Wooden Staircase Ideas: 10 Elegant Designs to Suit Every Home

wooden staircase
(Image credit: Nicholas Yarsley)

Wooden staircases are a great way to add elegance to a home design. Whether you have an existing flight that is in need of an update, or are looking for the perfect staircase design to join floors of a new self build, getting staircases right is an important task. 

We've selected some outstanding projects and the designs that connected their spaces below. From repainted wooden stairs to new contemporary units embellished with glass, we've got something for every style of house.

Available in all shapes, sizes and budgets, entirely new staircases for self builds and extensions require a modicum of forethought, so if you're starting from scratch, why not take a look at our comprehensive staircase design guide?

1. Match a Wooden Staircase to the Style of House 

white wooden staircase

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Although contrasting old and new tastes can most definitely be successful in many houses, sometimes sticking to the original styles can work best. 

This traditional staircase is new but beautifully links this Victorian flat and its new mansard loft extension seamlessly. Delicate details of the balusters and the simplicity of the white paint with matching floorboards work elegantly in an affordable and authentic style. 

(MORE: 12 Staircase Ideas for Every Home)

2. Opt for a Minimalist Floating Wooden Staircase

Floating Staircase

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Floating staircases are popular for a reason. Simple in appearance yet able to create wow-factor, there's more to this design than meets the eye. 

Here, LED downlights are a well-considered addition to this design and emphasise the illusion in this contemporary home. 

3. Add a Split Level Wooden Staircase

wooden staircase with glass

(Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

Double-height entryways are amazing for imbuing a home instantly with character and including a staircase with a half-landing or split level can further emphasise the sense of space. 

4. Keep Wooden Staircases Simple

simple wooden staircase

(Image credit: Martin Gardner c/o Adam Knibb Architects)

Often the most impactful staircase designs are those that aren't overworked or in your face. 

This simple staircase at first glance doesn't pack a punch, but the close attention to detail in the contrasting handrail and clever mirroring of the treads in the bookcase means this living space is full of character. 

5. Add Some Grandeur with a Wood Spiral Staircase

wooden spiral staircase

(Image credit: Richard Frew)

The star of the show in this oak frame home's hallway, the curved flight beautifully draws the eye up to the show-stopping modern chandelier. 

6. Use Wooden Cladding for Modern Staircase 

modern wooden staircase

(Image credit: Unique Home Stays)

The internal timber cladding which features around this wooden staircase and the mezzanine is all oak finished in a clear Osno coating to give the contemporary home some added warmth. 

7. Give an Old Wooden Staircase Some TLC

painted wooden staircase

(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

When renovating or extending it can be tempting to rip everything out in order to make your mark, but restoring original features like a wooden staircase will preserve the building's history. 

When renovating their Victorian semi-detached house, the homeowner painted the staircase in a dark, modern colour and added a new stair runner for added drama. The result is a beautiful statement that a replacement wouldn't be able to achieve. 

(MORE: How to Save an Old Staircase)

8. Don't Forget to Properly Light a Wooden Staircase

Modern wooden staircase

(Image credit: David Butler c/o Concept Eight Architects)

From chandeliers and pendants to spotlights, LED strips, and everything in between, staircases can often be dark so lighting them properly is a must. 

Take a look at our lighting design guide for more information on how to make the most of every space. 

9. Cost-effective Wooden Staircase Solutions

modern wooden staircase

(Image credit: Jeam-Christoph Godet c/o Soup Architects)

Although this staircase may look bespoke in the grand setting of the double-height barn conversion, but it's actually just painted ply boards to create a dynamic contrast to the white walls and concrete floors. 

The yellow unit below was colour matched to a favourite piece of clothing by the homeowners while the deep black effortlessly camouflages the TV. 

(MORE: Modern Staircase Ideas)

10. Include a Staircase in the Overall Design Scheme

wooden staircase

(Image credit: Nicholas Yarsley)

Wooden staircases are ideal for every home as they are so versatile to every style. Keep location, orientation and details in mind when planning an interior design scheme for a unified finish. 

Amy Reeves

Assistant Editor Amy began working for Homebuilding & Renovating in 2018. She has an interest in sustainable building methods and always has her eye on the latest design ideas. Amy has interviewed countless self builders, renovators and extenders about their experiences for Homebuilding & Renovating magazine. She is currently renovating a mid-century home, together with her partner, on a DIY basis, and has recently fitted her own kitchen.