Going Up: Beautiful & Unusual Staircases

In many homes, the staircase is regarded as purely functional – a way to get from one floor to another. Being a sucker for a good staircase, I think that’s a terrible shame! With a bit of creativity, the stairs can be a focal point of your home even if you don’t have a structurally gorgeous set like this one:

Via priceypads.com

I’ve always dreamed of a sweeping double staircase. Too bad I don’t have the salary to get me a house with one!

But it’s okay – there are lots of ways to turn a drab staircase into a fab one. Check out these design ideas and add some flair to your stairs!

DIY stair design

If you are not in the market for an entirely new staircase, you can spruce up your existing one pretty easily.

I love the clean, sharp look of two-tone stairs, with one color for the step surface and another on the risers. Coordinate the railing for a complete two-tone staircase:

Ombre is in these days, and these steps, complete with DIY instructions from DesignSponge, are just beautiful:
Via designsponge.com
Via designsponge.com
If painting or resurfacing’s not your thing, try tiling for a colorful Mediterranean-style staircase (especially striking on outdoor stairs):
No time or money to paint or tile? Don’t want to make a dramatic and/or permanent change? That’s okay too! You can wallpaper the risers and have a cool pattern that’s entirely removable when you get sick of it:
Unusual staircases
If you’re lucky enough to be able to put in a new staircase, a floating staircase is minimalist and modern. Just proceed with caution when you’re tired or a bit tipsy!
Via mentalfloss.com
Via mentalfloss.com

Storage staircases

If you’re short on storage space, the staircase is often a treasure trove of extra room (no, don’t keep your nephew in there a la Harry Potter).

Use it for book storage (bonus: grab a book on your way up to bed!):

Staircase library
Bookshelf staircase, via toxel.com
Bookshelf staircase, via toxel.com

Build clever multilevel storage into otherwise wasted space:

Storage stairs, via freshome.com

You can even tuck a bathroom under there!

Fun staircases:
The folks at Volkswagen have proven that people are more willing to get exercise and perform other dreaded tasks when they’re fun.
And finally, I think that every kid (and kid at heart) would want this staircase – I know I do. Sure beats sliding down the banister!
Slide staircase
Slide staircase

Have you ever come across a fun, unusual, or exceptionally beautiful staircase? I want to see it!