In the process of designing a two-storey building or an apartment with several floors, there is often a problem with the correct and convenient location of the stairs to the upper floor. With reference to architectural traditions, it is possible to arrange a staircase in a separate room, connecting all floors, like a staircase in multi-storey buildings. However, this method is extremely inexpensive, for arranging a separate staircase cells will need a lot of free space. Modern architects and designers agree that the most comfortable and aesthetically correct living space for the location of the interfloor staircase is the living room..
One of the fundamental sciences that will be required to design a living room space with a staircase is ergonomics. When choosing a project, it is important to refer to the basics of artistic design of the room. It is necessary to evaluate all the technical characteristics of the used area – the living room, and choose the most practical place for the location of the stairs.
In the ergonomic design of the project, a staircase is considered as a functional structural element that provides a vertical connection between floors and has its own advantages and disadvantages. They must be taken into account when designing.
Features and specifications of the stairs in the living room
The presence of a staircase in the living room completely changes the nature of the room and its purpose. Regardless of the type and design features, the staircase in the living room has positive and negative characteristics:
Various types of stairs, which differ in materials, design and general aesthetic appearance, must meet the basic requirements that prevent a number of problems in everyday life.
The most common mistake when choosing a staircase design for a private house or apartment is a reference to the established GOSTs. It is reasonable to believe that the approved standards will be as average as possible and consistent with everyone, without exception. However, it is the standardized stairs that have a greater number of inconsistencies with a single person – the owner.
Calculations of the staircase, its design and technical features, are carried out before the start of construction and repair work. It is almost impossible to connect two floors with a staircase, where construction and finishing works have been completed. To do this, you will have to completely change the plan of each of the floors and redraw the total volume of rooms, destroying the finishing work.
The installation of the stairs is the final stage, which is carried out after the end of construction work and only on the prepared area. During the course of construction or redevelopment, a temporary staircase is installed, which performs the main function – connecting floors.
For open stairs, on average, 5-8 sq. M. Are required. living space. Costs vary depending on design features. Particular attention is paid to the steps, which should be:
The location of the stairs depends on the characteristics of the room as a whole, therefore, each project is considered individually. When choosing a location method, first of all, the wishes of the owners of the house are taken into account, which are adjusted to the constructive capabilities of the building and the layout.
With an ergonomic arrangement of the staircase in the living room, it is necessary to take into account the fundamentally important foundations:
Using the space under the stairs
Thanks to the gradation system of the stairs, the space under them can and should be used. There are proven options for using the space under the stairs, which are most often used when decorating and furnishing a living room:
In individual design, the arrangement of the space under the stairs is not limited to developments and can be used for personal purposes. Creative and non-standard use cases can be anything: aquarium, greenhouse, fireplace, bar counter or wine shelves. Any part of the living room decoration can be arranged in the space under the stairs.
Choosing a staircase
Before choosing a staircase, it is important to take into account the basic requirements that will serve as the basis for the subsequent stages of selection..
The cost of space for arranging an open staircase should be calculated even before the start of construction and repair work. If the living room has an area of more than 40 square meters, then you can consider the option of placing the stairs as the central object of the room. However, referring to the requirements for ergonomic placement of the staircase, it is best to choose the location of the stairs as close as possible to the entrance door..
The frequency of operation is directly proportional to the choice of design, materials for manufacture and fasteners. The durability of the stairs provides for certain periods that must be taken into account when designing.
The question of the number of people living in a house or apartment, as well as their age and state of health, requires no less attention. Standard stairs are designed for an average person (height, weight and age) without personal characteristics and preferences, which must be taken into account when choosing.
Mounts and structures
The variety of the commercial range of staircases for living rooms allows you to easily choose a design that meets all the requirements for functionality, comfort and design. The main difference between the proposed types is in the configuration, methods of fastening beams, fences and steps.
A fairly important criterion – the number of marches, depends not only on the wishes of the owner, but also on the available space. The convenience and functionality of each staircase is determined by its personal requirements for the number of square meters.
Material is of key importance in the construction of a staircase. The main qualities of the material, its durability and decorativeness are taken into account when developing a staircase project. Various types of building materials are used for the manufacture, ranging from traditional: wood, metal, stone, ending with modern building mixtures and materials of non-natural origin..
Opening interior stairs are most often made of a durable natural material – wood. The type of wood determines its durability, decorative effect and physical capabilities..
Soft breeds (pine, fir, cedar, spruce) are representatives of the most affordable option. However, such materials have a very fibrous and flexible structure, which reduces the service life. Soft rock treads should consist of several beams to increase strength.
Semi-hard species (birch or maple) are the best option, since they have an average cost and acceptable characteristics. The maple staircase structure can have various configurations and does not require additional reinforcement.
Hardwoods (ash, walnut, oak, beech) are elite highly decorative materials with a maximum service life, up to half a century without restoration. In order to reduce the consumable part, elite materials are used only for decorative elements of the staircase.
A relatively new wood material deserves special attention – glued wood, which is the most stable and durable, surpassing even elite species – oak or walnut in its characteristics.
Since wood is a flexible material, the installation of the stairs is carried out after the building has completely shrunk. Before installation of the structure, all wood elements must be treated with protective materials (paints and varnishes) to prevent deformation and decay.
It is important to know that even the best wood species that have passed all stages of processing require special temperature and humidity conditions. The air temperature must be maintained in the range of 20 to 25 degrees (room temperature). The humidity level should not exceed 70%. In very hot weather, when the humidity level is below 60%, it is recommended to use a room humidifier.
Metal, as the most durable material that has no analogues, can be used as the main or complementary. Among the positive characteristics of the metal are not only strength and durability, but also functionality, fire safety and a complete lack of maintenance requirements.
