9 Best Modern Staircase Designs

While staircases are functional by nature, many architects use them as an opportunity to introduce a graphic design statement to their projects.

Here, we've gathered 9 particularly interesting staircases from our community's homes—all of which act as works of art while playing a necessary role.

Selected homes were submitted by members of the Dwell community through our new feature, Add a Home. Add your home to Dwell.com/homes today. 

1. Mako

Architect: Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects, Location: Amagansett, New York

From the Architect: "This 2,500-square-foot structure was designed for a multi-generational family. This is an upside-down house. The entry stairs lead up to the glassed-in entry stair, which leads up to the main living, dining, and kitchen areas. The master bedroom is also on this floor, taking advantage of the ocean views. The lower level is made up of the entry and a series of poolside bedrooms, all with individual access to the pool and deck. Although the house is small, there are a variety of spaces and activities to fulfill the needs of the family."

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2. Modern on the Marsh

Architect: Kevin Brown Architecture, Location: Cape Elizabeth, Maine

The owners of this property wanted a home that was contemporary, innovative, minimalist, and energy efficient. The floating steel-and-wood stairway is a design focal point that's visible from most areas of the open first-floor plan. A steel-and-wood catwalk at the top of the stairs bridges the interior space. 

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3. Sugarhouse Studio

Architect: Jespersen Design Associates, Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Located across the street from a city park with expansive mountain views, this Salt Lake City home was developed around the idea of a rooftop deck. With an interior layout like a multi-story loft, the architects designed and built a steel stairwell that's powder-coated a glossy white and has the same wood flooring as the main level for the treads. 

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4. Toodyay Shack 

Architect: Paul Wakelam, Location: Perth, Western Australia

In the Toodyay Shack, brick integrates perfectly into the mixed-material, industrial space in Western Australia.

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5. Patio House

Architect: rzlbd, Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The detached staircase of this minimalist two-story wood structure made from unfinished hot-rolled metal sheets is sculpture-like—animating the space by creating a sense of suspended movement throughout the house. The tempered glass sheets around the stairs lead up towards the skylight ceiling that floods the stairwell with natural light. 

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6. Cliffside Residence

Architect: Specht Architects, Location: Austin, Texas

A major renovation of a deteriorating property from the 1970s, this home sits suspended on a narrow limestone ridge halfway down a cliff overlooking Lake Austin. Designed to enhance the drama of the unusual natural setting, a sequence of stairs descends throughout the three levels of the house, revealing views of both the lake and the limestone cliff. 

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7. House in Akiya

Architect: Nobuo Araki / The Archetype, Location: Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

This two-story coastal weekend home belongs to a Tokyo-based photographer and his family. Perched on a slope where the mountains meet the sea, it's designed to incorporate a photogenic interplay of light and shadow. Windows cast light on the flat concrete walls and understated wooden staircase. 

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8. The Dual House 

Architect: Axelrod Architects, Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

This duplex was built for two families who are close friends and partners in a construction technology solutions business. The goal was to design two different single family houses—each with its own unique plan—while maintaining a unified and coherent architectural element. The balance and minimalism used throughout the property is beautifully exemplified by this elegant staircase.

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9. Lakeshore Residence 

Architect: Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Builder: Texas Construction Company, Location: Houston, Texas

The dramatic setting of this 2,834-square-foot glass, hemlock, and lightly burnished stucco residence offers sweeping views of the landscape and contributes to an effect that makes the house look like it's floating above the cove and water. Similarly, the interior spaces flow within its open-plan layout, and an airy, suspended steel staircase ascends to the upstairs bedrooms. 

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Add a Home 

We're excited to announce our new, free Add a Home feature that enables anyone to easily create a beautiful page that showcases a home or home project in front of the amazing and highly engaged Dwell community. For architects, designers, and proud homeowners, adding a home is the best and easiest way to submit your home for Dwell editorial consideration, both online and in the magazine. Now architects, interior designers, realtors, builders, and homeowners can easily showcase their homes and projects on Dwell. See Featured Homes.

Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Dwell Contributor
Jennifer Baum Lagdameo is a freelance design writer who has lived in Washington DC, Brooklyn, Tokyo, Manila, and is currently exploring the Pacific Northwest from her home base in Portland, Oregon.


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