Yet railings are so much more. A well-designed, well-made and carefully considered railing adds charm, whimsy, craft and style to a project. And though there's nothing wrong with selecting standard parts from a catalog unique railing that evoke something about yourself and what you like, whether it's made of wood, metal, glass, plastic or another material, is rewarding.
Just remember to make sure your railing complies with your local building codes. No sense in having fun if you're not being safe too!
Wood spindles are a really common rail choice. A nice thing about wood is that is can be cut into so many shapes and forms, like above. I've seen pictures of spindles cut out like paddles. Wouldn't that be great for a lake cabin!
Metal/rod iron is another great material for a stair rail. These metal rails are so expressive and give a sense of movement.
For contemporary interiors you may to try horizontal railings or glass.
My only concern with glass railing are the little fingerprints that will begin to show up. I'm one of those that is always cleaning up the face of my smart phone, I can only imagine what kind of a cleaning frenzy this glass railing would put me into.