There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven.
So said Led Zeppelin, maintaining the outdated notion that heaven is the goal and the staircase is a just a means to an end.
But Ralph Waldo Emerson had it right the first time when he said,
’It's not the destination, it's the journey’
So in sticking it to the man, and staying true to our individualism, we have decided to show you a collection of staircases that prove the illustrious point our dear friend Waldo was making.
Our journey will take us through the sublime Serengeti of spirals, to the humble habitats of the switchback. We will traverse the titillating terrain of modernity, venturing through the gloomy swamps of retro-sans-rails, before finally reaching our destination across a blasted landscape of wrought-iron, marble, stone and sleek wood.
Gird yourselves well adventurers, for what we attempt is not for the faint-hearted. Our steps may echo in empty halls, but our footprints will live on, in eternity.
Onward, to staircases!
This is a staircase that knows its business and isn't afraid to show it.
The non-existent rail would have been a pain anyway, and this guy looks happy without out.
Who ever said the single life was a bore?
The all-wood facade here is reminiscent of a Caribbean beach bungalow that fell through the roof of a modern house and found itself completely at home. The rugged style and center-pole provides great stability to the feature in all the right ways.
The wood meets steel in this showdown piece which lends a great atmosphere to the room. Soft wooden steps mesh with the hard support of metal and create an ambiance that is sympathetic to the most hardy of travelers.
We now descend into the switch-back habitat with this half-breed whose traits come from both sides of the lineage. A twisted flow of wood creates the dystopian image you're looking into, arranged with precision to seem out of shape with the room around it.
But that's not the case.
The shower-curtain style this design employs is really terrific, in that it differs from the rest of the walls.
Much like an angsty teenager, this staircase refuses to be defined by its peers or superlatives of its time. Instead, it just says,
Hey, this is me, being all the staircase I can be.
This steam cat has all the toys. Glass-frame exterior, wooden hand rail and stairs, held in place by massive steel caps; it's like this staircase was programmed by Samsung.
The best feature is the double-spine running through the center that just adds a touch of class to an otherwise brazen display of power.
While this is not so much about the staircase, it would be careless to not first examine its inherent perks. Beautifully crafted, and set into the classic on-wall style which allows for more space elsewhere in the home.
But the real reason this is here is to show what one can do with the space around a staircase. The magical porthole windows, the hanging lights and wooden crossbeams above. Keeping the stairs free can really allow for a major improvement in the decor around.
This tour will be done in a variety of grouped images, and where better to start than with the lunacy of a sixteenth century carpenter who decided, one morning shortly after tea, that his staircase was a most boring mistress and set about restructuring the switch back until it twirled menacingly into the sky.
This is the perfected version of that idea, a smooth wooden spiral which semi-circles to the second floor with a seamless grace. The blend of white-on-wood is a clear theme throughout the home, and so the construction in no way hurts the eye.
The finish on this staircase is simply surreal.
Its like the entrance to a jade palace in ancient China that has recently resurfaced after thousands of years buried beneath the seas.
Though it vaguely resembles the stepladder into oblivion, what could be more perfect for basement that needs to save space?
Its functional, stable and will work those calves better than the treadmill you bought ten years ago, gathering dust in the guest bedroom.
This is just wrought-iron magic at its finest.
At home with the cobalt wall beside it, and the lush outside vegetation, this is classic Spanish villa, Greek island or Italian bistro.
Take your pick.
Cut into the wall to look as unobtrusive as possible, this staircase nevertheless holds a beautiful charm in its Tuscan sincerity.
There is nothing over-the-top here, just some good old fashioned climbers.
This is the modern home staircase for the dual income family where office space is a sore subject.
Stick the kids' computer under the stairs, and convert their playroom into your second office space.
His and hers. And theirs – under the stairs.
We all love a little bit of a haughty veneer, and this all glass contraption seems to be permanently that. Elegant and perhaps more modern than any staircase has a right to be, this oozes appeal for anyone who wants to feel as though they're walking on clouds.
Slippery when wet.