9 Modern Design Ideas for Stairs and Railing Trends in 2024

October 31, 2023

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Ever since I was a little girl, I have been drawn to unique staircases. My dream was a grand staircase ascending on two sides to meet in the middle and continue to the second floor. Just like fashion trends evolve, so do trends in home design. Staying in the loop, is crucial for keeping your living spaces fresh, stylish, and inviting.

In this post, we’ll explore the latest stairs and railing trends. What’s in and what’s out? From the sleek and modern appeal of horizontal metal cable-steel railings to the timeless beauty of spiral staircases. We’ll explore several options that can transform your staircase into a work of art.


9 Modern Stairs and Railing Trends

Horizontal Steel Cable Railing

Horizontal steel cable railings have surged in popularity in recent years. These steel stair railings bring a sleek and modern aesthetic to staircases. Making the staircase the focal point of the space.

The horizontal cable design adds a sense of openness to the space. It offers unobstructed views, making it an ideal choice for homes with scenic landscapes.

Its low maintenance and durability features make it a great stair railing design for both residential and commercial settings.

Industrial style room with turning staircase in front of large windows for stairs and railing trends post

Source: Pearson Design Group

Furthermore, their clean lines and unobtrusive sleek design allow natural light to flow through. This, in turn, creates an airy and inviting atmosphere.

Unique Metal Spindles with Wood Stair Railings

Metal and wood paired together offers a timeless, warm design. The contrast between the sleek, metallic spindles and the rich, natural beauty of wood railing adds a striking aesthetic dimension. The warm tone wood stain handrail offers a cozy feel to the space.

With its classic look, this interior stair is perfect for a traditional or a modern design home.

Open stairs with tread runner

Source: Bria Hammel Interiors

Pair dark spindles with a dark wooden handrail for an elegant look.

Stairs and Railing Trends: Glass Railing

Glass railings are a defining feature in modern interior design style. They create a transparent and open atmosphere, making any space feel bigger and brighter. By allowing natural light to flow freely, they’re the perfect staircase railing design for small spaces or dimly lit areas.

When designing the glass panels, safety is a top priority. For safety reasons, glass railings typically use tempered glass. Which is exceptionally strong and resistant to shattering.

Large open stairs in front of wall of windows

Source: Giulietti Schouten Weber Architects

If you prefer a little more privacy, you’ll want to look for options with frosted glass. Whether you favor the contemporary look of clear glass or the subtlety of frosted glass panels, glass railings are sure to brighten up your home and elevate its aesthetic appeal.

Stairs and Railing Trends: Spiral Staircase

There’s something mesmerizing about a spiral staircase. An artistic stairs design feature that is not often used. With their unique design, they immediately catch the eye.

Spiral staircases are a great solution when you want to save space while adding a unique touch to your home.

These curvy wonders are perfect for compact homes. They effortlessly link different levels while taking up very little floor space. Whether you’re trying to reach a loft, mezzanine, or connect various floors, spiral staircases do it stylishly and efficiently.

Spiral wooden staircase

Source: J Steven Kemp Architect

As for style, the options are vast. You can go for the classic warmth of wooden spiral stairs or opt for a sleek, modern look with metal and glass combinations. They can be customized to fit any interior style, making them versatile for both traditional and contemporary homes.

Spiral staircases are more than a trend; they’re timeless. They’ve been adding elegance and functionality to homes across the ages. From historic mansions to cutting-edge lofts.

In short, they’re a symbol of smart design, making the most of your space while still making a statement.

Mixed Materials – Wood with Steel

Mixing wood and steel in staircase design is a trend that’s caught fire lately, and it’s easy to see why. This combo is like an artful contrast that grabs your attention. It blends the cozy warmth of wood with the sleek coolness of steel, and the result is captivating.

What’s great about this trend is how flexible it is. It works seamlessly in both traditional and modern settings.

Imagine wooden steps and handrails combined with steel balusters or risers. It’s a beautiful fusion of old-school charm and contemporary vibes, adding depth and character to your living space.

Open stair case with wooden steps and black cable railings for stairs and railing trends post

Source: Dichotomy Interiors

In practical terms, this trend offers endless possibilities. You can go for a rustic look with weathered wood and rugged steel or opt for a polished appearance with classy hardwoods and refined steel elements.

Be creative with your staircase, adapt it to suit your unique style. Whether it’s timeless elegance or cutting-edge modern design. Mixing wood and steel materials adds a touch of sophistication that complements various interior preferences.

Boxed Newels Instead of Round

“Fixed the newel post!” Name that movie. 🙂 Sorry, I just had to. It’s one of our favorite Christmas classics–Christmas Vacation. I will forever think of Chevy Chase when I hear the words-“newel post.” Now that I think about it, the Griswold’s newel post was the chosen newel post design of today. It’s true: trends come and go and usually come around again.

