Tips for designing a custom staircase

Picket size, treads, safety — There are many design elements that come into play when customizing a staircase.

Picket size, treads, safety — There are many design elements that come into play when customizing a staircase. Interior designer Kimberley Seldon highlights some things to consider.


  • Look for a runner that will wear well. A tight weave will make traffic less noticeable.
  • Consider how easy it is to clean, especially if you have children or pets.
  • Have a small staircase? Wider runners help make the staircase feel bigger and more elegant.


  • Larger pickets can help give your stairwell a more sophisticated appearance.
  • Check out your options. There are plenty of shapes and sizes when it comes to pickets, so look for one that suits your house.
  • Consider both wood or iron pickets depending on the look.

Risers and treads:

  • Don’t neglect your treads. You can choose round or square.
  • You can also have fun by experimenting with colours and contrast.

Get the contemporary look:

  • Open treads can give a modern look to a staircase. Just remember the noise transfer that comes with them and the safety factor if you have small children or pets.
  • Adding lights along the treads make the stairs look contemporary while also making things safer.
  • Stone treads can be a beautiful alternative to wood and work well with glass railings.

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