With the booming popularity of open living, the staircase has advanced to become a focal point in the house. From being solely an object for usage, staircases have transformed into designer pieces. It is therefore no surprise that over the last few years trends have developed in the area of staircase design. Wood as a natural material is highly popular at the moment, but safety is also becoming ever more important when it comes to building staircases. Here is an overview of the five most important staircase trends in 2016:
Trend 1: Seamless design
When the flooring blends seamlessly into the staircase, it not only looks elegant, but makes the room look more spacious, too. The floor’s surface extends seamlessly along the staircase, creating a unified look that gives it a modern, lavish and prestigious appearance. Interior designers often use self-levelling screed for minimalist styles. Now, the use of wood is becoming more and more popular, as it looks particularly noble and harmonious when parquet flows up or down the staircase, in other words, when the stair treads and risers are panelled with wood or even made completely out of wood. Additionally, wood as a natural building material creates a more comfortable atmosphere than the cool, grey concrete look of self-levelling screed.
Trend 2: Intricate eye-catchers
Modern staircases often make a strong impression with their exceptionally stylish design. The latest big trend is staircases that wind upwards along the wall like an open accordion. These so-called folded plate staircases have connecting steps and risers and no side plates at all. This makes the staircase structures, which are reminiscent of origami art, seem to float. Cantilevered stairs radiate even more lightness, as they reduce the staircase to the absolutely necessary minimum. They consist solely of treads that are anchored without risers to one side of a wall or to a side panel. This transforms the staircase into a work of art. So as not to interfere with the scene, cantilevered stairs are often built without handrails. However, this is not safe. A trick used by savvy planners is to attach glass onto the open side of the staircase. This protects against falling, whilst leaving the open character of the staircase ensemble undisturbed.
Trend 3: The future in mind
Safety is an aspect that is considered ever more important when a staircase is planned. After all, elderly people should still be able to use the stairs even when they are less steady on their legs. The barrier-free staircase – which is actually a paradox, as steps are usually seen as a prime example of obstacles – is coming into fashion. Right from the start, the staircase is planned in such a way that it can be used safely and conveniently, and if necessary be fitted with a stair lift or a platform lift later on. This means that the size and structural design of the staircase must make it possible for a lift to be retrofitted. The edges of the stairs should create a contrast, and a handrail is an absolute must.
Trend 4: Sophisticated lighting
Good lighting also plays a major role for the safety of staircases. Thanks to LED technology, lighting can be put in place almost anywhere: on the wall, on a step, on the handrail or even on the riser. Nowadays, light in almost any colour imaginable is no problem whatsoever. Staircase planners use the manifold possibilities of LED technology to show the stairs in their best light. However, it is important to make sure that the lighting does not cast shadows onto the steps. The best way to avoid this is to use a light source with a wide beam placed on the stairhead. If additional orientation lights are used on the stairs, they must be attached to each step to avoid irritating islands of light.
Trend 5: As individual as possible
What all of these trends have in common is that the staircase is advancing to a well-designed eye-catcher in the interior ambience. Staircases should be just as individual as the interior design of our homes. This is why unusual materials such as glass stairs or coloured surfaces are in fashion: The main thing is that the staircase is 100% in line with your own personal taste and that it fits the architecture of the house. A staircase is something you buy to use for a lifetime, so it should still give you pleasure and joy even after many years.