Curved metal stairs add drama to contemporary projects. George Stavropoulos, president of Canal Group Builders, in Washington, D.C., chose an oval shape for this staircase that leads to a loft and roof deck. He says that although oval staircases are more difficult to design and build because every tread is a different size, the result is “an exciting design — it’s more gracious.”

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Curved stairs can add a touch of modern drama to homes. Here are some examples.

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The oval shape is also better suited for contemporary designs. The owner of this condominium wanted a modern look to replace the traditional oak stairs in her two-story condominium foyer. Stavropoulos used glass treads that allow light to flow from the roof deck to the lower level.

For a Houston townhouse project, Dillon Kyle’s clients wanted a stair that was “light and airy” with clean lines. The Houston architect, principal of Dillon Kyle Architecture, says that the existing stairs were angled and more “abrupt.” “To me, things on a diagonal are a hallmark of speculation building,” he says.

The new circular stair that connects three floors is compact and doesn’t have a landing, so it takes up less space. Kyle collaborated with interior designer Brian Beatty on the design. An early design included a metal handrail, but fabrication would have taken too long, so Kyle and Beatty opted to use wood.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.