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.

8 Ways to Get a Handle on the Junk Drawer

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 7.52.47 AMDon’t sweat the small stuff — give it a few drawers of its own, sorted by type or task

Junk drawers get a bad rap, and while it is (mostly) well deserved, there is a way to get that beast sorted and organized once and for all. From creating categories to making smart choices about what goes in and what stays out, these eight tips can help transform junk drawers into “really useful stuff” drawers, ones that keep small items right where you need them.

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A Walnut Wall of Storage Opens Up a Kitchen

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.47.11 AMA 30-foot wall of storage frees up cooking areas and counters for food prep and entertaining

Traditional kitchens reign supreme in this particular suburb of Philadelphia. And that’s exactly what this family of four didn’t want. So finding a local designer to do something different proved challenging. “They didn’t get what we were looking for,” says one of the homeowners. “We wanted someone who could think outside the box a little bit.”

They wanted something, well, the opposite of traditional. They wanted “all the cliché things, like clean lines, an open floor plan, all white, no upper cabinets,” the homeowner says. So they searched for home professionals on Houzz and came across general contractor Brian Osborne. “He just got us,” the homeowner says. Osborne and his team of designers and fabricators helped modernize the space by integrating a 30-foot black walnut wall ofstorage that took all the pressure off the cooking stations and hangout areas to create an incredibly spacious and airy kitchen.

5 Ways to Pare Down Your Stuff — Before It Gets in the Door

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 8.44.12 AMWant to free up some room around the house? Rethink gift giving, give yourself a shopping mantra and just say, ‘No, thank you’ to freebies

Can you nicely refuse unwanted things others might try to foist on you? What can you say when relatives do not see the gifts they have given you proudly displayed on the mantel? And how can you win the battle with your own mind as you try to shove yet another item from the Target decor section into your shopping cart? These five tips can help you navigate these sticky situations, leaving your home unburdened by things you don’t use — and your friendships intact.