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Unique Newel Post Ideas for a Spruced-Up Staircase

Hardwood Newel Post Staircase Classic Style Interior Steps Stair

Newel posts can be thought of as bookends for the staircase. They are the vertical posts or beams that sit at the top and bottom of a flight of stairs and can also be found at key junctures in a staircase, like when it changes directions. 

The primary function of a newel post is to support the bannister or handrail of the stairs. However, they can also set the tone for the look of your stairs as a whole and create a bold statement just by their design.

These stair newel post ideas will help you refresh this very visible part of the balustrade and give your whole staircase a new look in the process.

Newel Post Types

There are a few different types of newel post designs to choose from, each with its own functionality:

Standard Newel Post

You will see this type of newel post in what is referred to as a post-to-post system connecting a handrail that is at one height. So these are usually on landings, for example, rather than connecting a handrail from the bottom to the top of a flight of stairs. 

Landing Newel Post

When there is a level change in a staircase with a middle landing, a landing newel post will function to connect a handrail that’s changing height.

Pin-Top Newel Post

As the name suggests, this kind of newel post contains a pin at the top which functions to hold a bannister fitting in place. You will see pin-top newel posts in what’s called an over-the-post system, which is a continuous bannister run that isn’t broken up by a newel cap.

Stabiliser Newel Post

Stabiliser newel posts can be included where the handrail of a staircase is extra-long to provide additional support. These are thicker posts that are featured in the middle of long handrails rather than at either end.

Newel Post Design Ideas

Wood Stair Rail Detail

In terms of newel post design, you’re spoilt for choice:

Blocky Newel Posts

A square-shaped newel post is one of the most popular designs. It’s simplistic and contemporary looking, especially if you choose a lighter-coloured wood like pine or white oak. This is a newel post design that suits a smaller budget.

Stop Chamfered Newel Posts

A stop-chamfered newel post is one in blocky design but with softened corners called bevels. This gives you the bold blockiness of a square newel post but with stylish additions and protected corners. 

Rounded Newel Posts

A rounded design for a newel post can soften the look of your staircase, making lines appear less harsh. It’s also a good investment if you’re looking to childproof your stairs as bumping into a rounded post is far less painful than a square corner!

Twisted Newel Posts

A twisted design adds an elevated decorative flair to your staircase. You may see these referred to as barley twists, which can be a single or double twist. It’s a design associated with traditional furniture, making it a great addition to a heritage home.

Fluted Newel Posts

If you’re looking for a more ornate newel post, opt for a fluted design. These posts normally have a stylish symmetrical design with different ridges and rounded edges carved in. Depending on the specific designs and materials, these could suit traditional or contemporary homes.

Newel Post Cap Ideas

Every newel post comes with a cap to top it off which gives a finished look. You can go simple or more elaborate depending on the aesthetic you’re going for. If you’re looking to update your newel posts but don’t want to go to the trouble of installing brand new ones, simply replacing the cap can be a simple solution.

Here are some newel post cap designs to get you started:

  • Bishop Hat: This is a pointed newel post cap that resembles a bishop’s headdress.
  • Chamfer Top: Chamfered tops can extend a blocky square newel post with a simplistic decorative addition.
  • Dome Top: A dome top gives a pleasing circular design to a newel post and can either extend a rounded design or provide a stylish contrast for a square newel post.
  • Kerfs: Kerfs are grooves that go around the top of a newel post to distinguish the cap section from the post as a whole. You could add more than one or do away with them entirely, depending on whether you want some definition and distinction or a continual line in your newel post. 

Find Fabulous Finishing Touches for your Staircase With Us

If you’re looking at updating your newel posts, why not update the rest of your stairs and hallway to match? At Stair Rods Direct, we have all the stair rods, door thresholds and carpet runners you could need to make sure the entrance to your home has a beautifully complete design.

With 11 different finishes available and a diverse range of traditional and contemporary designs, we’re your one-stop shop for a stylish staircase. And while you browse, remember that all orders over £75 qualify for free UK delivery.