21 Spiral Staircases That Will Make Your Head Spin

It’s not just efficiency designers are after when creating these circling steps. Whether minimal and industrial, opulent or traditional, the spiral staircase can be a dazzling decorative addition to the home.
21 Spiral Staircases That Will Make Your Head Spin

At Villa Nirvana in Miami Beach, designed by Brown Davis Interiors, both the powder-coated metal staircase and the selection of furniture and art were crucial to creating balance in the space. As partner Todd Davis puts it, “The concept of the staircase was to create an artistic yet functional spiral staircase to help fill the volume and decorate a very large two-story entry foyer.” Photo by Ken Hayden

This staircase, fittingly named “Concrete Ascension,” was transformed by Scarpidis Design for this year’s Kips Bay Decorator Show House. The concrete wallpaper is juxtaposed with the plush carpeting on the stairs and wooden bannister. Photo by Costas Picadas and Kohler

Manhattan-based James Huniford has created a name for himself in the world of masculine, bohemian design. Case in point: An award-winning penthouse on Bond Street whose wooden and metal grate staircase adds an industrial edge without obscuring the space’s bright, open feel. Photo by Nick Johnson

A staircase in a Parisian home designed by Pierre Yovanovitch seems to be sleek and simple, but it’s surprisingly complex. The designer says, “Making this particular structure was a technical feat — the staircase (which took four months to build) had to be lowered down into the space through the roof. It’s made of white gypsum with pale solid oak and spirals down a five-level atrium of a townhouse near the Eiffel Tower. This work is literally the backbone of this house.” Photo © Jean-François Jaussaud

Designer Stephen Shadley, known for his luxurious estates for celebrities like Diane Keaton, created an elegant, winding stairwell for a spacious duplex on Columbus Circle in Manhattan. The monochrome walls and carpet form a silken, velvety envelope for the graphic black and white staircase. Photo by Scott Frances

Parisian interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot maintained the Hollywood glamour of this 1930s Los Angeles home by the legendary architect Paul Williams. A Curtis Jeré-styled brass Brutalist pendant lamp and a bright red Maison Jansen-style writing table add a pop of color to the classic foyer, with its black and white checkered tiles and sweeping spiral staircase. “Stairs are the first and last impression of a house,” Deniot says. “They need to be stately but adequately discreet at the same time, as there are many other more important spaces to discover beyond this one flight.” Photo by Jon Coolidge

Timothy Brown added a jolt of jewel tones to a stairwell in the 2017 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. “The runner going down the stairs starts on the landing above in a starburst,” he says. “It was a way of keeping the stairs engaged in the whole space and dynamic as the viewer walked up or down. People tend to look down as they walk stairs . . . and it was often a surprise to the viewer to catch the pattern at the top of the stairs.” Photo by Alan Barry Photography

“An inspiring art collection takes center stage among both vintage and bespoke pieces in this modernized prewar family home,” Manhattan-based designer Amy Lau says of this Park Avenue triplex. A hanging sculpture by Gego and a blue slashed canvas by Lucio Fontana pop in the minimalist entryway. Photo by Thomas Loof

A minimal, geometric staircase linking a master bedroom to a secluded dressing room provides dramatic contrast to the stately classical bones of a Parisian Left Bank Hôtel Particulier. “We used concrete and wanted it to look very polished . . . like stainless steel,” Michel Bismut of Bismut & Bismut says of the staircase. Photo by Francis Amiand

Architect Allan Greenberg built this coastal Connecticut home for clients who have an affinity for the mid-19th-century Greek Revival residences of the American South. The inspiration is most notable in the classical staircase that swirls up three levels towards a cupola, which sheds natural light into the central rotunda of the home. Photo by Wade Zimmerman

A surprising collection of inspiration and materials were combined to create a stunning custom staircase in this late Victorian townhouse in West London by Peter Mikic. “We were looking for a ribbon-inspired spiral to break the traditional spiral,” says Mikic. “The central spiral is Zebrano veneer with Portland stone treads. The balustrade was inspired by an old bank lift door we found in a yard.” Photo by Kate Martin

Peter Pennoyer demonstrates his skill for crafting exquisite staircases in this French Modern townhouse in New York. He says, “sleek classical architecture that becomes increasingly light as the rooms rise through the house . . . wide pocket doors and book-lined sitting areas carved out of the landings of the elliptical stair create the spirit of an open and relaxed floor plan.” Photo by Scott Frances/OTTO

Seen from below, the staircase of a California home by Landry Design Group echoes its maritime surroundings, both in its conch-like swirl and the pale blue color reflected in the glass banister. And best of all, the railing doesn’t block the view. “This playful modern house is built over three levels on a steep hillside and uses a series of sweeping arcs to fully capture the dramatic views from the ocean to downtown and the canyons beyond,” according to the firm. Photo by Erhard Pfeiffer

This North California hilltop home by Allan Greenberg features a “semicircular projecting entrance, a center hall with a flying circular stair and a two-story domed garden room.” The silvery plum-colored carpet that spirals up the staircase accentuates the lavender walls. Photo by Michael Biondo

The main staircase in House at Blue Water Hill by Robert A.M. Stern Architects does a stellar job at channeling the home’s lofty site, located 300 feet above Compo Beach in Westport, Connecticut. The shingle-style home has, as the designers put it, “a casual feel reminiscent of early twentieth-century beach houses in Maine or Nantucket.” Photo by Peter Aaron/OTTO

Allan Greenberg had the opportunity to completely recreate the interiors of this 1760s New England home, whose exterior masonry shell was the only thing that remained after a devastating fire. A traditional elliptical staircase, with a graphic black banister and white spindles, leads up to bedrooms on the second and third floors. Photo by Jonathan Wallen

Peter Pennoyer exerted his expertise in classical architecture with the renovation of this Italianate row house in New York. The seemingly infinite upward spiral of the home’s staircase is central to his plan. “The new plan is centered on a round stair which is screened at the first floor by freestanding Corinthian columns,” Pennoyer says. Photo by Eric Piasecki/OTTO

When Mexico City-based Sofia Aspe was presented with the opportunity to renovate a classic residence in her hometown, one of her first thoughts was the stairs. “The stairs were rebuilt curved since originally they were square, and we custom-designed the banister in wrought iron,” she says. The placement of art was key to appointing the newly carved-out space. She adds, “The painting on the wall is from Mexican artist Marco Rountree. The center sculpture is from English artist Daniel Silver.” Photo by Alfonso de Bejar

Philip Mitchell took an artful approach to the grand staircase at the 100th year of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in 2015, inspired by, he says, “the grand-scale and classic architectural details featured in the stair hall of the Arthur Sach Mansion.” Mitchell sourced an impressive array of art, including pieces by Marcel Vertès and Hunt Slonem, and he transformed the space into an art gallery-esque version of the traditional stairwell of family photos as an homage to his late mother’s elegant and refined style. Photo by Timothy Bell

Adjacent to the buzzing Covent Garden Market is a luxurious sanctuary where the stairs play a critical design role. To unify the two floors and add visual interest to the double-height reception area, Londoner Kelly Hoppen opted for two metal ribbons that run from the entrance stairs, up to the mezzanine and spread along the corridors. Photo by Mel Yates

For a home in Algarve, Portugal, Lisbon-based designer Cristina Jorge de Carvalho combines industrial materials and organic forms in her custom Ellipse stairs, constructed from a black iron railing and oak steps. The curving stairway contrasts with the rectilinear pattern of the natural bateig blue stone walls. Photo by Francisco Almeida Dias

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