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Modern Staircase Ideas: 18 of the Very Best Designs

Modern staircase ideas
(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

There are so many modern staircase ideas out there it can be hard to know where to even begin when looking. Well, we've done the hard work for you and curated the crème de la crème of contemporary stairway designs to help you narrow down your favourite styles. 

Whether you're looking to update an existing house with the latest steel and timber staircases or to include a frameless glass structure in a new one, approaching suppliers and architects with a clear idea in mind will save time and money. 

Take a look below for the very best trends, styles and structures – with a few industry tips to get you on your way – and check out our expert guide on staircase design for comprehensive advice on how to get started. 

(MORE: Get a quote for your new staircase)

1. Create a Floating Glass Staircase

Modern wood and glass staircase ideas

(Image credit: Laurence Liddy)

Make an instant statement with this clever timber and glass staircase design. 

Finished with a modern glass balustrade, the wooden steps to have the illusion of floating. The simple straight flight has a hidden steel stringer (the housing either side of the stairs) behind the stone-clad plasterboard which supports the whole structure.  

2. Add a Minimalist Staircase for a Modern Finish

White modern staircase

(Image credit: Carpetright)

These stairs are about as pared-back as you can get. The thin step tread made with a central spine to support it celebrates the intricate craftsmanship of staircases to create a minimalist focal point. 

A similar look could be created using painted wood steps and powder-coated steel. 

3. Let Timber Take the Lead

Timber staircase in modern home ideas

(Image credit: Urban Front)

The best modern staircase design let the materials speak for themselves — as this walnut structure demonstrates. 

The muted green of the front door and the polished concrete floors makes every element in this hallway sing. 

(MORE: Need a quote for your new staircase?)

4. Reinvent the Modern Spiral Staircase

Modern spiral staircase ideas

(Image credit: Bisca)

This spiral staircase was designed for the homeowners to transition from the quirky open plan living space (below) to the more rustic basement floor. 

Thick treads made from ash are stacked to hide the usually visible central column which supports the structure. 

Modern staircase in home

(Image credit: Bisca)

5. Install a Cantilevered Staircase for a Contemporary Finish

Black steel modern staircase

(Image credit: Select First)

Sleek, stylish and full of wow-factor, this cantilevered black steel staircase is a statement feature in its own right. 

5. Use LEDs to Light Up a Modern Staircase

Floating staircase ideas

(Image credit: John Cullen Lighting)

Concealing LED lights under each tread of a contemporary staircase creates a cost-effective yet etherial appearance.  

(MORE: Get tailored advice for your new staircase)

6. Add a Contemporary Staircase to an Open-plan Space

Glass staircase in renovated house

(Image credit: Paul Arthur)

While this terrace house was renovated, the homeowners chose to open up the previously enclosed and dark staircase. The replaced it with a timber and glass structure which leads right to the open-plan living space. 

The glass baluster doesn't feature a handrail (Building Regulations in England don't require one), making the staircase less visible. 

7. Think Outside the Box to Work to a Budget

Plywood staircase idea

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

This steel and timber staircase was designed by the homeowner using CAD software. The ply balustrades were installed as a cost-saving measure while he raises funds for a laser-cut metal profile in the future. 

8. Contrast Wood and Metal for a Trendy Staircase Design

Wooden staircase ideas

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore UK)

Scandinavian-inspired pale woods matched with matt black finishes is one of the most popular styles in recent years. 

Here, simple and narrow balusters are beautifully complimented by oak treads and a stunning continuous handrail. 

9. Go Bold for an Industrial Staircase 

Industrial staircase idea

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

These bespoke steel staircases (above and below) were designed to provide access  from the open-plan living spaces down to the sleeping areas in the basement, while creating an industrial finish.

The open riser and mesh sheet balustrade design allows plenty of light in to make the downstairs spaces feel brighter.

(MORE: Get a quote for your new staircase)

Industrial basement staircase

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

10. Modernise a Traditional Staircase

Spiral staircase modernisation idea

(Image credit: David Barbour)

The spiral staircase in this renovated Victorian school house was modernised with a contemporary sage green. 

The rejuvenated  structure creates the perfect bridge between the history of the property and the it's new purpose to suit a modern family lifestyle. 

(MORE: How to Save an Old Staircase)

11. Go Big with a Modern Staircase Design

Gallery staircase with mezzanine

(Image credit: Jodi Stewart)

Leading gracefully down from a the new mezzanine area, the staircases either side of the kitchen area truly make an impact in this contemporary-styled barn conversion

Plus, the spandrel (the triangular space under the stairs) has been incorporated into the kitchen as extra storage. 

12. Keep it Simple to Make an Impact with a Modern Staircase

Timber and steel staircase in kitchen idea

(Image credit: Alan Williams c/o Merrett Houmøller Architects)

When designing this kitchen extension to a terrace property, Merrett Houmøller Architects kept a simple pallet of materials throughout the spaces. 

The result is a dramatic black steel staircase which takes centre-stage in the double-height space.

(MORE: Get a quote for your new staircase)

13. Add a Splash of Colour to a Contemporary Staircase

Glass staircase ideas

(Image credit: Jodi Stewart)

The simple glass and white painted timber staircase of this barn conversion has been accompanied by on-trend bold colours and styles to really make the feature come alive. 

14. Go for a Modern Wood Staircase for a Stylish Mid-century Modern Look 

Wood and steel modern staircase idea

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

This self build used exposed cross-laminated timber to decorate their living space while the glass and wood staircase provides an uninterrupted view to the reading nook on the mezzanine. 

15. Go for a Modern Rustic Staircase Design 

Wood staircase in living room ideas

(Image credit: Nigel Rigden)

Stone, glass and render all feature predominantly in this self build's living room while the wood draws the eye towards the fine detailing on the upstairs handrail which then continues throughout the house. 

(MORE: Ultimate Guide to Self Build)

16. Complete a Contemporary Staircase with Finishing Touches

Glass modern staircase ideas

(Image credit: David Barbour)

Floor-to-ceiling glazing and concealed lighting make this staircase really stand out. 

(MORE: Get a quote for your new staircase)

17. Create an Air of Elegance with a Modern Staircase

Modern staircase in kitchen

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

When building an extension to their cottage in the Cotswolds, the homeowners decided to relocate their old staircase.  

Making the most of their new vaulted ceiling, the charming oak stairway now matches the kitchen (and includes valuable storage) while a mural adds delicately detailed decoration. 

18. Get Creative to Make a Modern Staircase Work Harder

Modern staircase with storage below

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Oversized balustrades, a gentle winder design and a deep navy steel structure mean this staircase packs a punch. 

Plus, freestanding, colourful storage below with a DIY peg board creates a a handy place to kick off coats before heading upstairs. 

Get a Quote for Your Modern Staircase partners with the UK's best staircase design specialists to match your requirements with their products and services. 

Simply answer a few questions on what you need from your staircase and we’ll put you in touch with a suitable partner.