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Beautiful Wooden Staircase Design Ideas for the Modern or Traditional Home

Wooden stairs in a wooden house. Architecture and design.

A wooden staircase design evokes strength and beauty like nothing else. A magnificent mahogany staircase acting as the centrepiece of your hallway can provide showstopping elegance in the traditional home, while a compact beech staircase brings light airiness to the modern home.

As experts in all things stairs and stair accessories, we’ve compiled this guide on different wooden staircase ideas for every style of home and the different aesthetics and benefits that different woods offer.

The Unique Benefits of a Wooden Staircase Designs for Homes

Wooden staircases have a popularity that has endured for many, many years. Wood is one of the most popular materials for stairs for good reason. Wooden staircases constitute beautiful, timeless designs that add a classic authenticity to the décor of any property. 

One of the many benefits of wooden staircases is their versatility in terms of interior design and how they can fit into the look and feel of the rest of the home. The beauty that wood brings can enhance a contemporary or traditional home like no other material. It’s a fantastic choice for a staircase if you’re thinking about a new one and is easy to redesign and decorate if you have an existing one. 

Timber is more affordable than other materials like metal or concrete, without any compromise on quality. The superior structural integrity of wood means you don’t need to worry about high foot traffic or wear and tear.

Which Type of Wood Is Best for a Staircase?

Each type of wood has its own particular personality and is able to bring something different to your hallway. Here are some of the most popular types:

Oak stairs

Oak is probably the most popular timber. It’s sturdy and beautiful and can be worked easily by hand or machine to fit or bend into unique spaces, which makes it a great material for curved staircases. The natural finish of an oak staircase is high-end and very appealing.

Natural ash tree wooden stairs with railings.

Ash stairs

Ash hardwood is lighter and straighter in grain than other woods and can take different stainings and finishes very well. Though not as sturdy as oak, ash is still very strong and is more affordable, too.

Pine stairs

Pine is a softwood that is very commonly used for furniture because of its easy-to-work quality. The porous nature of the grain means it can absorb different finishes more easily, so is a great choice if you’re looking to really customise your staircase. Though pine gives a pleasingly rustic look and is very sustainable, it is more prone to scratches or dents due to its lightweight, inexpensive nature, so do keep this in mind.

Maple stairs

Maple provides light, natural hues which can help brighten up a space. Maple is mid-range in price and is very durable. Hard and soft maple varieties mean there are several options if you’re thinking of installing a staircase in this material 

Walnut stairs

Walnut is another wood with dark brown hues that can bring rustic warmth to a room. Walnut boasts irregular wood grain patterns that can look very striking. It’s more expensive and slightly less durable than other woods, but the unique colouration can really bring something different to your home.

Mahogany stairs

Mahogany has a stunning reddish-brown colouring which brings traditional elegance to a home and takes very well to stains or glosses. The rich, deep hues of mahogany provide a sophisticated aesthetic and will stand the test of time, darkening gorgeously with age.

What material you go for depends on the look and feel you’re hoping to achieve as well as your budget and the foot traffic you expect in your home. Have a look through our specific interior design ideas below to get inspiration for what kind of wood staircase is ideal for your space. 

Traditional Wooden Staircase Designs

Invest in carpeting

A traditional wooden staircase can really benefit from carpeting. Carpet runners in particular lend a luxurious aesthetic to a wooden stair while coming with the added benefit of protecting the wood from foot traffic. Not only this, but a carpet runner can add a sumptuous feel underfoot for deluxe cosiness. 

Don’t forget your carpet accessories

If you’re installing a stair carpet runner, you’ll need a way to secure it properly. Stair rods are beautiful accessories that bring a classic look to your staircase and come in a variety of finishes. They bring an elevated aesthetic and you could even match them to your spindles for a really put-together look. Stair clips, too, are a traditional Victorian accessory that enhances this aesthetic to bring truly ornate stylings.

Change your staircase spindles

Replacing the spindles of your stairs is one of the easiest design changes you can make. Adding wrought iron spindles to a dark mahogany staircase, for example, gives an ornate Victorian look to the traditional home. Have a browse through our staircase spindle ideas to learn how else you can transform your staircase.

Modern Wooden Staircase Designs

Get some cable railing

Bring a cool industrial look to your wooden staircase with cable railing made of stainless steel. A cable railing could be a chic addition to a spiral staircase in a loft space, for example. 

Paint your staircase

Most woods take to paint well, and this is a simple and cost-effective strategy. A white-painted stair is bright and modern. Contrasting colours create a pleasing aesthetic that makes for a great focal point. We have a comprehensive guide to painting wooden stairs if you’re looking for more advice or painting ideas.

Install a glass balustrade

If you’ve got a modern, open plan home, adding a glass balustrade to your staircase extends this wide-open look, allowing natural light to shine through. A glass balustrade is also fantastic for smaller homes as it creates the illusion of more space while adding safety to your stairs. 

Read through our oak staircase decorating ideas for even more stair design inspiration. 

Spruce Up Your Wooden Staircase With Our Stair Accessories

We offer a premium range of stunning stair accessories that can enhance an existing staircase.  Our superior selection of stair rods, stair clips or carpet studs can transform the look of your staircase with easy installation and quality design. 

If you’re thinking of a wooden staircase design, why not look to the rest of your hallway and revamp this important section of your home, too? Our skiffers and door threshold strips add the finishing design touches that make all the difference. 
If you’re searching for even more inspiration for a wooden staircase, read our timeless wood stair ideas that will never lose style.