Importance of Designing Stairways
People love the stairs. They are used as metaphors for journeys. Their function and beauty enhances homes. They represent a home’s centerpiece. Their use everyday underlines how important it is to build a structure that truly does what it is meant for. It is important therefore to keep in mind below essentials while designing them as part of your home interiors.
Make stairways personable
– Stairs must represent an individual or family’s personality. It is the first thing that visitors see. If your stairs are warm, then your home must be welcoming. If they are too boring, then you may not be making much effort in other things. If you’ve worked around giving your home a unique personality, then stairways will reflect that.
Make stairways pretty – Staircases are a work of art, even more than a mural or a piece of painting. They are going to last a lifetime and need care as well as detailing before they are put together. Visually appealing stairs are designed with care, customised detailing and keep functionality paramount.
Make stairs sell – Stairs can take away or add to a home’s resale value or price. They are the first thing a buyer sets eyes on and showcases how much attention has gone into building one. Potential buyers subtly watch for details and this shows up in visually appealing and aesthetically designed stairs.
Stairs are structural and by connecting different floors of a building, they allow free movement between different levels. They are generally made up of :
1. Steps or horizontal supports that follow one another allowing users to ascend or descend from one floor to another.
2. Landings that are horizontal connecting spaces between different flights of steps, usually on different floors. These allow for rest and access to different zones of the stairway.
3. Flights are an entire section of stairs and their number depends on the different levels in your home
In earlier days, stairways weren’t built in continuity, with a different flight for different sections or floors of the house. Over the years building continuity ensured that there was one flight of stairs that ran throughout for easy access and which took up less space.
Staircases are usually designed in three materials: ⁃ Concrete stairs ⁃ Steel stairs ⁃ Wooden stairs
Concrete stairs are hardy, simple and blend with different house design styles. They can be cold to the feet and often require carpeting. However this material is slip-free and conveniently priced too. Steel or metal stairs are rarer, better functional, better priced and will need carpeting during winter months. Wooden stairs are the best. They have a certain rare beauty, easy on maintenance and don’t stain or smell easily.
Staircase Design Criteria
Unlike the rest of your home, staircase design predominantly comes down to convenience. Besides this, available space and position of your stairways also decide what form it takes. Breaking your staircase down into form will determine whether it can be a regular or irregular polygon, an ellipsis or circle – these designs being the most popular ones.
When designing a house and its interiors, understanding and configuring the position of your staircase is a part of overall design. Planning it well ensures there’s no loss of space, open areas are used optimally, the flow of traffic is unhindered and there is an option to exit/escape from every floor easily.
Types of Staircase Design
Stairways are visually appealing, practical and functional. There are various kinds of permutations and combinations in their designs, but what also matters is incorporating needs of the family and advantages and disadvantages of materials used.
Straight Stairs – Straight stairs are straightforward, a linear flight of steps with no change in direction. They are the simplest design, often at the level of individual floors and placed at lower levels.
L Shaped Stairs – The classic straight stairs, twerked a little showcase the L-shaped design. Stairs at a 90-degree angle display aged elegance and feature a small landing for a dramatic pause down a flight of stairs.
U Shaped Stairs – These stairs are common in offices and commercial areas. They are placed in one part of the building, across all floors making it easier for traffic flow without disturbing the integrity of the workspace.
Spiral Stairs – Spiral stairways are often built as an additional flight of stairs in homes, mostly in upper stories especially for terrace and balconies. They are designed in metal and are used as both temporary and permanent stairway interventions.
Curved Stairs – Curved stairs have no pause or landing, are continuous, occupy less space and follow the bend of a central banister making for a beautiful architectural arrangement.
As ubiquitous as staircases are, they give a fair opportunity to showcase design styles either in their architecture or spaces surrounding them. Below are a few interior design inputs that are helpful and are sure to bring cheer as well as a convenience to this often neglected element.
Lending Character to Stairways
Carpeting – Carpeting isn’t a commonly followed practice except in countries with cold floors which need continuous warmth. Carpets on stairs can transform the look and feel of your home. Reds and striped ones in vibrant colors infuse energy whereas dark browns and blacks lend depth and drama. Carpets also help connect two floors with color alignment or contrasts. Using them is the easiest way to change the look every couple of days.