Flights of Fancy

Scarlett O’Hara understood the dramatic impact of a sweeping staircase; so did Rocky Balboa. Here at Design NJ, we do too. There’s nothing quite like a grand set of steps to make performance art out of everyday activities. Dinnertime? Descend with dignity á la Downton’s Lord Grantham. Late for work? Scurry over steps á la Cinderella. (Except, you know, keep your shoes on.)

We think every day should have some element of fantasy to it. Here are some striking stairwells perfect for spurring the imagination. As for reality, we’ll think about that tomorrow.

  • A softly-rendered woodland scene turns descending this staircase into a dream sequence.

    Photo: Randy Ingram, Design NJ December 2004/January 2005

  • Wrought iron swirls create a graceful border on stairs and landing.

    Photo: Marisa Pellegrini, Designer: Bobby Bernheim, Design NJ April/May 2005

  • If you’re going to make an entrance, make sure there are flowers and crystal waiting for you.

    Photo: Patricia Burke/Design NJ August/September 2005

  • This curved staircase complements the vintage look in the foyer below.

    Photo: Rosemary Carroll/Interior Designer: Alice Lawrence/Design NJ October/November 2005

  • An iron railing ups the drama in this grand formal living room.

    Photo: Peter Rymwid/Designer Ginny Zonfrilli, Allied Member ASID/Design NJ February/March 2013

  • A free-floating, curved staircase is the focal point of this space.

    Photo: Peter Rymwid/Designer Sandra Lambert, ASID/Architect: Salustro Partnership Architects Design NJ June/July 2013

  • Dark rails and white spindles help these stairs stand out—and coordinate with the furnishings below.

    Photo: Peter Rymwid/Designer: Karla Trincanello, CID, Allied Member ASID Design NJ December 2013/January 2014

  • The ceiling is intriguing, but the staircase and its artistic railing are scene-stealers.

    Photo: Peter Rymwid/Designer: Kathryn Tafaro-Platt/Architect: peter Dorne, AIA Design NJ June/July 2008