Oct 12, 2023

7 Colorful Staircases to Brighten Any Home

By Marius Thies

Staircases are often seen as little more than passageways, which is why they tend to receive less attention compared to living areas, kitchens, and bedrooms. However, these colorful staircases prove that the area can be both functional and striking. These days, more designers and architects are choosing to create stairs with attitude and style, opting for a simple motto: the more color, the better. If you’re ready to upgrade your staircase, here are seven inspiring examples—from boldly eccentric to somewhat restrained, and located everywhere from small apartments to larger houses where floors are now elegantly and colorfully connected.

Strong stripes in vibrant hues.

Rhonda Drakeford chose a different color combination for each set of stairs in this London townhouse.

Rhonda Drakeford, founder of London-based Studio Rhonda, loves geometric patterns. Her passion is evident in one of her latest projects: a four-story London townhouse renovation. For the walls of all the rooms, she relied on pastel and primary colors which are used again in the staircase to visually connect the different floors. The asymmetrical distribution of the color blocks makes the house feel even more animated.

To be continued: The tiles used on the villa's floor continue up the staircase.

This home is full of warm earth and terracotta tones and proves you can make a colorful impact with a softer palette. Here, the tiled floor—which was designed by Werner Aisslinger for the Balearic tile producer Huguet—continues up the stairs to the upper floor of the otherwise gleaming white villa.

Decorative elements can climb the stairs too. In this example, Claesson Koivisto Run integrated the stairs directly into a curved built-in shelf.

The architectural firm Claesson Koivisto Rune created an equally seamless transition in a villa in the outskirts of Stockholm. The library's custom-made shelving unit and the staircase appear to be a single structure as both are painted in the same earthy burgundy color.

Step on up: Manuelle Gautrand designed a cast concrete staircase in pink for her Paris apartment.

When renovating her attic apartment in Paris, architect Manuelle Gautrand decided against a traditional staircase to connect the living area with the mezzanine and bedrooms. She wanted to avoid the apartment looking too stereotypically Parisian, and so she opted for these asymmetrical pink steps. For an even more intense look, she had the wall behind the staircase painted in a sunny yellow.

Simply red: Architect Michaelis Boyd created this floating metal staircase for a London apartment.

By Erika Owen

By Rachel Davies

By Eva Morell

Metal stairs painted in bright colors create a wonderful study in contrasts. Architect Michaelis Boyd designed a cherry-red staircase made of perforated metal for a London apartment. It stands out dramatically against the white walls and hardwood floor.

This sunny yellow element illuminates the entire apartment designed by architect Giuliano Marchiorato.

If a staircase with a delicate railing doesn't provide enough of a color pop for you, then a metal staircase with a solid railing in the form of a short wall may be the perfect solution. An excellent example is this shiny yellow staircase that architect Giuliano Marchiorato installed in an apartment in Curitiba, Brazil. Here, it's not only the steps that bring a bright element into the space but also the adjacent half wall that extends down to the floor.

A pale blue spiral staircase brings a light touch to an Antwerp apartment.

By Erika Owen

By Rachel Davies

By Eva Morell

A spiral staircase is a popular choice anywhere where space is tight. Better yet, by painting it a bright hue, it provides a colorful accent. In a brutalist apartment block in Antwerp, for example, a cofounder of the architecture firm Studio Okami chose a pastel blue spiral staircase for his apartment, creating a dramatic contrast with the gray of the concrete walls.

A yellow spiral staircase in a Barcelona apartment fits a lot of color into a small space.

The Brazilian architecture studio Arquitectura G also used a spiral staircase for their design of a Barcelona apartment. The team chose yellow as the dominant color in the home and provided a concentrated dose of it with the spiral staircase.

Candy colors bring life to this British home.

The bright theme of Office S&M's staircase extends to built-in cabinets.

For their Mo-tel House project, a private home in England, British studio Office S&M didn't hold back one bit. Instead, the studio mixed colors that convey a number of different moods—pastel pink, lemon yellow, Prussian blue, and cherry red accents—to create a bold and truly maximalist take on the colorful staircases trend. The dynamic look is grounded by the natural wooden floor, while even the ceiling is painted in a colorful pale green.