Metal handrails can add a lovely touch to an outdoor staircase or even an entryway ramp. The metal is usually a nice contrast to the other more subtle materials used to make stairway and entryway components. But you don't just have to go for a plain metal handrail. Here are some fun and unique ways to have your handrail customized.

Have your name burnished into the metal

Consider having your name, or perhaps just your family's last name, burnished into the handrail. You can have the name added along the top of the handrail where people often grip it and see it. Some people just have the name added once near the bottom of the handrail. You could also have the name repeated a few times for some extra emphasis. Another option is to include a few more details, such as "Smith Family Home, Est. 2004." Most companies will make the lettering darker than the rest of the handrail, but you may be able to have the lettering added in a different, brighter color like red or blue.

Add your favorite flowers

Flowers tend to be pretty easy for manufacturers to add to handrails. Their soft, simple shapes are easy to have pressed into the metal. If you like a softer, more traditional look, then this is a good addition to your handrail. Think about your favorite flowers. Maybe you like pansies, or perhaps you've always been a fan of tulips. Have a couple of them worked into the base of the handrail where it anchors to the ground. You could also have them etched into the top surface of the handrail where people will see them more readily.

Include a geometric texture

Another option is to have the handrails printed with a geometric pattern that also has a texture. Some examples would be a series of raised dots, a checkered pattern in which some of the squares are raised, or even a houndstooth pattern in which some of the lines are rougher than others. A geometric texture adds character to your handrail without depicting anything specific. It's basically an abstract option for decorating. Another benefit is that the texture tends to make the metal more grippy.

These are just a few of the many ways you can have a custom handrail. Ask your local handrail company to show you photos of rails they have made for previous clients. This can be a good source of inspiration.