Stair Railing Ideas: 17 Projects That Elevate Interior Design

January 7, 2024
1 min read
Stair Railing Ideas: 17 Projects That Elevate Interior Design

Great stair railing ideas are what separates an eye-catching staircase from ordinary steps. “Staircases have always been a very important part of house design; after all, it is often the first thing you see when entering a home and it sets the tone for the rest of the design,” says Kirsten Blazek, Los Angeles interior designer and author of A1000xBetter: A Rebel By Design (Rizzoli, out in April). Simply put: If you want to get your staircase to the next level, you can’t ignore the stair railings.

These days, the staircase and rail combination doesn’t have to be so cut-and-dried. “Combining styles and materials is trending in 2023,” says Denver-based interior designer Nadia Watts. “Think modern steel staircases with glass railings or polished metal railings combined with exotic wood stairs.” Essentially, there’s never been a better time to put some serious thought into your staircase design. With that in mind, we’ve tapped designers to share their best stair railing ideas. Here, answers to all your stair railing questions and 17 designs that are a step above the rest.

What is the trend in railing in 2024?

Stair railing ideas are not as interchangeable as paint, or even wallpaper, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t design trends that are peaking. Interior designers and architects are seeing “a renewed emphasis on the importance of bespoke railings,” Blazek noted.

The distinct staircase railing styles are often a combination of tried-and-true designs and modern interpretations. “Floating staircases are still trending; however, classic spiral staircases are back in a big way,” Watts adds. “Spiral staircases add elegance and tradition and create a beautiful flow. Lighting has also entered the picture in a big way with LED lights highlighting architectural features.”

Alice Arterberry of Austin-based Arterberry Cooke is seeing railings with character and distinct elements such as lacquered wood or unique metal picket profiles, while Ridgewood, New Jersey, interior designer Kristina Phillips is noticing contemporary stairs with acrylic and solid glass railings. “I am also seeing horizontal railings that add visual interest,” Phillips says.

What is the cheapest stair railing?

If budget is a concern and you aren’t able to replace an existing railing, then think about other ways to upgrade it. “It could be sanded, restained, or painted a color that compliments the rest of the decor and gives the railing a fresh look,” Blazek says. Phillips recommends painting railings black, especially when they are wood. “It gives a bit of modernity to even the most traditional of homes,” she says.

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