22 Spectacular Stairs Make Climbing To The Second Floor More Fun

22-Beautiful-Stairs-That-Will-Make-Climbing-To-The-Second-Floor-Less-AnnoyingWe featured spiral staircase photography that already proved that even something as mundane as stairscan also be absolutely stunning. We decided to amplify on that theme and showcase you the 22 coolest examples of staircases and step design that we picked for your viewing pleasures.

Possibly one of the most vital non-aesthetic design elements of a staircase is space. If the architect ordesigner can’t determine a great way to make use of the gap under the stairsthey are going to take upa lot of space for no good reason at all. If you want to find the best stairs for your house check out  our 22 hand-picked photos of beautiful stairs for your inspiration.

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A Home Designed to Make Work a Pleasure

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 7.36.50 AMA house built for working, cooking, gardening and entertaining opens to the landscape while offering shelter from the summer sun

If you’re going to work from home, you want it to be a home in which you like working, and that’s exactly what these homeowners set out to create when they embarked on building their house in far northeastern New South Wales, Australia. With help from architects Sarah Aldridge and Jason Trisley of Space Studio, the couple created a home that would meet their needs for work, rest and play.

“Both clients carry out consultancy work from home, so a good home office space was an essential part of the brief,” Aldridge says. Their children live a distance away, and tend to visit infrequently but for longer periods, so it was important to the clients that they had a separate space for them. The guest bedroom has plenty of storage and its own en suite bathroom, and a refurbished onsite guest cottage is well used. The home office doubles as an additional guest space.

The owners are excellent cooks and gardeners and enjoy entertaining, so in addition to a kitchen and a butler’s kitchen, the architects designed a generous covered area next to the back door with gardening tool storage and a sink for washing vegetables picked from the garden.

Sound Advice for Designing a Home Music Studio

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 7.33.43 AMHow to unleash your inner guitar hero without antagonizing the neighbors

Most musicians will admit to sharing a single core skill necessary for mastering their instrument: control. When it comes to designing spaces for practicing, performing, recording or just jamming, control is equally important to acousticians and architects. We aim to control the sound entering and exiting the studio, the heat and humidity inside and, of course, the acoustics.

While a home music room may not have the demands of a professional recording studio, many spaces can benefit from the sound isolation and acoustic treatment applied to rooms designed for playing music. I’ve designed spaces for music at all scales, from auditorium halls to private listening rooms, and have learned a few basic sound concepts that can dramatically improve the aural environment of any space.

What Is Organic Architecture, Anyway?

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 7.57.56 AMPractitioners of organic architecture seek to connect houses more closely with their natural surroundings. Here’s how they do it

We know that our environments affect our moods, and that buildings play a major role in that, but how can we change the way we build our homes to help improve our sense of well-being?

There is growing evidence that suggests being cooped up in buildings is bad for our health and that having connections to the exterior environment has positive health outcomes. Studies have found that views of nature from the home provide a significant improvement in general well-being.

Improving the connection between the interior and the exterior of a building is the driving force behind the organic architecture movement started by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1900s. And that connection is integral to designs by contemporary organic architects. Take a closer look at how this style of architecture might work for you.

12 Ways to Get a Luxe Bathroom Look for Less

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 7.56.09 AMYour budget bathroom can have a high-end feel with these tricks for choosing tile, stone, furniture and more

Although we all love to drool over images of gorgeous designer bathrooms, we may not have the budget to go all-out when the time comes to spruce up our own washrooms. But that doesn’t mean your remodel has to be generic and uninspired. There are many ways to get a high-end look without a hefty price tag. Here are 12 tricks to do just that.

Stunning Curved Architecture Rises Among the Trees

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 8.10.28 AMYou can see the love of nature and organic shapes at first glance. Look more closely at this Wisconsin home and you’ll also see amazing flow

These homeowners are building the dream house of a lifetime, which takes time, patience and flexibility. Not just on their part, but on the part of their architect as well. It’s so fitting that they found architect Robert Oshatz, who rolls with his clients’ needs, letting the house evolve as they progress through the design process.

So far this unique lakeside home has taken two years to design and two and a half years to build, and that’s just phase one of construction. Designed to fit into the wooded slope along the shores of a Wisconsin lake, the organic architecture evolved from responding to its surroundings and the needs of the family, which was growing as the house went up. The result is a home that is continuous from room to room and from indoors to out.

Kitchen of the Week: Industrial Design’s Softer Side

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 10.45.06 AMDark gray cabinets and stainless steel mix with warm oak accents in a bright, family-friendly London kitchen

The style was pretty well set when kitchen designer Jane Powell created this kitchen for Phoebe and Nick Bryans and their three kids. “Phoebe had a clear vision of what she wanted, which was design-led with a slightly industrial feel, using stainless steel and brick,” Powell says. But in addition to aesthetics, the functionality and atmosphere of the space were crucial too. “It had to be a relaxed family area,” Powell says. “Friendly and warm, not at all clinical, and somewhere that reflected the family’s personalities.”

Phoebe Bryans came armed with a mood board of images, and she and Powell worked closely together to design the space. “Her ideas were very much on the pulse of current trends,” Powell says. “One tear sheet she had featured an open shelf on an island, so we incorporated that here.”

Staircase is Like an Indoor Frozen Waterfall

walnut-waterfall-staircaseThis cascading set of stairs in a Mumbai home is a perfectly executed example of architecture that mirrors nature. The wooden treads flow and curve to resemble a peaceful frozen waterfall.
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Designed by Mexican studio Arquitectura en Movimiento, the staircase is defined by continuous curved engineered walnut strips that connect the wall, the treads, and the floor without interruption.
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Near the bottom of the staircase, the treads are inverted U shapes, almost like raised benches on the floor. But as the stairs progress up, one end of the treads continues up to form the top portion of the staircase.curved-waterfall-wooden-staircaseThe stairs are functional, but they are also very much like a large, striking sculpture in the middle of the home’s living area. The staircase is framed by a double-height window, and its airy design allows all of that natural light to filter further into the home.
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Folding Designs Make the Most of Your Space

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.41.38 AMLook to furniture and doors that fold to increase usable living space without crimping your style

Remember folding tables? Many of us grew up with one in our homes. It had a simple design: Its two leaves could collapse down, leaving just a narrow central worktop, with legs neatly stowed beneath. When folded up, it left masses of space free, but could be flipped open to create a dining table to seat the whole family. What’s not to like?

Today this simple concept has been expanded and improved upon. Now folding designs crop up in every room of the home. From doors that fold away to reveal a pantry in a galley kitchen to ingenious flip-down storage, the foldaway concept works in both small spaces with confined dimensions and stylish bigger rooms with a streamlined look.

Here are 10 great ways to use designs with hinge benefits.