How About Stair Inserts?

Image from PicClick UK

Ever heard of stair inserts? Stairs have always been a problem where proper space utilization is concerned. In college, as an Architecture student, we often took time deciding where best to place a stairwell so that our design, area relationships and smooth flow of movement wouldn’t be compromised.

At times, whole ground and second floor plans had been finished with all the details when we realized too late that we have omitted to put the stairs. So we had to erase some elements or else re-do everything and start from square one.

But here is a practical stair home idea—what I call stair insert. It doesn’t occupy much space and can be “inserted” practically anywhere without affecting any part of your design. It is composed mainly of the stair spine, the narrow steps and the one-side hand rail. The single stair spine (or center post when talking of a circular stairs) holds the narrow steps or treads (about 0.60 meters in length) in place. The stairs ascends a bit steeply to avoid excess use of space and only one side needs to be secured with a hand rail because you place this stairs beside a wall where it is also securely fastened or bolted.

The wall serves as a “handrail” for protection.

Since the main idea of stairs is to help occupants climb to the next floor, a stair insert will do in home deigns. If you are working on a very limited floor space, you may put up a second floor accessed via a stair insert anywhere on the ground floor. You may place it in a corner, close to the ref or piano, or behind a false wall.

You can also easily place a stair insert in your bedroom up a loft or mezzanine, or in a bathroom if you put a walk-in closet above it. It does a swell job if you decide to extend your small library or study by putting up a loft where extra book shelves (and perhaps a reading or seat nook) is located.

In modern home designs in the Philippines where smart space utilization is more important than grand looks (most available lots today are merely 60  to 70 sq.m. each or smaller) stair-insert ideas can be valuable. And by the way, cute stairs like this are best rendered by blending metal with wood, as shown in the picture above. The metal spine can be painted dark while the wooden treads can be plainly varnished to restore its wood appeal and give it a Zen look.


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