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Stairways 41 Ideabooks

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 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...
Design Safer Stairs and Halls With Universal Lighting Strategies
On any remodel or new build, special consideration should be given to lighting hallways and stairs. Navigating stairs can be a challenge for people of all ages, for different reasons. Poor or diminishing eyesight afflicts some of us later in life, for...
Clear Staircases — They're a Real Glass Act
All-glass stairs, made popular by architect Peter Brohlin's for the iconic Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York, have started to show up in many a residence. These stairways are luxury items, often...
Staircase Landings Worth a Linger
I've heard architects and designers mention "dead space" three times in the past week. I took it as a sign to tackle a common spot where dead space tends to dwell, and share ways to bring it back to life. Today's space is the staircase landing, which...
How Walls Can Define the Space of Stairs
Stairs are a funny thing when looked at relative to other spaces in a house. They are essentially vertical corridors of movement, but in many cases they are part of other spaces — open to them physically or taking over part of a space to connect downstairs...
Steps and Stairs Elevate Modern Exterior Entryways
Water gives shape to nature — carving places like the Grand Canyon, for example — but it also determines much of a house's form and how it relates to nature. Beyond the roofs, walls and windows — the barriers that keep water from getting inside...
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