You’ve probably never given much thought to the staircase in your home; it just exists. Although you may not realize it, it’s actually one of the most vital fixtures in the entire house and can take your overall style and design to new heights. Whether you sway toward contemporary looks or vintage vibes, there’s a staircase style to match your needs. Here’s what you should consider when choosing or designing a new staircase.

Space and Style

Consider the amount of space you are working with and how much there is to spare for your staircase. This can make or break your decision, as you may have to choose a more compact style or put the stairs in a completely different area than your initial idea. Also consider the overall look of your home. Your staircase should accompany the design, not clash. For example, if your home has a modern aesthetic, perhaps a floating staircase with metal materials would be best.


Your staircase isn’t exactly the cheapest part of a build or remodel. You need to determine how much you are willing to spend, and if a specific style is possible based on your budget. Nothing’s worse than having to pause mid-build due to lack of funds.


Your staircase is an awesome opportunity to create additional storage space in your home, whether that means a large closet for storing coats and shoes, drawers and shelving for items you don’t use often, or even a bookshelf added in on the side.


Don’t forget to take safety concerns into consideration when choosing your staircase style. Who is actually going to use the staircase? If there are elderly family members or children frequently using the stairs, you’ll want to include handrails and avoid slippery surfaces.

Different Staircase Styles

There are five main styles of staircases:

  1. Straight – These steps are pretty straightforward (literally) and feature a single linear flight, with no change in direction.
  2. L-shaped (Quarter-turned) – This is a more eccentric take on the straight stairs, with a 90-degree turn at some point, going left or right after a landing.
  3. U-shaped (Half-turned) – Similar to the L-shaped style, a landing separates two parallel flights of stairs. However, in this style, the bend is taken even further to form a full U shape (similar to the stairs in an office building, or a hotel).
  4. Spiral – The most compact style of basic staircases, the spiral is centered around a single pole. If you look down at it from above, it forms a perfect circle. These can be more difficult to navigate, but offer a really sleek and quirky design.
  5. Curved – The curved staircase is continuous, with no landings like the L or U-shaped designs. The stairs follow the bend of the banister and make a striking, sophisticated architectural statement. They tend to take up much more space than other styles.

Be sure to select a material that suits the staircase style as well. Common materials include wood, wrought iron, granite, glass, concrete, or carpet. Choose your style and material base on your vision, your home’s overall design, and the space and location you’ve decided on for the feature. The right staircase design can really bring your home to new heights.

Need advice? The experts at Sandy Spring Builders will walk through your entire home design with you from inception to completion. Call today!

Take a look at some beautiful stairs by Sandy Spring Builders.