Which Stair Type Best Suits Your Home?

Whether you’re planning to renovate your two-story home, adding on a second floor or just revamping your main floor entrance/foyer, your staircase becomes the focal point and a main architectural feature of the space it occupies. While planning the Brown’s renovation and addition, it becomes clear that the run, shape, style and details of the staircase, is incredibly important to the overall style of their home.  While access to the second floor’s master suite is not accessible from the main entry – but off the children’s lounge – it  will act as a focal point, invite us up to the master suite and highlight the space it occupies. The main objective here is to incorporate Liz’s storage needs beneath the stairs, and customize the design to reflect the true style of their home. Before you begin styling your stairs you first need to determine the run or stair type that best fits into your floor plan.  And ask yourself – how much space you have to work with? Typically there are 5 Stair Types to consider when planning or renovating your home. Which type fits your home best? 1.  Straight Run Stair: Straight run stairs are typically used in new home construction where space is at a premium and budget a consideration.  There are no turns or landings on this stair type as the name implies. 2.  L-Shaped Stair: The L-shaped stair has a 90-degree turn at the landing.  Depending on the space you’re working with, this shape could use long or short legs, and occupies about the same amount of space as a curved staircase.  A variation of this type is the L-Shape with winders which when short on space takes the typical landing area and adds angled treads to ascend in a shorter run.  (Make sure these winders comply with local building codes). 3.   U-Shaped Stair: Either a wide or narrow U-Shape can be designed for your space.  As the stairs ascend, they switch back from the landing headed in the direction of the run below.  This stair design is quite useful in tighter floor plans and can be stacked for multi-level structures. 4.  Spiral Stair: Everyone loves a spiral staircase – and at its best – it occupies a minimal amount of space.  The treads radiate out from a center pole, with a curving center support and are often used as a secondary stair in a family home. If you’re space is limited, position the spiral in the corner of your room and reserve it for low-traffic areas.  Since each tread is tapered, it makes climbing a bit tricky. 5.  Curved stair: The curved stair or winder can be contoured in multiple shapes, and ascends in a broader curve from level to level.  It typically has a more open center diameter than the spiral stair. Therefore the treads are more generously dimensioned and proportioned qualifying it to serve as your home’s main staircase.  This type of design is spectacular free standing on its own – or nestled in to a curved wall. These are just a few of basics.  Keep in mind that each and every one of these 5 stair types can be customized and modified to fit right into your home’s personality. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.

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  1. I have a curved staircase in my home that has a landing that causes decorating issues. If I included a picture do you think anyone would be interested in suggesting ideas ?

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