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Stairways 44 Stories

A staircase is a simple and elegant way for people to move between floors. The layout, design and execution by the builder all play a part in determining how safely and comfortably a stair accomplishes this task. Lingo to know: Tread: The horizontal board you walk on, usually at least 1...
Know Your House: Stair Design and Construction for a Safe Climb
A stair is an integral part of the architecture in any home that has more than one level, even if there are just a few feet between levels. In a sense a stair is one of the most important pieces of architecture in a home. More often than not,...
Cantilevered Stairs: Walking on Air
In my last ideabook I looked at stairs made from thin plates of steel that appeared ribbonlike in their continuity from step to step. One impression you get from that combination of form and material is that they appear...
A Family Steps Up to a Cheerful New Attic
A vibrant floral wallpaper in deep blue, bright turquoise and camo green beckons people up these stairs to the attic. Since moving from Holland to Portland, Oregon, interior designer Lynne...
Houzz Tour: Sleek Addition With a Standout Stairway
This house in the Potts Point area of Sydney, Australia, wasn’t a house at all when the current owners bought it, but a federation-style terrace house (Edwardian-era row house) that had been split into four apartments. It was run-down when...
The Upstairs-Downstairs Connection: Picking the Right Stair Treatment
If your home has multiple levels, chances are, you have a few different floor treatments as well. If you have the same flooring on both levels, or if your stairs were already covered when you moved in, you may not have given the matter much thought —...
Key Measurements for a Heavenly Stairway
Some stairways are easier to ascend than others, and there are reasons for that. The parameters of stair design are set by building codes, and there are also recommended configurations based on average human proportions. There...
8 Elegant Ideas for a Stairway Wall
The wall below a flight of stairs can be one of the most awkward spaces in the house. Not only does the slope of the stairs make choosing furnishings for this area difficult, but often the wall is adjacent to a closet door as well. Here are eight...
A New Stepped Entry Glows With Style
Where some see mundane home maintenance and upkeep, others see an opportunity for design. These Mill Valley, California, homeowners viewed replacing their tired exterior staircase and leaky windows as a great chance to transform their home’s entry into...
Step Right Up: Expressing Movement on Modern Stairs
In a previous ideabook I looked at how people and pets bring interior photos to life, and it included a couple of photos of people traversing stairs. In that piece I said that “stairs are static entities...
Grand Entry Elements: Newel Posts Past and Present
Erika Lusthoff, private curator for the Jay W. Christopher Collection, recalls the first time she really noticed a newel post. “It was in an antique store, and there were a whole pile...
Double Take: Moorish Goes Modern in a Manhattan Townhouse
When faced with unifying six stories of a sleek Manhattan townhouse, the forward-thinking designers at SPG Architects looked back to traditional Moroccan design. “The client had hand-carved...
Flights of Fancy: Painted Stair Runners
Stair runners are great at keeping steps quiet and comfortable underfoot, but sometimes they feel a bit formal. Painted stair runners are a great alternative. They create the illusion of a runner but are a lot more casual — and the design options...
Double Take: The Disappearing Home Office
“Every mother needs a cockpit," says architect Elizabeth Emerson of E/L Studio. In this case the cockpit includes her client's long and linear office, extensive craft and wrapping paper storage, and a...
Oh Say, Can You Believe These $200 Star-Spangled Stairs?
After quitting her city job and moving to a beach cottage in northwest Michigan to start a new life with her family, Erin Southwell was in no position to spend extra money. "We were living on savings...
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