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How to Create a Minimalist Style with Stairs

21 November 2018

Going through a major home renovation is an incredibly exciting yet challenging process. By stripping everything back to the bare necessities owners will often find themselves swept away with seemingly endless possibilities, the empty house turned into a blank canvas for them to paint upon. Nowadays, however, many homeowners are choosing to leave their spaces free and clear of clutter, opting for a minimalist approach to interior design that emphasises space and light.

While creating a room in a minimalist style is relatively straightforward, people often find it hard to incorporate that same style into their stairs. Often seen as cumbersome necessities stuck in an unwanted corner, people often don’t realise that, when done right, stairs can enhance a minimalist style all of their own. Here, we outline just a few tips to help you get the minimalist look you’re searching for into your new staircase.


Understand Your Space

There are a lot of things to remember when buying new stairs, but often understanding your space and its potential is the most important. If you are designing new stairs from scratch, then you have a unique opportunity to change the stair direction, construction and layout to suit your style.

Traditionally, stairs used to be placed by the front door of the building. However, this often creates unwanted congestion and an awkward flow of traffic through the hallway. While this might suit a traditional property, more people are now locating their stairs in busier areas of the house, such as the kitchen or living room. This helps to improve the flow of traffic throughout the property while also helping to create a strong focal point, particularly in open-planned homes.


A stained Oak wooden staircase with glass by WoodenStairs

Minimise Your Handrail

One of the quickest ways to create a more minimalist style for a staircase is to look at the handrail. Often stairs come with a chunky, wide balustrade that is very supportive but does not complement a minimalist design. While you may be required to have a handrail on your stairs – depending on your project, different UK regulations apply – a simple design change to your handrail can suddenly make your stairs appear half the size they were initially. Currently most contemporary handrails tend to be a thin rectangular or square shape. Alternatively, if your staircase has a glass baluster and the regulations applicable to your project allow that, you may consider having no handrail at all. 

If your stair runs alongside a wall, you may be required to install a wall-mounted handrail. However, if it is not required by regulations and you can see yourself living comfortably without a handrail on the wall, removing this feature will suddenly make your stairway feel more spacious. Alternatively, simply reverting to a minimalist handrail with thin balusters will help to increase the perceived space in the room.


Incorporate Glass Features

A staple of modern minimalist décor, glass is a fantastic material to use when trying to create open, fresh spaces. Depending on how you use this surprisingly versatile material, glass can help to introduce light to a room, opening up its space while also providing the protection from falling and structure. When considering a glass staircase you may consider a combination of hardwood and glass or steel with glass. However, it is important to consider that staircases constructed entirely of glass may not provide the required level of privacy.

A minimalist glass staircase can have the effect of almost sinking entirely into the background, the transparency matching with the room to create a clean and uncluttered finish. However, many people do not like the idea of having to climb glass stairs that could scratch over time or that are entirely see-through. Including glass features on a more versatile stair, such as metal or wood, can sometimes deliver a more practical application as well as the desired style effect. By having a glass baluster running along the outer side of your staircase, for example, you will be letting in light to places that previously may not have been well lit, while also moving the stair further into the background, creating the illusion of more space.


An Oak wooden staircase with glass by WoodenStairs with flowers

Consider the Colour

Even a simple colour change can transform the feeling of your stairs. Many people opt for a natural wooden colour, but by thinking out the box and choosing strong colours, you can help accentuate the stairs and make them statement features in the home. A minimalist staircase in a contrasting colour to the wall can make it a focal point within the room, allowing you to include it as part of the area’s décor – more on that in our next point.

However, for a truly minimalist staircase, you may decide to have a colour of staircase that is similar to the area it is placed in. For instance, having a white staircase on a white wall will create the effect of the two surfaces merging, allowing the stair to become part of the background and, again, creating the illusion of extra space in the room. We find that most contemporary staircases tend to be painted white or varnished white with glass balusters, but do remember, there is a plethora of paint colours and varnish colours, so the exact colour and appearance can be unique to match your very decor.


Incorporate Your Stairs

This is something that people regularly ignore as an option. People designing a modern home are often so focused on creating a stair as non-distracting as possible that they forget the alternative – wholly embracing your new staircase. By making sure your new stair doesn’t disappear or clash with your room but compliment it, you will find yourself able to incorporate it into the interior décor of your home.

An example of this is creating space in your new staircase for things such as cupboards, shelves, wine racks or a television. By having the under-stair storage professionally designed and installed within your staircase, you will be incorporating the stair structure into the room as a part of the design. Another way of doing this is by using decorative pieces above your stairs. For example, if your staircase runs up one of the walls in the dining room, placing photographs and ornaments above the stairs can amalgamate the once cumbersome staircase into your house décor.


An Oak wooden stair with glass by WoodenStairs in a modern dining room


Creating a minimalist stair design is straightforward. However, the key to doing it well is a professional touch. By employing a professional stair company, you can get more out of your staircase and stairwell. With our experience, we can assist your decision-making process by providing advice, design works and installation. You can achieve not only the stair of your dreams but also a feature within your home that works perfectly with your space and design. Interested to see what we can do with your stairs? Contact us today to request a free quote.

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