Flights Of Fancy: 15 Sculptural Staircases You’ll Love

For the ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME 2019 winter issue, we gathered together 15 sculptural staircases we think you’ll love.

Photo by Greg Cox.

Designer: Hout Bay woodworker Sam Pellissier
This floating spiral staircase leads from the master bedroom up to the home office of New York transplant Ed Gray’s new build in Cape Town, South Africa. “It evokes memories of a spiral staircase in an ancient Roman church I used to climb in Spain as a youth; same feel, but very modern and clean,” recalls Gray. “It was complicated from an engineering aspect, but I feel it’s a work of art.”

Photo by Patrick Cline.

Designer: Michelle Gerson Interiors | Lichten Architects
Location of Project: Upper East Side, NYC
Style: “The apartment has very clean lines and a European, organic feel to it. It’s a mix of different materials and feels very eclectic in style.” – Michelle Gerson
Materials: “The stairs are made of solid white oak stained to match the chevron floors. The side walls are made of gypsum on wood framing with a plaster skim. The curved underside of the stair is hand-applied plaster – the only way to achieve a smooth finish that follows the geometry of the stair. It is new construction.” – Kevin Lichten
Favorite Element: “My favorite part of the staircase aside from going to the top and looking down is how structural it looks in the apartment. It looks like a piece of art.” – Michelle Gerson

Photo by Manolo Langis.

Designer: KAA Design Group
Location of Project: Los Angeles, CA
Style: Contemporary California
Materials: Steel construction with a troweled plaster finish.
Favorite Element: The stair is a sinuous, feminine gesture to juxtapose the primarily masculine architecture.

Photo by Grey Crawford.

Designer: Jeff Andrews Design
Location of Project: Beverly Hills, CA
Style: Mediterranean exterior but eclectic contemporary interiors.
Materials: Wood & metal, total renovation with a new staircase.
Favorite Element: I love the interplay of texture and color the staircase has with the flooring. One of my favorites!

Photo by Jim Bartsch.

Designer: McClean Design
Location of Project: Bel Air, CA
Style: A sleek contemporary home incorporating extensive use of glass to maximize views of the city below.
Materials: Steel substructure, wood and plaster finish. New construction.
Favorite Element: The sweep and sculptural form as it moves through the space.

Photo by Amy Bartlam.

Designer: Amy Sklar Design
Location of Project: Los Angeles, CA
Style: Fresh Mediterranean
Materials: Wrought iron and wood. The wood flooring was a 7”-wide engineered maple with a custom stain finish with 3 coats polyurethane. Renovation from stone to wood.
Favorite Element: I love that the staircase has wrought iron railings on both sides of the landing upstairs; it allows for light to spill into the hallway and down the stairs, which just feels so fresh and airy to me.

Photo by Douglas Friedman.

Designer: Nicole Hollis
Location of Project: Russian Hill Townhouse, San Francisco, CA
Style: Originally built in 1866 and transformed into a classic Italianate by architect Julia Morgan, the building was filled with history and beautiful architectural elements. Our goal was to keep the integrity and preserve the original details of the home, while adding and updating amenities to modernize the building.
Materials: Railing is bronze, and treads are oak. New construction added to the home during remodel.
Favorite Element: Leading into the play area, the stairs utilize space by adding extra toy storage for the owners’ two younger children. The intent was to enhance the original design of the house but incorporate modern functionality.

Photo by Park & Oak.

Designer: Park & Oak
Location of Project: Western Springs, IL
Style: This home is “classic contemporary,” a blend of the homeowners’ styles that is expressed through millwork that creates a traditional backdrop offset by cleaner, simpler lines for the staircase.
Materials: Light white oak treads, thin iron spindles and a warm wood handrail. New construction.
Favorite Element: We love how the simplicity of the stairs against the detailed millwork creates a look that feels both modern and traditional at the same time.

Photo by Tom Kurek.

Designer: LOFT magdalena adamus
Location of Project: Gdynia, Poland
Style: Contemporary loft conversion
Materials: Stairs were made to order from powder-coated steel with treads made of oak massif.
Favorite Element: Because of the limited floor plan of this tiny loft apartment, we made a point of maximizing the space available and created storage underneath the staircase combined with seating. The efficiency of this staircase project is its best feature.

Photo by Alyssa Rosenheck.

Designer: Chad James Group
Location of Project: Santa Rosa, FL
Style: This a beach house nestled into the gulf front influenced by the natural beauty of water and sand.
Materials: Sherwin-Williams’ Ceiling Bright White, reclaimed heart pine wood from a former factory in Georgia; walls are shiplap; Restoration Hardware sconce. New build.
Favorite Element: The simplicity and horizon lines that the panels create. The client loves the age and texture of the flooring.

Photo by Michael Wilkinson.

Designer: Rill Architects
Location of Project: Chevy Chase, MD
Style: Midcentury modern with clear contemporary detailing.
Materials: Steel structure with wood treads. New construction.
Favorite Element: It floats within the space providing function, openness and sculpture.

Photo by Katie Charlotte.

Designer: Cortney Bishop Design
Location of Project: Scarsdale, NY
Style: Playful, approachable family farmhouse with a focus on heirloom quality, modern pieces.
Materials: Shiplap walls painted in Farrow & Ball Wevet, Oak floors and stair treads, Stark Carpet stair runner, custom- made wood handrail and spindles painted in Farrow & Ball Inchyra Blue. New construction.
Favorite Element: The railing and spindles combo! The Arts and Crafts inspired design was such an architectural foundation that set the tone for the rest of the home’s bone, palette and vibe. It’s youthful and fresh, and even a bit unexpected.

Photo by Timothy Bell.

Designer: Anthony Wilder Design/Build
Location of Project: NW, Washington, DC
Style: A classic Center Hall Colonial, more than 100 years old, with traditional design details.
Materials: Cherry newel post and handrail, leaded glass windows, cherry stained stair treads, custom millwork. Part of an interior renovation, custom built.
Favorite Element: My favorite part of the staircase is the beautifully crafted cherry newel post as you approach the first riser of the steps. Actually everything about this design elevated the home to an entirely new level…I would not change a thing.

Photo by Thomas Kuoh.

Designer: Studio Munroe
Location of Project: San Mateo, CA
Style: Home is classical contemporary with eclectic accents throughout.
Materials: Runner: Floordesigns, SF, Zagora in Stone with hand-applied edge banding, Paint: Benjamin Moore Temptation 1609, Trim: Benjamin Moore White Diamond OC-61, Wall: Benjamin Moore Greytint 1611. Redo paint and runner.
Favorite Element: The diamond window mullions were one of our favorite architectural details in the home. When we painted both the window trim and stair woodwork in matching charcoal black, a switch flipped and the entry came alive with interesting angles and a nice visual weight to the stairway.

Photo by Mark Wickens.

Designer: Andrew Wilkinson – Architects, PLLC
Location of Project: Upper East Side, NYC
Style: The apartment has a modern, Asian influence throughout the design.
Materials: Brass plated steel and walnut treads. Overall new construction project.
Favorite Element: I love how transparent it is, how light shines through and upon it, as well as how it becomes the focal point of the main living level.

For more like this, take a look at eight of our favorite wooden kitchens here

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