A well placed staircase in a two-story house can be a very powerful statement. I chose the two above specifically to highlight the contract between modern and rustic.
The modern staircase above is the focal point of the room because the room would not look and feel the same without it and it is a very fluid design. The wooden trunk is a creative idea, for a rustic log-cabin or a mountain holiday home.
The point with staircases is that they should make a bold statement and not be hidden in a corner. The easiest way to make a bold statement is through shape. Give a staircase an unusual shape and it is bound to attract attention.