21 Dec 2016

Complement your self-build with these latest staircase trends


Nick Bligh, Group Technical Manager at JELD-WEN, comments on which stair trends will be big for 2017.

The great thing about installing stairs in a self-build project is that it’s possible to create a truly bespoke staircase that can either seamlessly blend with its surroundings, or stand out as a unique focal point.

There are a whole range of different materials, styles and finishes to choose from and whether you are opting for a traditional or more contemporary style, bespoke elements are becoming increasingly popular and will continue to be on-trend this year.


Encompassing a high level of detail, the trend for ‘fusion staircases’ is easily achievable by combining two contrasting materials to create a feature that really stands out. Pairing traditional timber stairs with iron spindles can create a contemporary spin on a classic look, or to create an open feel, switch timber spindles for glass panels.

Allowing you to achieve a unique style, manufacturers such as JELD-WEN can help you to create stairs in any design, size or specification. This means you can choose from a huge range of beautiful balustrades, spindles and newels, as well as an array of caps to create a staircase that suits you and your home perfectly.



Light the way

Lighting for staircases is increasingly popular in homes. Planning ahead will deliver much better results than trying to design lighting around an already-constructed staircase. Answering some simple questions during the design phase can help deliver the perfect result when the staircase is built and the lighting is installed.

The critical decisions concern what exactly it is that you are trying to light. Our eyes are drawn to what we light, so look for the elements that make the space or structure interesting and concentrate on those. If you want to emphasise the vertical plan, either the walls or vertical elements of the staircase, you’ll take a different approach to one lighting the horizontal plane of the treads. A sinuous, curved staircase may require a totally different treatment again.

A shadow gap construction, where the staircase is set slightly away from the wall and the gap lit with a concealed continuous light source, can create a sense of a floating staircase. Lights set into the wall or the staircase string can produce a wonderful light across the treads. A lit handrail – where the light is located under the handrail, shining downwards – can create a dramatic line of light up the wall. Make sure you consider the angles and where the lights sit in relation to how people climb the stairs; choose LED fittings with angled optics or glare-guards to minimise glare. If walls or strings aren’t an option, look at fittings set into the tread. There are beautiful floor-recessed fittings that can shine a light sideways across the tread for a magical effect. If the staircase is in an open space, consider lighting the staircase from below as well. Lighting from above and below will emphasise the structure.



Sophisticated stripes

Over the past 30 years, Roger Oates Design has turned elegant, timeless stair runners into an art form. Narrow widths, textured flatweaves with a finished selvedge edge are ideal for stairs. Woven on traditional looms, the supple nature of 100% wool flatweave enables it to be expertly fitted on winders, resulting in a perfectly upholstered, tailored staircase.

Signature stripes are a popular choice. So simple yet hugely versatile, they are equally at home in all styles of architecture from heritage spaces to urban lofts. Understated fine, parallel lines in muted, subtle tones continue to be popular, but more and more consumers are choosing bold, broad bands and borders across a more vibrant colour palette to make a dramatic opening statement.


And for those who are increasingly requesting something totally unique, Roger Oates Design offers a bespoke service. All of the existing flatweave designs can be woven in wider or narrower widths and re-coloured in customers’ own colours for those that want that extra degree of individuality.


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