There is no greater eye candy than a magnificent staircase to make a massive first impression into a home. Staircases can be great statement pieces but also very expensive.
Here are five iconic staircases that use different materials to create amazing looks; tricking the eye into spacious and artistic grandeur. You can’t necessarily copy the scale of this grandeur but you can pick out the materials and make them work for you!
Once home to the founder of Chanel, the staircase that runs up the three-storey apartment block was where Chanel’s timeless creations were formed. Although the staircase might not be regarded as an architectural masterpiece, its role in the fashion world makes it one of the more recognizable and iconic staircases.
The elegant, curved staircase that runs along a mirrored wall is where Gabrielle Coco Chanel would sit and watch as her new collection was presented. Here she could watch, out of sight, as she observed the reaction of the audience as the clothes were being modeled.
Mirrors are a fantastic option. They open up staircases and give the illusion of a large, spacious hallway. You can do this by fitting mirrors along the wall of your staircase. Using large mirrored panels gives the illusion of a much wider staircase, doubles the amount of natural light into the space and imposes a sense of grandeur by duplicating all the beautiful features of the hand rail.
Measuring your space and getting custom cut mirrors for your space is probably the least expensive solution. Keeping this mirrored surface clean is definitely a downside, but are now mirrors with protected surfaces, reduce the workload completely. If the custom built solution seems too difficult you can do a trial run with a very large mirror before you commit to spending a lot of money on a new staircase.
The sense of grandeur is still there.
If mirrors are not the look you want, what about using quilted stainless steel sheeting? This slick industrial look could work well; giving you the look without using mirrors.
Designed by Steve Jobs himself, the innovative glass staircases are featured in every Apple store across the world. However, the spiral staircase that stands centered in the Shanghai flagship store takes Jobs’ incredible eye for detail to a whole new level. The glass creations are a true reflection of 21st-century design and architecture.
The company secured a patent for the design in October 2013 (which includes the design, method of construction and materials used) and the staircase is now featured in other flagship stores including the Fifth Avenue location in New York.
The spiral staircase wraps around a glass cylinder, which is built by curved slabs with glass fins that hold up the circular roof. Attaching each glass panel together requires more than just metal joints – a special laminating process is required to strengthen the clamps and ensure stability.
Each piece of the structure is designed specifically for its purpose and positioning, breaking all conventional architecture techniques and, as a result, is detailed in the patent.
You can recreate this look a few different ways without breaking the bank.
You can add a glass railing. It makes your rooms look more spacious and is a great way to create the feeling of more natural light. Depending on your home or apartment, its easy to add to your staircases, without starting from scratch.
You can achieve the same look a few different ways while keeping with the style of your home but still creating that grand hallway look.
Add a touch of contemporary to your home by installing glass balustrades to your balcony, landing or staircase.
They might not be a majestic spiraling staircase found in a royal palace, nor be some innovative architectural wonder but never-the-less Rio De Janeiro’s Selarón’s Stairs are on our list because the artwork that covers each step from top to bottom.
This national masterpiece is in fact a personal tribute to the Brazilian people from Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. The mosaic tiles that cover every inch of the staircase are inspired by the vibrant colours of the Brazilian flag. The staircase connects two neighborhoods (the Santa Teresa and Lapa) and consists of 250 steps, featuring tiles that were salvaged from urban tips or construction sites throughout the city (however in the later years the tiles were donated by visitors). Selarón began working on the steps in 1990 and continued to work on his ever-evolving masterpiece until his death in January 2013.
You can tile your stair risers in so many different ways. Simple and elegant or full of color and fun to match your home and decor.
You can even cheat and use these mosaic stickers to create the same look.
Or use peel and stick tile backsplash like this!
You may not be able to create a masterpiece with thousands of pieces of rubble, but you can always purchase a mosaic piece of artwork or a selection of vibrant paintings to brighten up your hallway.
There are many reasons why you might want to make a trip to Vatican City, but one aspect you have to take note of is the sprawling wrought iron staircase in the Vatican Museum.
The impressive handrail was a creation of Giuseppe Momo in 1932 and is in fact made up of two spiraling staircases that curve seamlessly into a double helix.
You can add wrought iron to your staircases in a very modern or traditional way. The parts are available for simple structures or you may need a custom creation. Either way, they look beautiful.
The first geometric self-supporting spiral staircase in Britain, the Tulip Stairs are much admired for the masterful detailing of the elegant flowers in the wrought-iron balustrades. In fact, these flowers are not tulip but fleurs-de-lis – the emblem of the Bourbon family to whom Queen Henrietta Maria was a member.
Of course, much like any grand English home, you may bump into a ghost, and the Queen’s House is no different. The ghost of Reverend R. W. Hardy is believed to reside on these stairs and has even been caught on camera.
About The Author
Andy Rutter has a great appreciation for quality design and architecture, in particular spectacular staircases. You can learn more about his own work on steel and glass balustrades and find out how you can install some innovative designs in your home.