When most think about stair railings, it's done in a utilitarian light. We usually just think of the railing handles, and that's it. This is unfortunate, really. Stairs aren't just a major structural asset of your home; they can be a great way to subtly mirror your personal tastes. That's why adding a personal touch to your stairs is a smart (and often affordable) way to improve the look of your home.
Not sure how to deck up a banister or switch up the railings? We made the effort to find the most innovative ways people have turned their railings and banisters into works of art.
Creative Stair Banister and Railings Ideas
1. Be Transparent
If you want to take a look at a new way to make your banister a centerpiece, take a look at what this architect did. The "floating" geometric banister acts as a subtle yet striking way to add a heavy modern touch to an otherwise unremarkable room. This is a good option for homes that are inspired by office settings, as well as hyper-modern homes.
2. Baroque Your Heart
When it comes to gorgeous stairs, nothing quite says classical elegance like wrought iron artwork welded into the stair's railings. Most custom wrought iron will be more than enough to stand on their own. Here, we see twin staircases framing a door, adding symmetry to the overall look.
3. Vintage Modern
If you're lucky enough to have metal stairs with a wooden banister, you might want to make that banister pop a little more. Designers were able to make it happen with this staircase by painting the stairs and supports a slate blue, which makes the oak wood on the banister pop even more. This creates a modern twist on a vintage look.
4. Hidden Stairs
Well, they're not totally hidden. Rather than go for a traditional banister look, these stairs have a full sheet of beautifully finished wood concealing them from most of the house. This turns your stairs into a bold architectural feature that almost mimics wall art rather than act as a typical banister. Chic!
5. Italian Charm
Here, we see wrought iron that's been paired with a bold wood stain banister top. That, in and of itself, is not that big a deal. What makes this staircase so strikingly Italian is the way they have the bottom stair support painted like a marble column. The marbleized look helps match the stairs with everything else in the room, all while giving it an authentic appearance.
6. Light It Up
Can't quite get around the fact that you have wooden stairs? That's totally alright. As this designer showed, you can get an amazing look from wooden stairs by adding some LED underlights to the bottom of the rails. Along with giving your stairs a bunch of light for easier walking at night, it also turns your stairs into a gorgeous focal point.
5. Geometric Joints
If you're looking to remodel, consider getting a unique twist on typical railing supports. This homeowner got some rail bars that aren't actually bars, but beautifully boxy railings. This small change to your stair railings is subtle enough to avoid forcing attention away from a focal point while still giving your home a nice diversion from the norm.
6. Orange You Glad?
It's amazing what a little bit of paint can do to a set of stairs, isn't it? If you want to paint your stairs a different color, then by all means do. This homeowner added a bold blast of orange paint on the railing supports, giving the stairs a modern and striking breath of new life. If you want a subtle way to turn your stairs into a focal point, this is it.
7. A New Match
We often hear about people painting a wall to match their furniture or using a grey couch to accent a grey wall. Here, we see that concept take an even more extreme twist by getting the entire staircase painted red. The red staircase, of course, is meant to match the red and white table below.
8. Banister Paint
Want a quick way to change up the look of a drab staircase? Paint your banister, just like these guys did. By making the banister match the steps, they added a unifying element to their design. Though the bright yellow might be bold, it has colors around it that are able to balance things out beautifully. Besides, who doesn't like yellow?
9. Western Charm
Wooden stairs don't have to be outdated. This is true, even if your stairs are weathered. Designers turned this wooden stair rail into a pointedly country addition by giving it a weathered remodel and a darker stain. The flat wood build gives it a particularly Western vibe. Can we get a yee-haw?
10. Wait, What?
This design idea made us do a double-take. To help separate rooms and give the home a slightly surreal ambiance, the home designers built the rail supports THROUGH the banister railing. In fact, they made them reach all the way up to the ceiling. Daring? Absolutely. Comment-worthy? Of course. Tacky? Not at all.
11. Bolted In
With most stairs, you will see the railing end at the tread of the steps. It's a classic look, and it's a look that's turned on its ear here. This stair design used long iron rods that extend below the stairs along the sides of the steps to make a uniquely classy statement. While you might need a wide berth to make this work, if you can, it'll rock.
12. All Dolled Up
This is one of the more unique ways to decorate a stair railing, and in a lot of ways, it reminds us of the stuff found in dollhouses. The romantic faux flowers and ribbons that are twined around the rails are affordable, yet super feminine. Despite the size of the decor, the muted colors prevent it from being overbearing. While it's old school, it still looks modern because of the metallic finish.
13. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
The trend of using reclaimed wood and scrap metal in homes isn't new, but it's always evolving. One of the newest trends you can see is using both reclaimed metal and older wood to create stair banisters. While this particular example involves rusting metal, the designers took that into account and used it to add a gritty vibe to the room.
14. Does This Float?
We've all seen floating staircases that had a surreal, airy vibe to them, but this one's a bit different. It's technically not a floating staircase, but the nonexistent handrail combined with the black rail supports would make you think otherwise. Here, the bold contrast of black and white ends up making the staircase look like it's being supported from above. Though modern, it's not heavy-handed.
15. On The Grid
This stair design has a lot to unpack, and we mean that in the best way possible. The iron grid (instead of railing supports) adds a rustic-industrial look that's totally unique. Meanwhile, the thick wooden banister acts as a wild contrast to the thin metal rods used in the support. Oh, and it also employs black iron and wood together...a perfect pair.