A balustrade is a railing that runs alongside a staircase and prevents a person from falling over its edge. Balusters are vertical posts that typically support a bannister or handrail above, balusters traditionally have a lathe-turned form that results in a bulbous and curving profile.
Although often focal points of interior settings, balustrades can be relatively similar from home to home. In this lookbook, we have highlighted 10 alternative balustrades that bring a non-traditional and statement look to homes.
This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring maximalist interiors, homes that use tiles as a decorative feature and interiors with ornate ceilings.
A staircase that runs through the home was bounded by a seamless, perforated balustrade that is constructed from a singular sheet of material. The perforations within the balustrade contrast against the square and angular shape profile of the staircase.
Titled Mo-tel House, the home has a brightly coloured interior scheme with a geometric and boldly coloured staircase. Its vertically slatted balusters were painted pink while a bright yellow handrail folds over and into the staircase’s end post.
The home was designed for Lebenthal and his family and was organised around an exposed concrete party wall that hosts the metal staircase that runs through the home. Steel rods stretch between each floor of the home and were fixed to and intersect with the outer edge of the metal-folded tread.
Architecture studio Gundry & Ducker fitted a cantilevered staircase into this 1970s house in London.
Its balustrade is comprised of green-painted vertical rods that run the entire length of the staircase and a one-piece wooden bannister that was placed on top of the green balusters and pierces through an overhanging lip on the tread of the base step.
Angular brass rods, arranged in a zigzagging formation, flank the sides of this staircase that ascends above an open-plan living and kitchen area in a north London townhouse.
The home was designed by architecture studio AOC within a contemporary family home. It has an open-plan design with its brass-wrapped staircase used to divide the ground floor living spaces
Architecture studio AOC incorporated a negative relief-style balustrade into the staircase at Hearth House in Golders Green.
On the upper levels of the staircase, the profiles and silhouettes of traditional spindle balusters were laser cut into plywood sheets creating voids where ornamental spindles would sit. Elsewhere, a lamp extends from the handrail of the bannister.
The mesh brass bannister zigzags along the side of the concrete stairwell from the front door of the home through to its first and second floors. As a result of its perforations, light can travel through the bannister and filter into the monolithic stairwell.
A full-height ash bannister, which was pierced with circular cut-out openings lines a wooden stairwell that connects two storeys of an Edwardian house in Lewisham, London.
Architecture studio R2 Studio mimicked the stair profile when creating the hole pattern across the ash bannister, incorporating larger holes at eye level for both adults and children. A groove was cut into the opposite side to form an inset handrail.
A red metal staircase at designer Remi Connolly-Taylor’s home in London has a weightless look. It has a red folded tread that sits on top of the home’s stone floors. Besides the tread, a tubular, pipe-like hand rail-cum-balustrade has a similarly weightless look and protrudes from the ground and follows the profile of the steps below.
The staircase is encased within a glass block-clad stairwell that Connolly-Taylor explained was used to bring light into the interior while also providing privacy from neighbours.
A wooden staircase sits at the heart of this home, which was renovated by London-based architecture studio 6a Architects. Thin tapering spindle-shaped balustrades were organised at alternating angles creating a wave-like rhythm across the entire staircase.
The bannister and balustrade were made from oak and have an unfinished, rustic quality that ties the staircase to the home’s original beams and textural stone walls.
This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring deliberately unfinished interiors, maximalist interiors and walk-in wardrobes.