Building & Renovating

Is It Okay to Have a Staircase in a Small Space?

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We're used to seeing grand staircases in hotels and spacious homes. But is it advisable to add a staircase in a small home? While there are homeowners who maximize this part of the house by turning it into a nook, home office, or pantry extension—there are those who are wary about the space that it will take up. Interior designer Wilan Dayrit shares a couple of insights:

Main photo from: Architecture and Design's Facebook page.

Ask yourself: Do you really need one? Why do you need to move it if you already have one?

If it's only for aesthetics, do not push through with the plan. Always consider function and how it will improve the space. If you can turn it into a pantry extension or a home office, you may continue with the project. However, if the stairs will make it hard for you to move around the limited area, junk it.

Photo from Billinkoff Architecture.

Where are you planning to put it?

You may want to place the staircase in an empty area at home. You need to take into consideration the headroom and accessibility to the other areas of the space.

Should you opt for a spiral or regular staircase?

Be cautious when it comes to choosing the type of staircase. If you're choosing a spiral type over a regular one, it can be difficult to bring your furniture pieces upstairs. For those who really want to work with a spiral staircase, shop for furniture that can be dismantled.

Photo from Karen Abernethy Architects.

This snippet originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Minor edits have been made by the editors. Log on to for more details.

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