How to Style a Staircase for a Modern Look

How to Style a Staircase for a Modern Look?

The staircase is an important design element that can make a dramatic statement in your home. Transforming a traditional staircase into one with a modern, stylish aesthetic can completely change the vibe of your space. Unlike a traditional-styled staircase, your modern staircase does not have to look archaic and huge. The sleek designs and glossy materials like glass or metal are enough to make big style statements and woo anyone who catches sight of it. Your choice of style strongly defines who you are as an individual, or it simply explains what type of personality you possess.

Sometimes, your sense of style and creativity alone can help you attain your dream house designs without having to spend much time, effort, and money.

Here are some staircase decor ideas for you

1. Focus on Simplicity

Focus on Simplicity

A clean, simple silhouette is key to modern stair design. If your staircase has ornate spindles, newel posts, or heavy decoration, remove these for a pared-down look. Sand and restain the balustrades in a dark espresso tone rather than a golden oak or cherry. Opt for metal cables or glass panels between balusters over decorative wood.

Remove any unnecessary molding, trim, or accent rails. Box newel posts and stringers also create uncomplicated lines. The simpler the staircase, the more modern it will appear.

2. Use an Open Riser Stair Design

 Use an Open Riser Stair Design

Traditional staircases have closed risers between each step. For a contemporary look, opt for an open riser style instead. This creates a lighter, airier effect that is perfect for modern aesthetics. It also allows the horizontal grain of the treads to show through as a decorative detail.

Combine open risers with metal cables or thin glass dividers between treads for straight, uncluttered lines. Extending the stringers past the top and bottom steps looks sleek and modern as well.

3. Go Monochrome

Go Monochrome

Sticking to a minimalist black-and-white palette is an easy way to modernize a staircase. Paint risers, banisters, balusters, and handrails glossy black or charcoal. Use white on treads, walls, and ceilings to contrast.

Or try white risers with black treads and railings. Built-in storage and shelving nearby can also be black and white. Adding color is optional. One vibrant hue like red or azure blue prevents monochrome from becoming dull.

4. Use Industrial Materials

Use Industrial Materials

Exposed concrete, metal, and glass are industrial material options that feel modern and cutting-edge. Concrete stairs with metal railings or all-glass stairs make dramatic statements. Using these materials for a staircase remodel takes some construction work, but the payoff is big.

If rebuilding the entire staircase is not feasible, add touches of industrial materials as accents. Try a reclaimed wood plank on stair risers or a metal and wire cable railing. Install under-stair lighting inside metal tubes or strips.

5. Go Borderless and Floating

 Go Borderless and Floating

Removing visible borders between stairs, walls, and landings gives a floating, streamlined look. You can disguise riser edges with flush-mounted lighting or by eliminating risers entirely. Extend treads past stringers so they appear to float outside the staircase perimeter.

Using glass guardrails and low-profile metal cables instead of bulky railings and newel posts amplifies the borderless effect. Painting ceilings, walls, railings, and treads the same color makes the staircase seamlessly blend into the space.

6. Incorporate Geometric Motifs

Incorporate Geometric Motifs

Geometric patterns instantly lend a modern, graphic element to the staircase style. Try checkerboard, diamond, or triangular patterns on stair risers. Or create stripes on treads and landings by alternating wood grain direction. Use painter’s tape to create zigzags, chevrons, or linear designs to paint.

Geometric railing panels, metalwork accents, and custom lighting fixtures reinforce the motif. Just take care not to overdo patterns and clash with other decor.

7. Don’t Overlook Storage

Don’t Overlook Storage

Even the most contemporary staircase can incorporate discreet storage solutions. Built-in drawers under stair treads are great for stashing shoes, accessories, and clutter. Low-profile cabinetry with louvered fronts makes a sleek statement under the stairs.

Floating shelves on stair walls or underneath provide display space in modern materials like steel, glass, or acrylic. Just be sure storage elements share the same minimalist form as the staircase.

8. Play with Proportion and Shape

Play with Proportion and Shape

Consider changing the rise-to-run ratio or tread depths for a uniquely modern staircase. Exaggerated proportions, like very shallow or very deep steps, make a statement. Alternating tread depths also add architectural interest.

Non-rectangular stair shapes, like circles or rounded corners, lend contemporary flair as well. Curving or angling the staircase trajectory breaks up straight lines. These custom changes require professional help but maximize a modern look.

9. Let Lighting Set the Mood

Let Lighting Set the Mood

Task and ambient lighting set the modern mood for a staircase. Recessed LED step lights illuminate the way while enhancing architectural lines. Wall-mounted sconces provide sleek, space-saving task lighting.

Accent the open riser looks with undertreated lighting. For drama, install in-stair LED light strips. Placement on the wall above the railing casts a raking glow ideal for a contemporary style. Smart options like dimmers, motion sensors, and remote controls add high-tech appeal.


With some creative thinking and strategic changes, it’s possible to transform even the most traditional staircase into a modern showpiece. Focus on minimalism, innovative materials, and geometric details to give your stairs an eye-catching yet contemporary look and feel.

Minimalism and modern style are synonymous with each other because the less decorative elements, the better it is. Your ideal modern staircase is ready to rock your house.

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