Custom open-wall staircases are fast becoming a favorite feature of ultramodern interiors, the sharp engineering and artful construction bringing beauty to an otherwise utilitarian feature of the home. They can serve as interactive sculptures or as beloved pieces of furniture in their own right. This post features 25 unique staircases that push the boundaries and demonstrate inspiring creativity, ranging from interior architecture masterpieces to functional ideas you'll want to try at home. Are you one of those lucky enough to be unbound from walled-in stairwells? You just might find your next source of stair inspiration right here.
First, let's start with one of the most popular styles, commonly referred to as a single-stringer or floating stairs. This staircase wraps around to the glass-floored mezzanine level, its light wood treads ensuring the staircase accentuates the simple interior design.
The classic bookshelf and staircase combination is a timeless favorite. This one is for a children's play area. Note the open-bottom design to accommodate the child's cars like little garages - so cute! The open-bottom design might work well as a sanitary way to store outside shoes too.
This stairway is part of a hotel complex. The wall texture makes an immediate impression, but the stairs feature the subtle flair of clever lighting. Cove LEDs and recessed lights illuminate the way up to the second floor of this incredible space.
Bubbled glass and ripple wall tiles create a decorative backdrop for these bold concrete stairs. Both lightweight patterns emphasize the visual weight of the treads in contrast to their gravity-defying cantilever arrangement.
Fascinating and artistic - variation in the tread housing and the division of the rail guard create an optical illusion that makes the stairwell look larger as it continues toward its summit. Careful attention was paid to ensure the brightness of the upper volume shines through to illuminate the lower levels.
Here's another playful take on geometric handrails, this time combined with a useful shelving arrangement. The shelves actually feel like an integral part of the staircase rather than an afterthought to take up extra space.
Curved independent treads work their way around a U-turn, adapting their shape as they go. The result is as practical as it is gorgeous.
A single string staircase cuts a sharp profile against the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in the background. The warm treads seem to stand out even more even against the colorful books on display.
There's always more than one way to combine a bookshelf and a staircase. In this home, vertical wires shield the bookshelf from the rest of the room with only the slightest gap beneath.
Open treads allow the passage of light, an important feature within the context of a design theme that revolves around being as bright white as this one. Without the open treads, the space beneath the stairs would have been quite dark and only a built-in solution could have banished the shadows.
Clever storage beneath and minimalistic cantilever construction above - this staircase feels substantial at the base but transitions to a lighter design to preserve the light and the landscape view.
Channeling the wire geometry trend, this otherwise straightforward staircase gains a more energetic character with the addition of its open divider wall. The industrial Workstead chandelier is a nice companion piece.
Keeping a low profile to preserve the gorgeous view of the backyard, this staircase definitely offers an unforgettable perspective as one climbs up through the open atrium living space. The concrete steps at the base are a distinctive touch.
Made with a similar streamlined open-tread form as the last staircase, this one is distinguished by its completely suspended design resulting in an illusion of weightlessness. The guard wall actually anchors the stairs to the next level.
Here's another staircase with a remarkable floating effect, this time with an ultra-modern twist. The treads give the effect of a flat transparent ribbon folded over itself to form a passage to the second story. The suspension wires are ultra-thin to prevent obstruction of the landscape.
Super-compact staircases are so cool and versatile. This one uses an alternating tread pattern to minimize its footprint while maximizing surface area for the foot of the climber. Even the handrails look streamlined and efficient, with pleasing angles relative to the rest of the piece.
Partially closed handrails help this staircase blend in to the white wall behind it, with a blank white canvas hung in the void to punctuate the very clever effect. The light wood treads are only visible through the smallest gaps between each tread and each handrail segment.
Monolithic black slabs make up the construction of this jaw-dropping staircase, illuminated by a row of double-ended brass lights for effect. Together these two elements contribute to a sophisticated and mysterious aesthetic, but this staircase seems like its mood would easily adapt to any dramatic style the designer wanted to employ.
Sometimes walls just can't be avoided but this staircase definitely makes the most of its narrow quarters with its series of eye-catching triangular supports.
Cantilever meets suspended staircase design with this fascinating composition.
Truly, an example of a staircase as interactive sculpture - glossy layers fold into one another, spiraling around a wavy central column, ascending into the circular concrete opening above. Perhaps those who prefer handrails or dislikes heights wouldn't want to take the full home tour but almost anyone could appreciate the artistic appeal.
Minimalistic yet eye-catching. This ultra-modern staircase includes its own hallway made out of the walls of its suspended design.
This fully wood-paneled staircase boasts plenty of storage space below. Shelves of all sizes could accommodate just about any object the owners wished to display.
Located at the Hotel Les Haras in Strasbourg, a property appreciated for its historical details, this staircase turns ordinary wood boards into a fluid sculpture brimming with movement and life.
These chunky blocks take a strong shot at gravity, spiraling around a compact central point. These wooden steps were actually designed to be easily assembled by any handy person, its mesmerizing balancing effect created with glue and steel rods.