When designing a house, very few people give stairs a lot of thought. Stairs are just stairs, and they’re fine as long as they fulfill their purpose. However, modern thinking and design have led to a multitude of innovations, creating stairs that are more than just stairs.
More Than Meets the Eye
A hidden nook, a storage space, pull-out drawers — traditional stairs can be designed to make full use of existing space. Smart stair designs can make the space below a solid staircase productive and functional. Kids love hidden compartments, especially if their toys are inside. The hidden nature of the concealed cabinets gives a sense of secrecy, encouraging your kids to hide their toys after playing with them.
Love shoes? Design your stairs with pull-out shoe racks. You’ll get to display your collection, and you can make last-minute decisions before you go out the door. You can even integrate a bed inside a cupboard underneath the stairs (similar to Harry Potter’s). It’ll do for short naps for the kids or maybe an extra bed when a visitor comes by, but don’t expect owl mail or a visit from some shaggy giant.
Safety and Efficiency
Stairs can be a bit unsafe if you have toddlers or seniors in the house. Wooden stairs can be a bit slippery, especially when wet, and even a short tumble down the stairs can be painful or even dangerous. Proper handrails are essential, and so is a little bit of traction underfoot. One of the more popular ways to do so is to add a carpet. Using a carpet will increase traction without requiring work on your stairs, and the right carpet can make your staircase even more presentable.
Carpet stair treads (individual pieces of carpet placed on top of each step) are also a good option. Just make sure that they are locked in place, or they’ll only be another hazard. Gates on top and below the staircase can prevent toddlers from accessing the stairs and potentially hurting themselves. Most baby gates are easily installed, and a bit of inconvenience on your side is a small price to pay for the safety of your kids.
If you have the money and the inkling, you can turn your stairs into a lavish work of art. Modern materials and design have come a long way, allowing artisans to build with materials and designs once thought impractical or impossible. Gothic railings, glass steps, accentuated curves, LED lighting — anything you can dream up is possible.
Early hotels had grand staircases as their centerpiece, and the same can be true for your house, to a certain extent. A fancy staircase will add a bit of glamour to your home, displaying your taste and aesthetic sense. Of course, the design of your stairs (no matter how fancy) needs to blend well with the overall design of your house.
Modern stairs are safer, more functional, and can be designed to your whims. Get the right contractors, and you can take stair design to a whole other level.