As the Spanish architect Carm茅 Pin贸s once said: “If a staircase is well designed, everyone who descends it looks like a gentleman”.  A phrase that sets the first step to the floors we are going to climb today in this post. 

In the architecture’s world, the design of stairs is a separate subject as it has its own philosophy. A staircase is an element that can be innovative and combine different shapes and materials in a total space. Moreover, it can be the break of the established in a house or building, distorting the style of the same.聽聽

In fact, it is possible that some components of a space sometimes go unnoticed, for example a decorative element or even a pillar in the middle of a living room, but the one that always occupies all eyes is a staircase. Hence the importance of its design. That is why we leave aside its functionality to delve more into its aesthetic part, in its inspirational part. 

Staircase inspiration: searching for its essence

We will start by telling something that is already known and that is that stairs are a very necessary functional tool, as it serves as a connector between various spaces that are at different heights. That is why if we look for its history, we would have to go back thousands of years, as it has been, is and will be, a universal structure with a specific purpose within a space. 

Since this is not the time to “go down” into its history, we will delve into its symbolism. 

The staircase is one of those objects loaded with symbolism and is also considered an archetype, since it has a universal shape that can be recognized anywhere in the world. From ancient times to the present, the staircase has been used symbolically to represent a journey (as we have done at the beginning of this article).  

But it is also a metaphor (to raise or lower them) widely used in society. One example is the cinema. In movies, stairs have been used as a metaphor for grandeur, luxury and elegance. Who does not remember the scene in “Gone with the Wind” in which Scarlett O’hara descends those wonderful red-carpeted stairs? Or the impossible staircase of Christopher Nolan’s film Inception, or the magical staircase of Harry Potter. All of them have loaded with meaning what is, at first, a merely functional object.

Image from Cultura Colectiva

Staircase design: the importance of a well-made staircase

Now it is time to address the importance of staircase design. 

A staircase has to combine form and function and must (always) be within our limits because we must not forget that they were born to make our life easier. That is why it has to have a specific height of maximum 21 centimeters approximately between step and step, to avoid that the knee exceeds the abdomen and makes a greater flexion in the ascent.

Another important indicator of the design of a staircase is the width of the step, which should not be less than approximately 65 centimeters. This ensures that one foot fits comfortably on each step.  As for the number of steps, the ideal is a maximum of 15 steps per section, always trying to have a resting point between each section. 

Finally, if there is something that we must take into account in the design of a staircase is the material with which the steps will be made, this has to be non-slip fundamentally, because we will avoid slips and falls.

The best staircase design ideas: You won’t want to down these stairs!

Now that we know that stair design goes beyond functionality and that it requires certain standard criteria for its design in a space, we are going to present you our top 10 stair design. Are you ready?

1. Spiral staircases: a classic that gets better with time

From great castles to cathedrals, spiral staircases are part of the history of staircase design. It is very common to see them inside a home because they are very functional and also take up less space.

2. Steel staircases: the industrial style that every space needs

Steel stairs are a statement of intent, because they look good in any space, providing that industrial and New York touch that every interior designer is crazy about. 

3. Open rung stairs: tread firmly and without fear

This type of staircase design became popular relatively recently and not everyone likes it for their home. They have a “tread carefully”, as they are open tread stairs, which can be more “dangerous” and less practical than a regular staircase. However, open tread stairs are a plus to the space, as they open up the entire place where they are located, generating that very essential air in some homes.

4. Imperial staircase: choose your own path

This type of staircase has the peculiarity of having two different flights of stairs but going up to the same place. It is a staircase where style is more important than design.

If you want to continue to be inspired, in our interior design community @design_interior_homes, you will find all the inspiration and ideas you need. 

We cannot say goodbye without alluding to a phrase that puts the final step to this article, a phrase of Paul Rand, considered the father of modern graphic design: “Design is simple. That is why it is so complicated”