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How to Design a Statement Staircase

A staircase is more than a functional means of getting from one level to another, we believe that a well-designed staircase can be the centrepiece that transforms your space.

Our architect Damon Johns has shared a few key elements that make a successful staircase from years of experience.

Understanding the Purpose

Before designing any statement staircase, it is essential to know its purpose and how it will serve the space.

Is it meant to be a focal point, an architectural adornment, or a seamless integration into your existing scheme?

Typically staircases are located close to the main entrance and are one of the first things visitors will see. With this in mind designing a staircase that is both visually appealing and can also create a real impact.

Choosing the right materials

The selection of materials plays a pivotal role in the visual impact of the staircase. We have designed and created a range of statement staircases from traditional to highly contemporary.

From classic hardwood to sleek glass and modern metal, each material carries a unique aesthetic.

For instance, combining wood and glass can create a harmonious blend of warmth and transparency in a way that allows views beyond the stairs, letting light into the spaces adjacent where a solid stair would not.

Whilst using traditional techniques and design details such as bullnose treads and ramped and wreathed handrails this creates a timeless elegance and sense of grandeur that only skilled craftsmanship can impart.

Embracing Unique Designs

A statement staircase should reflect your individuality and the character of your home. This is the perfect opportunity to get creative! Explore unique designs such as floating stairs or cantilevered steps.

ASJ Design encourages experimenting with unconventional shapes and configurations to add a touch of flair to your interior.

In more contemporary spaces clean lines and an open feel can be created using modern stair techniques. These rely heavily on hidden structural elements so that the final staircase appears to be barely connected to the walls or floor adjacent.

Any underlying structure needs to be incorporated at an early stage with fine tolerances in order to successfully achieve the final goal.


Lighting can make or break the ambience of your staircase. We like to integrate lighting fixtures strategically to enhance the visual appeal and safety of the staircase.

Consider recessed LED lights, wall sconces, or even a stunning chandelier above the staircase to create a dramatic atmosphere.

The correct lighting not only helps navigate the stairs safely but also picks out details to enhance the overall appearance.

Given that a staircase usually opens up views into a double-height space the lighting should be designed to illuminate the whole space in which the stair sits.

Balustrades and Railings

The balustrades and railing serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. We often use intricate wrought iron, minimalist glass panels, or even custom-designed artistic railings that elevate the staircase's visual impact.

ASJ Design emphasises the importance of balustrades as an opportunity for intricate detailing and a seamless connection between the staircase and the rest of the surrounding space.

There are safety rules associated with the size, height and spacing of these elements but if these are followed any number of solutions can be incorporated to frame the stair.

Spatial Integration

To truly make a statement, your staircase must seamlessly integrate with the surrounding space. ASJ Design suggests considering the placement of furniture, artworks, and other decorative elements to harmonise the staircase with its environment.

Any statement stair will rely on the space available around it to set the scene. In large, grand settings the stair could split on a half landing and head off in two different directions creating a symmetrical flight that allows people to pass under it to the spaces beyond.

Alternatively, stairs could start on either side of an entrance space and connect centrally at its high point.

In smaller spaces the vertical element of the stair can be emphasised drawing the user up through a series of turns to their destination.

In conclusion statement stairs whilst asking to be looked at rely on the spaces around them, the use of correct materials in the setting and an underlying design understanding to be truly successful.

If the final stair doesn’t fit space correctly and compromises the movement around it then, while it serves the function of moving people between levels it has failed in being a part of the scheme that elevates the whole space.

The perfect staircase invites you into the spaces above and beyond whilst introducing the visitor to the design language and quality to be found throughout the property they have just entered.


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