Lupita Nyong'o's living room includes this space-saving hack that interior designers swear by

The Black Panther actress's stairs have benefits beyond aesthetics

Lupita Nyong'o
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stairs are an often overlooked interior design element, considered a utilitarian afterthought. However, stairs can have a huge effect on the look of a space, especially when they descend directly into the living room. In Lupita Nyong'o's living room, stair design is the star of the show.

The actress's living room decor is accented with a floating staircase in light natural wood. Lupita's stairs are edged with dark wood pieces and accented by a chrome metal railing. Through the stairs, we can catch a glimpse of the art on Lupita's white walls, her sofa, and her wooden side table.

Lupita's staircase idea is a favorite among interior designers, especially to be used in small spaces. First, the experts say that the floating staircase has beautiful aesthetic benefits for the living room. Mohammad Ahmed, interior designer at The Home Guidance, says, 'Floating stairs offer a sleek, modern design that can become a focal point of the room. They can be customized with a variety of materials and designs to fit the specific style of any home.'

Mohammad Ahmed
Mohammad Ahmed

Mohammad Ahmed is an interior designer. He completed his bachelor's degree in interior design at the University of Minnesota in 2013 and since then has worked as an interior designer in various companies, designing functional and beautiful spaces for clients. In addition to his interior and exterior design skills, Mohammad is also Home expert with a talent for creating bespoke furniture and other accessories.

Furthermore, Jennifer Ebert, Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens adds that floating staircases can amplify the beauty of the rest of your design. 'The open design of floating staircases allows the more intentional elements of your design to shine. In Lupita Nyong'o's living room, the floating staircase allows guests to see her wall art from all angles of the room.'

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jen is the Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.

Aside from the aesthetics, designers say a floating staircase can make your room appear brighter and larger. Mohammad Ahmed says, 'Traditional staircases, with their risers and stringers, can create visual obstructions. Floating stairs, on the other hand, have an open design that removes these obstructions, making the space look more open and expansive.' He continues, 'The materials often used in floating stair designs, whether it's polished wood or metal, can reflect light, adding to the room's luminosity.'

Jennifer Ebert adds, 'The open space between stairs allows light to flow through, rather than blocking it. In Lupita's room, the open spaces offer a view of the white walls, which make the room appear even brighter.'


With their space-saving and light-enhancing properties, we predict that floating staircases will become one of the biggest staircase trends of 2024. Plus, you can adapt to make them work with any style, from modern rustic (think floating timber treads) to super sleek like Lupita Nyong'o's design. 

News Editor

I am a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens. My interests lie at the intersection of design and popular culture focusing on trends and celebrity homes. Before joining Future, I worked as a Content Writer and Communications Lead for Fig Linens and Home, a luxury linens and home interiors brand. I have a BA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology.