Modern Stair Railing That Goes Far Beyond the Basic Style

Modern stair railing is a necessary part of your home’s architecture if you have stairs. It is important, even required, for safety purposes. But you don’t have to sacrifice your style for a cookie-cutter stair railing.

Modern Stair Railing

Most staircases are perfectly functional, but jazzing up the railing on you interior stairs take the space to a whole new design level.

Modern Stair Railing Design Ideas

Here are modern stair railings that enhance the style and décor of the surrounding spaces while still fulfilling their functionality. That’s a win-win.

Charming Nautical Rope Railing.

Charming Nautical Rope Railing.

This is a creative example of stair safety that makes a stylish statement. A light monochromatic color palette helps the unique silhouette and shadows of the rope railing stand out.

There is a good choice of angular lines throughout the space – in the furniture, rug, and even in the “waterfall” effect of stair treads and risers. We also love the detail of the excess rope knotted and hanging on the wall as though it is, in and of itself, a piece of artwork.{found on Riley Architects}.

Traditional Closed Riser Stair with Clean, Contemporary Railing Lines.

Traditional Closed Riser Stair with Clean, Contemporary Railing Lines.

Gorgeous woods are awesome on a staircase, because the wood is exposed from multiple angles. This particular staircase combines Brazilian cherry (risers) and jatoba (treads). It would be a shame to incorporate any railing that detracts from those beautiful materials.

The beauty of this stair railing, with its open sawtooth-style iron stringers, is that it uses simple design to enhance and showcase the stair treads’ beautiful craftsmanship. Overall, the effect is stunning.{found on specializedstairs}.

Twisted, Torqued Wood Railing.

Twisted, Torqued Wood Railing Design

These stairs themselves look like they might be something out of a Dr. Seuss book (in the best way possible), with their gentle twisted spiral effect. But the ultimate detail that puts these particular interior stairs over the top is the twisted look of the wood at the center curve.

In a tall, narrow space that is all white and neutral, it’s this kind of architecture that makes the staircase space something special.

Easygoing Coastal Stair Railing.

Easygoing Coastal Stair Railing.

This stair railing successfully intersects a laidback, beach-style, greyed-out wood that looks like driftwood. These interior stairs have cottage, barn, or farmhouse appeal thanks to the “X” design.

It’s a versatile statement, however, with its elements of modernity with slim cable safeguards running horizontally. The treads match the railing for continuity in the look, which is a good idea design-wise, because there is a lot going on with all the crisscrosses and lines.

Modern Stair Railing with Cable Steel

Modern Open Riser with Cable Steel Railing

In a completely modern, minimal space, the stair railing should definitely reflect that style. This modern staircase accomplishes this to perfection. Open risers provide greater visual freedom through the space and keep the open, airy flow and feel.

We love that there is a clear view, not only through the stairs themselves but also through the stainless steel and cable stair railing. The metals are a great choice here in combination with the whites and medium tones of warmer wood. {found on theuncommonlaw}.

Industrial, Small-Space Shelving Railing.

Small-Space Shelving Railing

This design is decidedly unique and quite thrilling. The railing is open without being fully open. And it’s an excellent choice to pair a wooden stair railing with what appears to be concrete treads. It creates a kind of urban chic, industrial vibe without feeling like a cave or a box.

This stair railing gives an interesting, almost honeycomb, feel to an otherwise enclosed space.  It’s a modern aesthetic that creates the illusion of windows. However, it also provides critical small-space function and modern aesthetic architecture.

Contemporary One-Tone Stair with Metal and Wood Railing.

Contemporary One-Tone Stair

Whenever a staircase is long, or there are multiple staircases that come together, a visually lightweight stair railing is a good design choice. This is because it does not weigh down the entire space.

These railings in particular remain true to the home’s style. The stainless steel has its contemporary look, but even more than that, the railing appears to have an adjustable mechanical system. The its screws and fittings somehow bring presence to an otherwise architecturally simple space. {found on elementalarchitecture}.

Simple, Elegant Railing.

Simple and elegant railing

The interior design of this space leans toward the simply elegant. It has a large glass and a brass pendant hanging from a high vaulted ceiling. Along with that, the tall detailed baseboards and door panels in a simple white tone are a stylish statement. The wrought iron railing with a simple, elegant design is the perfect complement to this staircase project.

The scale of this railing mimics the pendant in the same visual plane, further adding cohesion to the scheme. This is an understated, sophisticated choice.

Balanced, Eclectic Staircase & Railing.

Balanced and Eclectic Staircase

When your modern stair design is the focal point of a space, you’ve got a prime opportunity to make it worthwhile. This is a perfect example.

The juxtaposition of a thick, chunky wood tread with a discernable wood grain against slender, vertical cables is spot-on. The stainless steel cables play off of the wood and the elements enhance each other as well as the home’s style.

The accent wall with its slim black-and-white wallpaper print is a nice combination with the slim cables as well.  It all comes together in a lovely blend of yin and yang.

“Invisible” Glass Modern Staircase.

Invisible Glass Modern Staircase

This elegant, glass modern staircase is a visual stunner. However, it’s also an impressive architectural design. Each stair is supported on one side only, cantilevering out of the solid wall. On the other side of the stair treads, two floor-to-ceiling rectangular sheets of glass act as stair railing.

The effect of the thick glass stair treads “floating” in space and the glass railing is brilliant and minimalist. This modern stair setup makes the entire space fabulous.

Minimalist wood railing with built-in handrail

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

You can actually see this modern staircase if you ever visit the Bloomberg office in Hong Kong. Studio Neri&Hu designed it.  These interior stairs are super simple with clean lines but at the same time they stand out in a great way.

The detail that makes this staircase so special is the built-in handrail design.  It becomes part of the wall on one side and part of the wooden stair railing on the other.

Unique staircase railing made of Lego pieces

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

There’s a saying that you can pretty much build anything out of Legos.  Given the wide variety of pieces that they offer, it’s true. Looking at this amazing staircase project from studio I-Beam Architecture.

This entire modern stair railing is made out of Lego pieces, even the newel posts. It has little windows that you can see out of and little bits of color sprinkled throughout. There’s even an integrated handrail.

Built-in handrail with hidden lighting

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

It’s the little details that often make designs stand out. In the case of this wooden staircase project from Fraher Architects, that comes in the form of hidden accent lighting.

The warm LED lights put an emphasis on the built-in handrail. Not only does the lighting make it more visible at night, but it also gives the entire staircase a modern, sophisticated appearance.

Spiral staircase with glass railings and lights

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

Quite often, the interior stairs become a focal point for the overall space. So, why not build on that idea and use it in your favor? That’s the idea behind this beautiful design from studio Archways.

This staircase project has a spiraling and sculptural shape. Underneath, the landing is a pedestal with built-in LED lights. As it curves and twists, the transparent glass railing follows its shape. The sleek attached handrail accentuates the design.

Classic staircase with modern glass railing

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

This modern home has a staircase that is simple with a classic, fairly traditional design. What helps it stand out and gives it a modern appearance is the glass railing.

The clean, transparent glass and its subtle blue tint contrast with the wooden stairs. It helps keep the staircase looking bright and airy. This is a design from US Glass Fence.

Wood, glass and stainless steel staircase

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

Most staircases can be a prominent feature, like the one in this beautiful interior from by Amanda Martocchio Architecture.  The stylish look is in part due to the palette of materials.

The combination of wood, glass and stainless steel gives the interior stairs a robust but lightweight and airy appearance. The glass railings and the slender handrails work together to frame it without obstructing its sculptural design.

Cantilevered stairs with backlit handrail

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

Most staircases have a railing so it’s unusual to see one without a safety railing.  In fact, this is one of the reasons this exquisite design is so special. Studio Paulo Martins Arquitectura & Design created this staircase that takes minimalism to a new level.

Floating cantilevered stairs that make their way up alongside the wall have a handrail that almost completely blends into the wall during the day. At night the handrail is illuminated and highlighted with a soft and elegant glow. This style of modern stair railing has no newel posts and is ideal for a modern home

Floating staircase with desk and glass railing

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

The staircase design you see here responds to a limited amount of space and a desire to combine multiple functions into one spot.

Studio Swisterski Design came up with the idea of a wooden staircase that has a solid and sturdy base. It then transitions into a series of floating stairs treads with an almost invisible glass safety railing. But that’s not all. They also integrated a minimalist desk underneath the stairs.

Staircase makeover featuring a curved metal railing

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

This staircase started out with a very traditional design including a classic railing with ornate wood posts and white pickets. Studio Odami helped transform this entire entryway with a more clean and modern aesthetic, meani thatng the staircase no longer suited the surroundings.

They replaced the railing with a minimalist, solid white wall that curves gently as it reaches the landing. It’s topped with a short metal railing that has a very sleek and lightweight design.

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

Coastal staircase with rope handrail

The rope handrail is a staple of coastal and beach-style interiors and for good reason. It fits perfectly and it adds texture and style to the staircase and the space around it.

Here’s a beautiful coastal cottage entryway from Kate Jackson Design which showcases a nautical rope handrail that twists and curves as it follows the stairs. It’s absolutely perfect for this space and it also stands out by having this rather unusual shape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How much does a railing stair cost?

The cost of modern stair railing depends on the materials used to make it. In general, the cost per linear foot, including labor, for the least expensive option is wood at $30 to $75. Aluminum styles will run from $70 to $80 while steel goes for $60 – $110. Wrought iron railing costs from $100 to $900 and custom options can go up from there.

How many types of railings are there?

On a basic level, there are just two main kinds of railings, handrails and guardrails.

Which steel is better for railing?

In general, 304 stainless steel is the best choice for interior stairs. Not only is the look modern, but it’s also sturdy and long-lasting.

What are stair posts called?

The vertical pieces that connects the stair to the railing are called newel posts. Spindles are the prices between the posts and are the safety system for the staircase.

What color should stair railing be?

Unless you have a bold color scheme going, most experts recommend choosing a neutral color for modern stair railing. Black or dark brown are good choices and pair well with other materials in the stairs.

Should stair railings match floor?

Matching your staircase and flooring is not essential but coordinating them is. Choose materials and finishes that blend well and go with the overall design of your home for the next modern stair railings.

Modern Stair Railing: Conclusion

Interior stair railings are necessary for safety but can also be a marvelous design element, especially in a modern home. Choose a unique railing that fits the style of your home and create a fabulous entry space to welcome friends and family.