Staircases function as a means to get from one floor to another, but that doesn’t mean they have to be limited. A fabulous stairway can be a beautiful accessory, like a stunning necklace that perfectly complements an evening gown.

Today’s range of stairways has nothing in common with the 1970s and 80s closed-in sheetrock half-walls topped with a wood cap, which made spaces look smaller. New designs open up your home’s space and serve as a point of interest. “If a stairway is visible from the living area, it becomes a focal point,” says Matt Doolittle of Michigan Stairways.  “It can become a work of art, and it brings a lot to the house.” A gorgeous stairway can increase the value of your home as well as add to your enjoyment of it.

The staircase design is often the first thing people see when entering your home. Sleek, modern, traditional, or rustic, staircases can reflect your personality as well as your home’s style. Your top consideration should be space: not every type fits in every home. If you want to achieve a grand entrance, look for a curved design that will showcase the railings and any other unique features. Spiral designs offer a quirky, whimsical feel. After determining your staircase’s function and shape, you can choose the style and materials to achieve the overall look you desire.

Metal or floating wood steps are modern options, and pairing opposite styles of treads and railings create an interesting mix, such as industrial metal railings with wood treads. Staircase railing designs with clear glass sides, cables, or horizontal tubing are trendy right now and focus on horizontal lines, which enlarge the visual space and add more depth.

Doolittle noted that depending on the complexity, building a stairway can be very involved, taking from one to four weeks to complete.

Think about the possibilities…perhaps a reimagined staircase is just the ticket to make your home seem fresh and new!