Boxed newels in staircase design is back in the game today. Replacing the usual round newel posts with squared-off ones, will give your staircase a fresh, modern, and clean look.

Open stairs with metal balusters and wood treads

Source: Fiorella Design, LLC

The beauty of boxed newels is how adaptable they are. They fit seamlessly into different railing designs, whether you lean toward a classic or contemporary interior.

By choosing these squared-off posts, you can achieve a unified design that harmonizes with your home’s decor.

So, whether you’re aiming for a timeless feel or a sleek modern style, boxed newels are a versatile choice that effortlessly upgrade your staircase.

Don’t underestimate the role of newel posts. They aren’t just structural; they’re visual anchors that set the staircase’s tone. With boxed newels, you have a chance to make a stylish statement, adding flair to your staircase while keeping it functional.

These squared-off posts prove that even small design choices can have a big impact on your home’s overall look and feel.

Stairs and Railing Trends: Square Balusters

Square balusters have become a key element in modern design. They bring a sense of structure and geometry to your staircase, adding a stylish touch to your home.

What’s great about square balusters is how versatile they are. You can use them in various railing systems to achieve different looks. Pair them with horizontal cable railings for an industrial look or combine them with wood railings for a warm, modern feel.

This flexibility lets you create a staircase that suits your style while keeping everything in harmony.

White stair case with square newel post for stairs and railing trends post

Source: Sogno Design Group

The beauty of square balusters lies in their clean lines and contemporary appeal. They give your staircase a neat and refined appearance, bringing balance and precision to your home’s design.

Whether you want to make a bold design statement or simply add a touch of modern to your space, square balusters offer both strength and visual appeal.

Stainless Steel Cable and Tube

Stainless steel cable and tube railings have become a go-to choice in modern interior design, known for their unique qualities. These railings bring a sleek and minimalist vibe to homes, and they also add a touch of an industrial design vibe.

The beauty of stainless steel cable and tube railings is their versatility. They effortlessly fit into different design styles, from contemporary to traditional. They offer a subtle elegance that suits any setting. Plus, they bring that urban sophistication, giving your interior a trendy edge.

Open stairs with landing in a kitchen

Source: Simons Design Studio

But what really seals the deal with stainless steel is its durability and low maintenance. These railings are built to last and require minimal upkeep. They don’t corrode or tarnish, so they stay looking fresh with very little effort.

In a world where convenience and longevity are key, stainless steel railings not only enhance your interior but also simplify your life, leaving you more time to enjoy your home.

Light Fixture Accents Under Handrails

A hot trend in staircase design is adding light fixtures under handrails or below the treads. This isn’t just about looks; it’s about making your home safer and more appealing.

These fixtures do double duty: they add a subtle glow to your stairs, making them safer to navigate in low light. And they make your staircase look stunning.

But it’s not just about safety and aesthetics; it’s about setting the right vibe. The combination of light and shadow makes your staircase a captivating part of your home.

Whether you’re hosting guests or enjoying a quiet evening, these light fixtures turn your staircase into an artistic masterpiece, adding both function and beauty to your space.

Open stairs with treads lit up

Source: Mur-Sol Builders Inc

For another great way to update your staircase, be sure to check out this great post.

Stairs and Railing Trends: FAQ’s

How much does a modern day stair railing cost?

Depending on the materials being used, prices will vary. Steel railings will run between $3000 to $6000. Where wooden stairs will cost a lot less; starting as low as $800.

Can you use the horizontal steel cable railing on an exterior staircase?

Yes. Cable railings are a popular choice for both interior and exterior railings. They can be used on stairs, decks, and balconies. Horizontal cable railings are a strong design choice for rooftop decks and balconies in urban areas.

Which has more of a modern feel vertical or horizontal rails?

Horizontal rails have more of a modern staircase design feel. Vertical rails are timeless and will be here for the long haul.

White staircase with landing and tread runner for stairs and railing trends post

Source: M House Development

Are wood rails still in style?

Wood stair railings are a classic. They are a timeless trend that will never go out of style. They’re compatible with any interior design style, affordable and easy to install. This makes them very popular in the DIY world.

Will the popular trend of cable railing systems go out of style?

While they’re gaining in popularity now, whether or not they remain an ongoing trend, is anyone’s guess. If you’re looking to play it safe, wood is your best option. Wooden stairs will never go out of style. They are here for the long haul.

What are the safety concerns for horizontal railing options?

Something to consider if you have small children is the ladder effect of horizontal railings. Because of their ladder style design element, they can easily be climbed. For this reason, they have been banned in some commercial areas.

Is cable deck railing more expensive than wood?

In the short term, yes. Cable deck railings will run you more than a wood railing. But because of their durability and low maintenance, they will outlast your wood railing. Making them a better investment in the long run.

Let’s go beyond the design to build something beautiful together!

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