I have long had a fascination for staircases. They are one of the hardest elements I have to deal with and one of the most expensive to detail correctly. One of my pet peeves is wall to wall carpet on stairs. I prefer to use runners or leave the stairs bare if at all possible. I am just in the process of finishing a renovation of a home for a client and I have replaced the carpet on their open staircase with 2 inch thick pieces of 100 year old reclaimed teak from Asia. The teak is so beautiful and you see the solid thickness of it as you go up the stairs. The project isn't completed yet, but when it is I will post photos. The best book on staircases I have in my library is Staircase Design.
How grand this entry foyer is with the black and white checkered