Which Staircase is Best for Small Homes? 7 Design Ideas You Should Consider

For centuries, stairs have served as functional features that brought people from one floor level to the next. Now, a home’s staircase makes a statement about the home’s style and allows you to express your personal distinctive taste through varied shapes and designs. For this reason, home builders make an effort to make them stylish, durable, and ergonomic.

While stairs add height and style to any home, they can occupy a lot of space, which means building a cozy home with a staircase can be quite tricky. Choose from these styles designed for smaller homes to elevate your space, storage, and aesthetics.


Home building interior empty room design staircase concrete top wood stainless steel handrails










Straight, or vertical stairs, go in one direction, which makes them a space-saving option for smaller homes. Straight stairs also provide steps with the right rise and width for you to ascend and descend safely. You want your stairs to be space-efficient and ergonomic for you and your family.

Straight stairs also allow you to install hidden storage underneath. Use the space underneath as a cupboard to keep tools, cleaning supplies, and home decorations. You can also use the extra room as a reading or play nook for your kids.


Cantilevered wooden staircase with a black pipe fence. Minimalism style

You have seen floating shelves; they’re attached to the wall with invisible hooks and brackets that stabilize them and your items. You can do the same with your stairs, no matter the style you choose.

Floating stair steps don’t connect between the threads. The gaps allow light and air to enter your home, making it feel more open and inviting. You may also add lights at each thread to make it look more attractive and to guide your path at night.


A view down a stairway in a modern american home. Carpeted stairs and a wooden banister and railing are visible

L-shaped stairs are another stylish yet space-saving stair option. They wind upwards at a right angle, making them more compact and great for a townhouse or smaller family house. Plus, the angle creates a space excellent as a home office, art studio, or mini-library.

Besides the right angle, L-shaped stairs also allow for creativity and functionality. For example, instead of the traditional boxy stair steps, get floating steps. These may look intimidating to walk on, but they establish senses of openness and freedom, making your home look more spacious. The gaps between the steps also allow air to ventilate your home better. Floating stair steps also use fewer materials than typical stair steps, making them a more sustainable option. 


Living room contemporary style. 3D render

Spiral stairs steps connect via a column or pole in the middle, which makes them more compact than winding stairs. They’re ideal for loft apartments and bi-level condo units. Spiral stairs are also quite flexible in terms of design and materials. Typical spiral staircases are made with steel and are often painted with a matte color. This design is ideal for modern homes that cater to the professional environment many millennials seek.

However, spiral staircases can also be made of wood, concrete, and reinforced glass. These materials are suitable for a Muji- or Scandinavian-style home. Assess which materials are suited to your home’s square footage and interior design.


architecture modern design, mountain home, staircase

If you’re looking for something more contemporary, ribbon stairs are the right choice for you. At first glance, these stairs look like a long strip of ribbon winding alternately, similar to shoelaces or the back of a corset. However, they provide wide treads that allow safe passage upwards and downwards.

Ribbon stairs are also aesthetically pleasing for your home. They add an interesting focal point that connects your first and second floors. Plus, the space under is perfect as a reading nook or home office.

Storage Stairs

storage under the stairs








Create more storage in your home by installing a shelf or cupboard under your stairs. If your home has straight stairs with one side attached to the wall, use the other side to build cubby holes to keep books and other decorative items. But if your straight stairs are enclosed between two walls, turn the steps into drawers to store shoes, extra doormats, power tools, and anything you wouldn’t want to display.

There are also more innovative storage options such as creating a “pullable” shoe rack, coat hanger, wine cellar, or umbrella rack. Install these smart stair storage contraptions to add more square footage without overwhelming your cozy home.

Pull-over Stairs

Pull-over stairs are a creative way to combine stairs and efficient storage. These are often shorter stairs, which are perfect for loft units. The stairs can be hidden and pulled out through a slider attached to the wall. The bottom part also doubles as a drawer for your clothes, shoes, and other valuables.

To summarize, stairs are functional features that allow you to reach different levels of the house. They also amplify the aesthetic appearance of your home. Choose from these seven styles and see which one will be perfect for your cozy haven.

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