5 Modern Stair Projects We Love

What makes a staircase modern? Opinions vary. Some say it’s the infill choice, the type of railing and posts you use to hold up your handrail. Others say it’s the stair treads. One clear mark of modernity is the open riser staircase. This design uses spaces between each stair step to create that minimal look that’s become such a classic hallmark of modern design.

No matter how you define it, modern stair design is all about innovation and creating fresh ideas, without sacrificing safety or longevity. There are many different styles of contemporary stair design. Here are a few of our favorites.

Endurance Rods for a Contemporary Home

The owners of this modern home needed to install a stairway. The placement meant that the stairs would act as a separator between the kitchen and dining area. Using a traditional staircase would block off the two rooms, obstructing the open-concept look of the home. So, they chose to go with a modern floating staircase.

The system shipped quickly, and installation was a breeze. We shipped our thick stair treads pre-drilled, so they were easy to install on site. Viewrail Cable with upgraded Endurance rod infill came with easy-to-follow instructions showing how to tension and set up the system, so the entire process was painless for the homeowners to work through themselves.

What We Love About This Modern Look

The final look is incredible. We love the way this stair system keeps the cohesive, open-concept look of the home. Hidden fasteners keep all the tensioning screws and technology out of sight, so all you see is the thin, straight lines of the rods. Plus, the white oak floating stair treads complement the wood floors and table in the home. This was truly an ideal location for a floating staircase.


The homeowners also had a need for a corrosion-resistant railing system for their outdoor balcony. They used stainless steel rod railing, posts, and handrail. Every part of the system is made from high-quality metal that will hold up to all kinds of outdoor elements — rain, snow, and even salty spray. And, the sleek lines of the rod railing mean that when you stand on the balcony, you can appreciate the view of the city.

Want this Look? Here’s What You Need!

Fearless DIY-er Gets a Stair Railing Makeover

We partnered with the lovely Angela Rose for her stair railing renovation. Angela is a blogger and Instagram influencer who uses her creative DIY projects to show people how to improve their home on a budget. She started a home improvement site to document her intense, often descriptive and highly inspirational projects. We met Angela when she was getting ready to tackle a staircase renovation. She upgraded her railing with Onyx rod infill, paired with a sleek wooden handrail, to transform her space.


angela rose


What We Love About This Railing Makeover

We were amazed by the before-and-after of this project. Angela’s original staircase was surrounded by traditional white balusters with wooden kneeboards and railing. Although it was a sturdy staircase, the look was blocked-off and outdated. The relatively small area of the staircase, combined with the kneewall, made the space look cramped and tight.

Angela chose to replace her vertical wooden balusters with Onyx rod infill. Complete with matching stainless steel posts, the system is the essence of modern stair design. Black powder coat creates a clean, striking contrast against the white walls and kneeboards. The wooden handrail ties in with her gorgeous wood floor to keep the look from becoming too industrial. Even better, Angela was able to complete this whole renovation on a budget, and the final look is modern, safe, and kid-friendly.


Get Inspired  Angela’s List of Products

Check out her Instagram account to see the complete Before and After!

Whitewashed Floating Stair Treads

In Long Island, New York, this modern floating staircase comes with a twist that takes it to a whole new level. The customer ordered red oak thick stair treads, then added a whitewash finish to make the treads float right in with the monochromatic theme of the room. They brushed the steel mono stringer with a white powder coat to match. The texture of the red oak treads matches the wood floors around, creating a sleek, contemporary look.

whitewashed treads


The entire system arrived ready to assemble and the prefab modern stair kit presented no difficulty to install. The customer simply added the whitewashed finish on the job site before putting together the stairs. Straightforward instructions came with the stair system, so it was easy to tension the rod infill and install each post.

What We Love About This Design Choice

We love the creativity of this stair design. On its own, the open riser staircase makes a powerful artistic statement, but combined with red oak treads and a whitewash finish? The final product just screams modern. Plus, the unique coating allows the stair treads to blend in perfectly with the surroundings. It’s a monochromatic look, sure, but the stair treads simply pop.

With a classic wood handrail and surface mounted railing posts, this project goes to show how the floating stair system can be customized for a cohesive, contemporary look.

What You Need To Get the Monochrome Look

Switchback Stairs for a Westhampton Home

The owners of this home in Westhampton, New York chose to install a switchback floating staircase to transition from one floor to another. They used our jet black Onyx rod infill paired it with a black powder coated stringer. Wooden handrail and thick stair treads keeps the look warm and inviting.

switchback hampton

The beautiful thin lines of rods run up the stairs and along the balcony, creating security and modernity all at once. Outside, the owners used the same black rods paired with surface mount posts and aluminum handrail to secure their balcony. It’s a cohesive, contemporary look that will last for years to come.

What We Love About These Stairs

Viewrail Cable Railing with Onyx rod infill was the perfect way to bring the future to this home. We love the way the rods glide up two flights of stairs, and enclose the balcony at the top. The sleek onyx powder coat catches your eye as soon as you walk in the room. It’s a statement without being overpowering. Better yet, the infill allows you to see in every direction no matter where you are standing on the staircase or balcony. This preserves the open-concept look of the space, and keeps everyone close.

Get the Sleek Onyx Look

Pennsylvania Law Office Turned Mid-Century Modern

The owners of the beautiful space worked closely with our team of designers and engineers to create an exact product to fit their modern law office.

Pennslyvania law office

They needed a staircase that could maintain their open-concept office design and compliment the industrial brick walls. But they also needed something that would reach all the way up to the high ceiling. The switchback design was exactly what they needed.

What We Love About This Office Renovation

We adore the 1950s look of this office space. The exposed brick walls and ornate ceiling tiles radiate beauty that needs to be shown off, not hidden away. With clear-coated walnut treads, handrail, and landing platforms, this modern staircase was exactly the right design to complete the office. The open riser stair treads allow light to stream through the whole building, while acting as a divider between the kitchen and seating area. And, the powerful metal mono-stringer provides safety for the stairs, while accenting the brick walls perfectly.

Products Used to Create This Look


Today’s modern staircase is far more than a utility to get you from one floor to another. Instead, the stairway has become a true work of art. They’re used to enhance a space and create a striking focal point for the eye.


We hope you enjoyed this recap of our favorite modern stair projects. There’s lots more inspiration where that came from on our Viewrail Gallery. And if you’d like to talk about how you can bring the future to your home with a modern staircase, get in touch with us today.