Amazing and Unusual Spiral and Wooden Staircases
Something Out of the Ordinary
I received a very interesting email today about strange and unusual staircases. I thought to myself as I opened it, how unusual could they be? Some of them were downright cool, and others I think I would kill myself on trying to climb or descend, and they certainly wouldn't be a good idea if you like to take a nip or two or three.
Most of them would fall under the category of "not for people who entertain a lot", but I guess if you could afford the expense of building one of these masterpieces, I suppose you could afford the liability insurance if one of your guests missed a step or two.
Almost everyone has seen circular staircases, and spiral stairways, but honestly, these babies take the cake! There are metal staircases and loft staircases and space saver staircases...and some of them actually fit into more than one category, but I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Not For the Faint of Heart
While none of the staircases that are pictured here are for the faint of heart, some are definitely worse than others!
This little gem might be a bit tough to navigate if you have had one-too-many nightcaps. It would be hard enough to climb sober, and worse if you had a tendency of seeing double.
The trip up wouldn't be so bad, but somehow, I can't see me, lost in thought and climbing down these puppies on auto-pilot, never mind for a middle of the night potty trip!
Even though there appears to be a set of pretty skookum handrails, I can already feel the skin being scraped off the insides of my calves each time I get too close to the edge.
Now these space saver stairs are a tad more climber friendly. There is a decent handrail to hang onto and they are a normal width, unlike the set above. The only downside I can see to these would be if my son were to look for something and get distracted before closing the drawer....
I can easily picture a few stubbed toes and ankle bites, not to mention drawer repairs from stepping through the bottom of it, ripping it off its rails, or kicking the face plate off in the dark, (depending on which way you were going at the time!) This set would be perfect for the person who has an elephant's memory. Definitely not for people like me!
Oh...did I mention the step above the drawer is a swing out cabinet? I can visualize all kinds of mayhem with that little item!
Wrought Iron Railings
Now this vision of loveliness is more to my liking! It combines functionality, originality, and beauty together seamlessly. At first glance you would think something like this wouldn't have a downside. However, on closer inspection, you would have to be careful not to snag your clothing or jewellery on the open branches, and end up hanging yourself, and it would, (for me at least,) be a pain to dust.
Christmas decorating would be absolutely glorious though! Can't you just see those little twinkly lights and brightly coloured bobbles nestled among the branches?
For the Book Lover
Here is another space saving staircase. This one combines similar features of the first and third set together.
I must admit, there is a lot of room for storage, but again, the unevenness of the step size would most likely do me in.
One saving grace is the fact that although the step size is uneven, it is all of one piece, and there are several handholds to grab if you slip.
However, you wouldn't want to forget which foot to start off with, or the handholds won't save you!
And now the 'down' view...
What can I say that you aren't already thinking? I don't recall ever seeing a set of stairs (with the exception of a few Vancouver beaches) that looked that steep and imposing.
I can literally see myself skiing down these moguls, using my butt as an anchor, (much like trying to stand up when attempting to water-ski,) accompanied by flurries of dislodged books.
I can appreciate that there is a door at the bottom, closed, I might add, presumably to break your headlong fall into oblivion!
On the plus side, you would have lots of reading material while you waited for the ambulance!
As a final note, these stairs are not what I would care to navigate with a full, insistent, bladder.
You would have to have an enormous house for these to be appreciated, or kids, or both! My first thought was of sliding sideways down the stairs. A much better solution to a regular banister, and an inventive way to keep them looking shiny.
Otherwise you would have to hire a cleaning service just for the stairway. Heaven knows I wouldn't be polishing these puppies!
They could turn into a real party favorite when you entertain, just be sure to make your guests check their drinks at the bottom first. Think of the money you could make renting them out for children's birthday parties, although again, for this you would definitely need a cleaning service.
These would not be a wise addition to your home if you suffer from vertigo or sea-sickness.
Hell, even a rough morning-after could find you deciding to stay in bed, or on the couch, depending on where you spent the night, and you better pray the bathroom isn't at the opposite level from you.
One look at these with a queasy stomach would not be good for your health, not to mention the extra cost the cleaning company will charge.
I had to look at these a couple of times before I could make sense out of their structure. (Maybe it's just me...) Once I figured them out, with the help of the second picture showing the 'up' view, I thought they rather looked like boxes stacked haphazardly on top of one another. Not exactly my ideal thought when climbing them.
The 'down' picture had me puzzled for a while. For the life of me, I couldn't see how I would be able to climb them, as my feet would just keep slipping down the slopes. (In my defense, I did write this fairly late at night.) Either way, this model is certainly not for me, for many of the reasons I stated with a few of the preceding sets.
You would need to have very good balance to take these at a run—something I don't have in spades. There go the shins again...
I think the only person who would be able to climb these, regardless of the fact that there are only a few, would be a blind person. One look and I would be tripping over my feet no matter how many times I had made the journey before.
You can't tell where one step begins or ends! It's a short distance—just jump!
Clean and Simple
I'm sorry, while this may be esthetically pleasing to look at, and definitely has cleaning advantages over its enclosed brethren, one slip and it's over the side with you, and you don't dare drop anything. Ladies, can you imagine what would happen to the contents of your purse if you slipped, never mind what would happen to you?
Not to mention the phobia surrounding how much weight these could hold before letting go...I would definitely be dieting if these were installed in my home...
Glass and Metal
This glass stepped metal stairway almost looks normal in comparison to the preceding pictures, doesn't it? It does have a more open design, possibly due to the blending of glass and metal, and the lack of support struts connecting the banister and stairway.
I also appreciate the flow the two curves, (the steps, and banister) create, giving it almost a Chinese wind-kite feel. (You know, those twisted, coloured, paper hangings that spin in the wind. You never know if they are spinning up or down.)
Whatever you do, don't miss that top stair or you're busted!
This one almost looks like an optical illusion. Quite simply, somebody decided to put a doorway directly in front of the stairs, which, if you have ever had the pleasure of exploring heritage houses, is not unheard of, (although in some cases rather dangerous...) Then somebody else thought it would be a good idea to combine the two together, and leave them hanging in mid air. Either that or some one got the measurements wrong. This stairway definitely needs a good support system!
The result is actually quite unique looking. Might be a tad difficult to clean, and anyone with claustrophobia might have a tough time climbing them, and tell me...where do you put the light?
Other than that, I rather like them!
A Must for Twins
At first glance I thought this picture was just another view of the staircase shown above. However, after staring at if for a few moments, I realized what my brain was trying to tell me. This design is quite unique, although it does make me wonder if both sets go to the same landing.
On the plus side, you can access the stairs from two different directions, and the fact that they are quite narrow can give you a feeling of added security if you accidentally slipped. However, on the negative side, if you did slip, you could find yourself wedged in place, giving rise to the slogan, "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"
That would be an interesting 911 call...
Utilizing Your Natural Surroundings
I have saved, what I think, is the best for last. Not only did the builder not rip this behemoth out by the roots to be chipped up into so much mulch or plywood planking, he utilized its natural beauty to enhance an otherwise boring, albeit necessary, staircase.
There will be some people who disagree with me if only because it blatantly reminds us where we get the wood to build stairs with in the first place. However, I think it definitely adds a unique focal point to the home. It makes me think of wizards and elves, spawning a plethora of ideas for fantasy novels!
What I wouldn't give to sit on these for a spell...
All in all, I enjoyed sharing these pictures, and writing my own thoughts for each. You can bet if I win the 'big one' I'll be looking for a tree to build my house around!