Interior Design

10 Staircase for small spaces Ideas

The vertical circulation was once one of the most intricate design issues taking into consideration the space it takes, the safety issues related to it, the materials used, and the design shapes. Staircases have standard specifications of tread-riser ratio, standard dimensions, inclination, baluster voids and heights, head rise and landing dimensions. The least addressed space related to staircases is the space formed under it. The latter changes form and dimensions according to the staircase shape, inclination and not to forget materials. The material used to build a staircase is a major factor which largely affects the negative space it creates.

Small spaces urge the designer/home-owner to exploit every possible space to add storage, decoration, or to house a certain function.

The 10 photos below present several ideas for staircases in small spaces.

1. Camouflaged Storage Under-stairs Unit

Camouflaged Storage

This contemporary staircase is smartly transformed into a cabinet and drawer storage area. The white handle-less look preserve the simplicity and give a camouflaged layer that hides the storage space and gives an animated look to the under-stairs space.

2. Stepped Bookcase

Stepped Bookcase

This small office could not be better designed for maximum use of space. The wooden stairs allowed the owner to use the space underneath as office bookcase. The design urges the viewer to see a stepped bookshelf that is used as a staircase and not vice versa. Since the mezzanine is of less importance, and thus will not be frequently used especially by kids, it is allowed to leave the stairs without balusters.

3. Landing Mistake

traditional staircase

The balusters and the color contrast of the traditional staircase are fine, but this staircase has a major error. The landing! Ergonomics advise us to design a square shape landing, that is the approximately 120cm wide stair tread in this house will have a minimum of 120cm by 240cm landing. Saving space in landing is not a good idea when designing vertical circulations.

4. Kids Stair Landing Area

Kids Stair Landing Area

A very cozy, well-lit and well-designed kids corner is created on the stair landing. The remaining space is the allowed minimum landing.

5. Spiral Staircase

Spiral Staircase

Spiral staircases can be tricky to design in the right way. It does save a lot of space, but creates a more difficult circulation. Always check the spiral stairs dimensions with your manufacturer. I recommend the installation of a wall-mount handrail which in addition to aiding with circulation, will direct the user to ascend or descend on the wider end of the staircase.

6. Under-stairs Wine Cellar

Under-stairs Wine Cellar

A remarkable space design is designed around this staircase. The under-stairs area is used as a glazed wine cellar.

7. Entrance Under-stairs Space

Entrance Under-stairs Space

An entrance coat rack and shoes storage space is a great idea for entrance under-stair spaces.

8. Landing Reading Area

Landing Reading Area

Another wide landing is turned into a cozy welcoming spot in the house. The deep-set window bench and the bookcase animate the staircase as well. The floor work is compelling.

9. Minimalist Small Space Staircase

 Small Space Staircase

As much as a designer or homeowner hates balusters and prefer floating or cantilever stairs, as much as it is a design error and more importantly a safety mistake. The minimalist space in this house is amazing, the under-stairs bookcase is a unit anyone would want at home, and the color palette is neutral and elegant.

10. Narrow Staircase

Narrow Staircase

Sometimes the space you have implies the dimensions and design of your stairs. In this case, the wooden stairs has very narrow steps, that are made even narrower by the wall shelves. The iron I-bar prevents the installation of wider treads, but I recommended removing the shelves.

Staircases add an interesting element to any house. Whether it is the focal point or a hidden section in your small home/room, it can be designed in various ways to not only save space, but also add storage spaceor entertainment zones.


Interior Architect. "Beauty is a promise of happiness" - Alain De Botton. Plants, animals and inanimate objects affect the life of a human being in all aspects, which is the reason why architecture and design are the extension of human nature ”just as the beehive is an extension of the bee’s nature, and the bird’s nest is an extension of the bird’s nature.” (Marcantonio, International Arts Forum 2013) Surround yourself with what makes you happy, that is the ultimate beauty.

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