The Petit Palais (Small palace) in Paris, France is a museum with a staircase that is as sculptural and awe inspiring as some of the pieces themselves. Just look at the railing return at the base of the staircase, the metal scrollwork is quite elaborate.
Here is a view looking down as the stairs descend to the main level. The smooth lines on the stone steps and overall oval shape of the sweeping staircase create a very elegant focal point.
Here are some details of the metal work.
As light and breath-like were the steps in Paris, this interesting grand staircase in Lello Bookshope in Portugal stands ominous and heavy.
The steps are like two channels pouring and swirling to a single point. You can see a video of the staircase if you click here.
This side view gives you a closer idea of the immense curves and giddy sinking feeling to each step.
How does this translate to your home? Generally speaking, most homes do not offer a 20′ x 20′ location for the grand foyer staircase you may see in a luxury home. However, with attention to detail and selecting certain materials, your set of stairs can be inspirational. This staircase designed by Julie Charbonneau is beautiful; all that is required is a handsome metal railing, and paneling detail moldings.