use a strip of carpet as a runner. Most carpet suppliers can make bespoke carpets to your width specifications. For a bold statement, edge the sides of the runner in a contrasting colour like we’ve done here.

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Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

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