50 Cool Modern Staircase Ideas (Indoor Photos)

Choosing the right type of staircase for your home is a big decision. There are space-saving staircases and then staircases designed to make a splash.

A big part of the decision hinges on how much space you have and your home’s layout. The staircase design happens early on in the blueprint phase because when you change the staircase, you alter the blueprint of the house which is a big change.

Moreover, building intricate staircases can be very complex requiring careful measuring and precise craftsmanship. It’s not something for the amateur to take one except maybe a simple staircase outdoors.

There are a good number of staircase styles to choose from. We set out 10 custom diagrams of different types of staircases below as well as different stair options via material, features and space-saving designs.

Be sure to also check out our “parts of a staircase” diagram and write-up.

Table of Contents [hide]

A. Types of Staircases

  1. Straight Staircases
  2. Quarter-Turn Staircase Diagram
  3. Half-Turn Staircase
  4. Three-Quarter Turn
  5. 180° Turn (a.k.a. Switchback)
  6. Circular Staircase Diagram
  7. Spiral Staircase
  8. Winding (Curved)
  9. Bifurcated
    B. Stair Materials
  10. Wood
  11. Two-Tone Wood
  12. Wood and Steel
  13. Wood and Glass
  14. Granite
  15. Steel and Cable
  16. Carpet
    a. Carpeted Riser and tread
    b. Carpeted tread, wooden riser
    c. Runner
  17. Marble
    C. Space-Saving Staircase Ideas
  18. Built above doors (bridge-style stairs)
  19. Stairs with storage underneath
  20. Stairs with flex/bonus space underneath
    Open vs. Closed Stairs
  21. Fully open (no walls on side)
  22. Partially open (one-wall)
  23. Enclosed (two walls)
    Pin this version for all types of Staircases
    A. Types of Staircases
  24. Straight Staircases
    The straight staircase is the simplest staircase design. There are two types:

Straight, and
Straight with landing.
They’re the easiest type of stairs to ascend and descend as well as build.

However, they’re pretty plain and don’t offer a grand design like a winding or bifurcated staircase.

With respect to footprint, it falls in the middle as to how much footprint it takes up in the home.

See straight staircase photo gallery here.

Diagram of 2 types of straight staircases

  1. Quarter-Turn Staircase Diagram
    The quarter-turn staircase is one where it turns 90° at some point. The “quarter” refers to the degree of turn, not that it turns quarter of the way up.

This type of staircase is great for certain types of home layouts such as one with a foyer where the door is in from the wall sufficient enough to fit in part of the stairs.

It’s more interesting in design than a straight design and the turn means there will almost always be a small landing part way up.

See quarter-turn staircases here.

Diagram of quarter-turn staircase

  1. Half-Turn Staircase
    The half turn takes up a fair amount of footprint and can be grand in design. It turns 180°, but not in a switchback style. The upper and lower parts have a space in between them. It’s

This type can be continuous stairs or offer a landing.

See half-turn staircases here.

Half-Turn Staircase Diagram

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  1. Three-Quarter Turn
    The three-quarter turn staircase is an elaborate design. You need quite a bit of space to build such a design. It include multiple landings and is usually in homes with above-average ceiling height. It wouldn’t look too good to cram all that under an 8 foot ceiling.

See our three-quarter turn staircase photo gallery here.

Three-quarter turn staircase diagram

  1. 180° Turn (a.k.a. Switchback)
    This is a very popular design because it’s a decent space-saver by doubling up. It’s also a fairly simple style to build technically speaking (relative to bifurcated or winding for example).

The downside to this is it’s not all that grand of a staircase. For instance, you don’t get a view of the lower area as you descent like you do with a winding or bifurcated staircase.

See switchback staircases here.

180 degree turn staircase diagram (aka switchback)

  1. Circular Staircase Diagram
    This can be a very grand looking design and is great for taller ceilings.

With computer design software, it’s easier to put together fancy and complex curved staircases for home so you do see this and winding staircases in far more homes today than 50 years ago. Moreover, today’s homes are far larger than 50 years ago so there’s room for grander staircases.

Circular staircase diagram

  1. Spiral Staircase
    The spiral design is a great for a secondary staircase. It’s a space-saving design and actually looks cool.

The downside is it’s not easy to ascend or descent. It’s actually pretty precarious.

The steps attach to a center pole. These can be made with wood or metal.

See spiral staircases here.

Spiral Staircase Diagram

  1. Winding (Curved)
    The winding design is synonymous with grand. Any time curves are involved it’s a more complex design so not only is the staircase curved, but so too is the wall it lies up against.

See our winding stairs photo gallery here.

Winding staircase diagram

  1. Bifurcated
    Bifurcated is synonymous with a luxury staircase. It takes up the most space and makes for a grand entrance. It’s an imposing design for sure. This type would look silly in a small space so only consider it if you have a large foyer that fits it adequately.

This style can be straight like the diagram below shows or curved.

See our bifurcated gallery here.

Bifurcated Staircase Diagram

B. Stair Materials

  1. Wood
    Natural wood staircase with wood riser, tread and railing.
    Natural wood staircase with wood riser, tread and railing.
  2. Two-Tone Wood
    2-tone wood staircase in natural wood and white riser
    2-tone wood staircase in natural wood and white riser. This is a great design effect – the two different colors on tread and riser.
  3. Wood and Steel
    Wood and steel modern staircase. Wood tread with steel support beams and railing.
    Wood and steel modern staircase. Wood tread with steel support beams and railing.
  4. Wood and Glass
    Wood and glass staircase for inside of the home.
    Wood and glass staircase for inside of the home.
  5. Granite
    Granite staircase for modern home.
    Granite staircase for modern home.
  6. Steel and Cable
    Black steel spiral staircase with cable railing
    Black steel spiral staircase with cable railing.
  7. Carpet
    a. Carpeted Riser and tread

Staircase with carpeting.
Staircase with carpeting.

b. Carpeted tread, wooden riser
Staircase with carpet on tread only with exposed wood riser.
Staircase with carpet on tread only with exposed wood riser.

c. Runner
Straight staircase with brown runner
Straight staircase with brown runner.

  1. Marble
    Marble staircase with ornate iron railing
    Marble staircase with ornate iron railing. This is definitely not my style, but if you like ostentatious. this is for you.

C. Space-Saving Staircase Ideas
Below we feature a couple space-saving staircase ideas, but check out our amazing collection showcasing 23 different types of space-saving stairs and staircase ideas here.

  1. Built above doors (bridge-style stairs)
    All wood staircase above entry door with no railing (space-saving staircase)
    All wood staircase above entry door with no railing (space-saving staircase)
  2. Stairs with storage underneath

Staircase with storage drawers built in underneath
Staircase with storage drawers built in underneath.

  1. Stairs with flex/bonus space underneath
    Home office under stairs.

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