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Sourcing a Staircase: A Comprehensive Guide

By Maison Bretagne

How to choose the best staircase for your home ?

Staircases are not just functional elements within a building; they can also be works of art and design marvels that enhance the overall aesthetics of your space. Whether you’re renovating your home, building a new one, or simply looking to upgrade your current staircase, sourcing the right one is a crucial step.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of sourcing a staircase that suits your needs, style, and budget.

1/Determine Your Needs and Style

The first step in sourcing a staircase is to define your needs and personal style. Consider the following factors:

a. Functionality: What is the primary purpose of the staircase? Will it be the main access point between different levels, or is it more decorative? Understanding the function will help you choose the right type of staircase.

b. Style: What is the overall style of your home or space? Your staircase should harmonize with the existing design or set the tone for your renovation. Do you prefer a traditional, modern, or contemporary style?

c. Space: Assess the available space for the staircase. This will determine the staircase’s size and configuration, ensuring it fits seamlessly into your home.

d. Budget: Establish a budget for your staircase project. Staircases come in a wide range of price points, so having a budget in mind will help narrow down your options.

2/Types of Staircases

Understanding the various types of staircases will help you choose the one that best suits your needs:

a. Straight Staircase: This is the most common and straightforward type of staircase, ideal for homes with limited space.

b. Spiral Staircase: Known for their compact design, spiral staircases are visually striking and are great for small spaces.

c. U-Shaped or L-Shaped Staircase: These staircases offer a more elegant and grand appearance, making them suitable for larger homes.

d. Floating Staircase: Minimalistic and modern, floating staircases create a sense of openness and are often made from materials like glass, wood, or steel.

e. Curved Staircase: Curved staircases are visually appealing and can be customized to suit various design styles.


3/Materials and Finishes

Choosing the right materials and finishes for your staircase is crucial for both aesthetics and durability. Some common materials include:

a. Wood: Traditional and timeless, wooden staircases come in a variety of wood types such as oak, maple, and walnut.

b. Metal: Steel, iron, or aluminum can be used for a modern and industrial look.

c. Glass: Glass staircases create a sense of transparency and openness. They work well in contemporary settings.

d. Stone: Natural stone, like marble or granite, adds a touch of luxury and elegance.

e. Concrete: Ideal for an industrial or minimalist design, concrete staircases are durable and can be customized with various finishes.


4/Custom vs. Pre-Fabricated

Decide whether you want a custom-made staircase tailored to your specifications or a pre-fabricated one. Custom staircases offer more design flexibility but can be pricier, while pre-fabricated options are quicker to install and may be more budget-friendly.

The photos below show a project carried out in 2020 to design, manufacture and supply a wooden and metal bespoke staircase for a client. We worked with a specialist menuisier in Normandy, Antoine, who was able to follow our design direction and produce an aesthetically pleasing set of stairs which worked perfectly in the space.


5/Safety and Building Codes

Ensure that your chosen staircase design complies with local building codes and safety regulations. This includes handrail height, baluster spacing, and step dimensions. Safety should always be a top priority when sourcing a staircase.

6/Choose a Reputable Supplier

Selecting a reputable supplier or manufacturer is crucial. Look for reviews, check their portfolio, and ask for referrals. A reliable supplier will guide you through the process, provide accurate quotes, and ensure quality craftsmanship. 

There are a diverse range of suppliers of staircases available in France, you just need to know how to look for them. For example, you can easily find off the shelf models in Leroy Merlin, Brico depot or one of our favourites is Lapeyre

The mid range market manufacturers such as Raux-Gicquel can provide a more bespoke service within the limit of their available stock of materials and design range.

High end staircases in France tend to be designed and built using specialist menuisiers which you can find around your area. Maison Bretagne have used such small bespoke menuiseries as Menuiserie Cole, based in Normandy.

The stairs below were designed by the Maison Bretagne Interiors team in collaboration with Raux-Gicquel


Maison Bretagne engaged the services of a local artisan to make and install the simple stairs shown below to give access to a basement renovation in Dinan. The reason why we used a local smaller menuisier was because there were certain structural elements around the staircase that needed reinforcing and our local contact was able to carry out these works in conjunction with the installation. 

All works shown in our photos were guaranteed for 10 years under our own and the artisans decennial insurance.


From RosieEllis in DESIGN

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