18 staircase designs that will look fabulous in small houses

andrewjburing andrewjburing
Studio Mieke Meijer Industrial corridor, hallway & stairs
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Stairs are very important. They are like the veins of the body that connect every single part, and carry life up and down the home. As such, they are always being used, and we have to be careful and make sure that they are kept beautiful and in good shape. But the beauty of a staircase cannot simply be measured in its height or width. It is a very personal relationship, and you will often find yourself surprised by the little details, making you fall in love even more. No matter how big or small, it's the little things that really make a staircase great.

To convince you of this, we have gathered 18 examples of different staircases from 18 different architects from all around the globe to prove to you that when designed for a small space, staircases can be just as amazing as any other room in your house and deserve the same attention and upkeep. From marble to wood and everything in between, these staircases run through various styles and materials, to provide the most comfortable walking experience, while also not taking up a lot of space. If we think of the home as the body, and the stairs as the veins, then we owe it to ourselves to make sure that the design is as clean and functional as possible.

1. Adapting to its space

This wooden and metal staircase is a match made in heaven, as it perfectly combines the two colour palettes of different materials. What's more, this colour scheme fits in well with its surroundings, creating a smooth transition with the warm landscape of the rest of the room.

2. A wooden staircase entrance that gives off a dark elegance

Irregardless of its simplicity, the dark wood gives this staircase a very regal look, turning you into royalty every time you walk down. It also matches the rest of the floor very well, making it look like an extension of the room. What's more, thanks to all the white around the walls, the dark wood pops with a bit more colour, giving it a bit of life and energy.

3. Feel like you're walking on air

No better way to save space than to have a staircase that is pretty much invisible. The only thing that you'll really see is the metal frame that will prevent you from falling or bumping into it. And, if you wish to add a bit of colour to the whole room, you can switch out the glass panes for those with a gold-ish tinge, so that the design fits in better with the rest of the room.

4. Marble as a useful material

Marble can be an incredibly useful material, as it turns even the simplest and smallest designs into something incredibly elegant. Just be careful to add some anti-slip tape. If ever you have a room that calls for a bit of class, marble is always your safest bet.

5. Multifunctional stairs

While stairs are primarily a tool to help us reach higher places, that doesn't mean they have to have a specific form, or that they can't be used for other purposes. So, if you dare to think outside the box, you can very well end up living in an almost surrealist home. While this staircase may seem strange, if you're short on space, getting something that can act as several things, in this case a staircase, a study and a storage space, will be a huge benefit, not only to you, but also to your home.

6. Light and practical

In small spaces, its best to keep things practical, so that you don't accidentally take up too much space. Moreover, practical solutions are often the best when you're trying to keep with the decor of the rest of the room. There's a reason why some people like things short and sweet, and this room is an example of just that.

7. Circular and modern

Circular designs like these are yet another great example of simplicity getting right to the point. The minimal design only takes up as much space as it needs to, and the spiraling angle lets you see the beauty of the staircase from every possible angle. What's more, it's colour palette fits right in with the rest of the room, meaning that it will blend in perfectly.

8. In one go, without a banister

One of the reason why wood is such a popular material is because of its feel. Unlike metal or marble, wood can make you feel as though you are stepping on clouds. Despite this, wood can be a very powerful material and when combined with a metal base, you won't have to worry about anything.

9. Almost invisible steps

​A single-flight cantilever staircase crafted in toughened, laminated glass Railing London Ltd Modern corridor, hallway & stairs
Railing London Ltd

​A single-flight cantilever staircase crafted in toughened, laminated glass

Railing London Ltd

If you want to feel like an angel coming down from heaven, and surprise your guests at the same time, then you absolutely need this design. It is the perfect combination of colour and brightness, and thanks to its material, it can fit almost anywhere without disrupting the style around it.

10. Tight and bright

The hallway and stairs at ​the Old Hall in Suffolk Nash Baker Architects Ltd Modern corridor, hallway & stairs Wood
Nash Baker Architects Ltd

The hallway and stairs at ​the Old Hall in Suffolk

Nash Baker Architects Ltd

If you love using wood, but want to go for something a bit more original, then adding in a strip of light can make all the difference in the world. Wood works best when exposed to plenty of light, so with just that little strip, you can bring out a wealth of life and colour that lives just beneath the surface. If ever you want to get a 100% out of some wood, just add a bit of light and watch it work its magic.

11. An elegant banister and floating steps

Wood is, and always will be, one of the main choices for staircases. As we've said before, it is one of the most comfortable things to step on and works well in plenty of lights. The picture above once again shows wood's strong points, as it works very well with the metal banister and creates the image of a perfect modern staircase. With these two materials working side-by-side, very little can go wrong.

12. The colour white will always help you in tight spots

The classics are always a great source of inspiration, especially for small spaces. With a large banister and a carpet on the steps, you can easily achieve this vintage look which will stun your visitors. This design works best thanks to the white colour, which immediately opens up the room and enhances the colours on the carpet, namely the blue. With white, you always get the perfect one-two punch of making spaces seem bigger, and making other colours pop.

13. Pure minimalism

Minimalist designs are great for small spaces. In terms of the staircase, a few sharp lines coming out of a white wall can give you an elegant image with a practical and functional aspect. Top it off with a selection of bold and prominent colours, and you are good to go.

14. Experimental design

While this design may take some getting used to, after you've gone up and down it a few times, you'll realize that this is probably one of the most unique designs you'll ever see. While the axis seems bent, this staircase creates a unique bridge between the earth and the sky, or your ground floor and first floor in this case.

15. Glass railing

The glass railing helps with creating a barrier, which separates the staircase from the rest of the room. However, it doesn't subtract any sort of space and in fact, transforms the staircase into a beautiful modern design. If you're looking for something to create a barrier with, but are limited on space, then glass is the way to go.

16. Concrete and marked inclinations

It is in fact possible to achieve an elegant space without investing too much in it. The staircase above proves that all you need is the proper combination of concrete and good lighting, and you'll all ready to go. While one of the tougher materials to work with, concrete can make a powerful statement when needs be.

17. Fresh elegance

To achieve elegance, you don't need square meters but proper design and powerful aesthetics. This staircase is a great example of what a bold mixture of colours and a unique curved design can achieve. If you don't think that sharp corners are your thing then don't worry, this design has got your back.

18. Simple

Sometimes, what makes the most profound impression on people is something nice and simple. Those kinds of designs that no one would expect you to use, but you decided to include them and caused a sensation. Sometimes, it's important to stand your ground and make a scene.

Once you've got your staircase sorted, it's time to start building a home around it. However, with limited space, you're going to need some inspiration. Luckily, this guide is the perfect source for such inspiration and will be a treat for anyone looking for a small home with a exquisite design.

Which design surprised you the most? Is there something new you discovered while reading this article? Don't be shy, and tell us below!

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