If you are considering replacement of your existing railings a good selection for a wear and tear value would be to consider metal. This can be finished many different ways and works well with existing décor. Use of a wood or metal cap as the grabber. The wood selected should be a harder wood specie for not to be damaged to furnishing moved etc.
For a real open feel suggest the use with glass. This can be fabricated to fit for any location. The glass is of safety (shatter in place) can be clear, or of opec. This type of install does require to have framing added in wall, or on flooring.
When using a glass style guard rail in a stair area most likely an additional rail on the glass will be needed for the grab rail. An appealing item to the glass can be of a round grab rail that is wrapped in leather.