Charlie Luxton shares his advice for renovating a staircase

Stairs can and should be one of the main features of your home. From Georgian and Victorian beauties to the refined efficiency of mid-century modern, they come in all shapes and sizes and offer the opportunity to flex design ambition, create space and flow, and function as a smart device to enhance the light of the day.

However in some homes they are an anti-climax, a disappointment and too often, when a home has been refreshed and remodeled, the stairs remain intact, seen as too expensive or difficult to modify. Don’t fall into this trap! There are clever ways to reimagine or change an idea of ​​scale without the cost, hassle and dust of tearing it up and starting over.

(Image credit: Future PLC / Colin Poole)

Imagination is the limit, with the areas I focus on first being light, color, arrangement, spindles and handrails. Stairs are all about connection, not just allowing people to move between floors, but providing a vertical void across a building that allows daylight from level to level. Often located in the darkest parts of a home it means that even a small window or roof light, placed correctly, can flood a dark staircase or hallway with light and accentuate height and space.

renovate staircase with black color e

(Image credit: Future PLC / Brent Darby)

Cutting some roof joists and creating a beam of light through a loft to a skylight can be transformative in a home. Many people focus on daylight in the main rooms, however the bright and naturally lit circulation spaces are just as uplifting. This approach has the added benefit of creating a very effective way to get rid of unwanted heat in the summer. High spaces create excellent ventilation as the rising warm air is high enough to create a “pile effect” with the escaping hot air sucking in cooler cool air.

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