Front Stairs Inspiration

By Kealia Reynolds

Exteriors stairs can really contribute—or detract—from your home’s curb appeal. No detail of a home is too small or unimportant to warrant some careful attention, so we’ve put together some of our favorite ideas for your home’s front stairs.

1. Painted concrete stairs

Unpainted concrete stairs absorb water over time, which can lead to premature deterioration. By painting your concrete stairs, you’ll prevent cracking, chipping, and overall wear and tear. Since concrete is extremely porous, use masonry or concrete primer and paints and be sure that the steps are completely sealed before painting. Paint the treads (the horizontal element) a dark color, and the risers (the vertical element) a lighter color to create a sharp, contemporary contrast.

If you paint your exterior stairs black, add another pop of color by incorporating complementary elements, like potted, red chrysanthemums, to the immediate surroundings. You could also add more natural color by weaving a climbing ivy plant through the balusters.

Read more: 9 Ways to Incorporate Concrete Into Your Home

2. Floating concrete stairs

Perfect for connecting your front porch to your garden, floating, or self-supporting, concrete stairs create a modern and industrial look. If you want to soften the industrial notes, consider greenscaping or planting a garden around the stairs. Floating stairs are usually easiest to incorporate into a new home build rather than a remodel since significant work is required to create a strong, supporting framework for floating stairs.

3. Metal steps

Although metal is seldom used in residential staircase construction, it’s a practical material that’s easy to clean and extremely durable. The sharp, clean lines of the metal will create a minimalist, modern feel. To complement an ultra-contemporary industrial look, add a floating metal staircase leading to your garden or backyard.

4. Stamped concrete stairs

If you’re drawn to decorative brick or stone patterns, but don’t want to deal with actually laying the materials, use stamped concrete to give your steps the textured feel of masonwork without any of the hassle. Try mixing two different textures to really make your stairs stand out.

5. Light additions

Adding lights to entry steps is both a practical and decorative touch. Illuminate the stairs from the porch with hanging light fixtures or line the staircase with solar step deck lights. These will increase visibility at night and make your home feel warm and inviting.

Left Monochromatic stairs

Right Stairs painted in an accent color

6. Monochromatic color

Paint your stairs and railings a single color to create a monochromatic and minimalist feel. If your staircase is simple in its design—like this wooden staircase—monochromatic tones will keep unadorned stairs from looking neglected.

7. Accent color

Try picking a single accent color for your stairs and incorporate it throughout the visible space. For example, paint your stairs a crimson red and add red accents to the doors, windows, and railings. You can even add red furniture and planters to make the front of your home stand out.

8. Stone porch steps

While most front porch steps are made of brick, stone porch steps are relatively inexpensive and impart a classic look to your home. Choose from western flagstone, white limestone, and Arkansas creek rock from your local gardening store. Make sure the stair depth and height are consistent for walkability.

9. Tile staircase

For an elegant, Italian-inspired look, line your exterior staircase with black and white tiles. Make sure you use outdoor tiles that can withstand rain, wind, and other harsh elements. Your home may not be a villa on the Aegean Coast, but with a hand-laid tile exterior staircase, it’s the next best thing.

If you want the look of a checkered tile staircase but don’t want to actually bother with tile installation and maintenance, paint a concrete staircase in black and white checks.

10. Plant additions

For a lush, elegant take on a front-entrance stairway, try lining the risers with ivy. The verdant green of the plant looks excellent against the dark brick and makes the whole space more cohesive when placed against the exterior of the home. If you use ivy on your stairs, make sure you’re working with unfinished brick or concrete, as ivy can damage wood, stucco, and paint.

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