Many modern staircases are designed as an eye-catching feature of the home. They typically have clear and elegant lines, and use a variety of materials and components. Modern stairs often use a combination of different materials such as steel, glass and timber for a striking effect. They can be straight, curved, spiral, u-shaped or angled. Modern staircases can also have more than one set of stairs (flights) and landings. The staircase can also be open or closed. A staircase is open when the treads have gaps between them, and closed when they do not.

There are also many types of handrails, whether continuous or wall mounted. Wall mounted handrails can be curved or straight, while continuous handrails are designed as well handrails, wreathed, swan necks and ramps, curved with intersections, or curved and ramping.

The key characteristics of modern architecture include incorporating materials made widely available during the industrial revolution such as steel and glass. It was a style that originated in the early twentieth century and really took hold post-World War Two. Other characteristics include simplifying form, eliminating unnecessary ornamentation, and following the principle that ‘form follows function’.