The supporting structure uses stainless steel, brass and, in rare cases, bronze. These types of metals have maximum strength and are less susceptible to destruction than others. Decorating is done using chrome and forged elements with external dusting or painting.
Despite all the obvious advantages, metal stairs in the living room are used extremely rarely, since they have one drawback – a high level of noise. Considering that we are talking about connecting two living rooms, metal is best used in combination with wood..
A material that is the most unconventional for staircase structures, since it has a personal characteristic – fragility. However, the modern approach to the manufacture of glass by multilayer gluing (triplex) increases the strength factor. Thanks to the polymer coating, the glued planes are impact-resistant and have general characteristics similar to those of ceramics.
Additional reinforcing layers, external coatings to increase strength, as well as the very technology of manufacturing impact-resistant glass, is reflected in the weight of the staircase. The step (1000/350/25 mm) has a weight of up to 15 kg. Considering the cost of consumables for the manufacture of such a structure, as well as processing costs, the total cost determines glass as an elite, expensive material for open stairs..
Stone, concrete slabs, ceramics
Stairs made with stone, ceramics, or concrete slabs have common characteristics and are failure-resistant, durable structures with personal decorative qualities..
Natural stone is a massive material that requires a lot of space to organize a staircase. The project of a staircase for a living room is always developed with the maximum simplification of the structure, thereby minimizing the cost of square meters. Natural stone is used as the base material for the supporting structure and steps. Railings and decor are made using light materials – wood and metal. Since natural stone is an expensive building material, to reduce the cost of the structure, non-load-bearing parts are replaced with artificial stone..
Concrete slabs are an alternative to natural stone, which is not inferior in the main parameters of strength, due to steel reinforcement. In a comparative characteristic, concrete slabs are inferior in terms of wear resistance and decorativeness, therefore they require periodic restoration and obligatory facing with decorative materials..
Ceramic is used only as a facing material. All ceramic products have high strength, resistance to temperature and humidity changes. In addition, the surface of ceramic cladding materials is low maintenance and easy to clean..
Combination and combination
Each of the materials has its own personal characteristics, both positive and negative. The combination will help compensate for the shortcomings and use the positive qualities of each of the materials. Concrete slabs are a good, inexpensive, durable material for basic load-bearing structures; metal is an excellent material for railings; hard wood – suitable for steps; ceramics, glass, artificial stone and soft woods – for decorative finishing of staircase structures.
All large interior objects that create the main stylistic accent should be designed first of all, according to the laws of creating a composition. But, based on the construction and technical requirements, the staircase structure should be installed at the very end, and the final stage of the staircase arrangement – the installation of steps and decoration is carried out after all the repair and facing activities.
Create «alive» the interior generated in the process of repairing and arranging a living room with a staircase is impossible. A large object that requires personal decoration and creates a stylistic accent of the entire interior will not logically complement the already created coziness in the living room.
The furnishing of the living room with a staircase begins with a detailed plan. Taking into account personal requirements for the comfort of the room, as well as the possibilities of the area, the main style of the interior and the staircase corresponding to this style are chosen.
Types of stairs and interior styles
Each interior style has its own organic environment, formed by the architectural and cultural heritage, the ancestor of the style. Stairs, as a constructive addition to the living space, were used at all stages of the development of decorative and interior art. Each of the interior styles has its own requirements for the shape, appearance and holistic design of the staircase..
Historical interior styles
Each of the representatives of the historical interior styles aims to recreate the main expressive and formal techniques, stereotypically corresponding to a certain era. All historical styles are close to the use of traditional building materials: wood, metal and stone, as well as classic simple and laconic forms.
Stairs in style:
- Egyptian. Two typical options for a staircase designed in the Egyptian style: geometric, straight with sharp corners made of stone and faced with plaster (white, light beige) without railings; single-flight staircase with three winder steps from the bottom, made of stone, with metal forged railings.
- Greek. Large-sized, straight (one or two marching with a landing) staircase made of stone or concrete slabs, with large concrete handrails, standing on low wide pedestals, and with minimal cladding.
- Roman. Straight staircase, always with run-in steps, made of stone, with monolithic stone handrails decorated with Roman traditional patterns.
- Romanesque. Screw or «G» shaped staircase, with winding steps, made of hardwood and painted in warm shades of light traditional colors. Streamlined handrails in dark wood or metal mounted on narrow carved balusters. Necessarily complemented by a thematic carpet runner.
- Gothic. The most bizarre spiral staircases made of dark wood, metal and natural stone. Natural curly railings and bare steps.
- Renaissance. Construction with obligatory platform and winders, made of hard and semi-hard wood. Large handrails with symmetrical patterned balusters made from the same material as the steps. In any of the design variations – decorated with a dense fleecy carpet.
- Baroque. The structure can be of any shape, but it must be made exclusively of wood. Special attention is paid to handcrafted balusters.
- Rococo. Always curved staircase construction, without platform, made of metal. Complementary material – wood, which is used for steps and handrails.
- Classicism. Single-flight staircase with winding steps on both sides, which can be made entirely of one material: stone (concrete, natural stone), wood. With minimal decoration of balusters.
- Empire style. A monolithic stone staircase with two flights and a platform, without winding steps. The role of balusters is performed by carved decorative wooden railings. The steps are covered with a monochromatic carpet of dark colors.
- Modern. Using any materials: metal, wood, glass or stone, a staircase is created with a strange curved shape without rough geometric parts. Particular attention is paid to the design of the railings, which should be curved and flowing, in the style of Modern.
- Art Deco. The simplest staircases are single-marching. The main decorative role is played by the steps, which are made in contrast. The load-bearing part of the staircase is made of stone or concrete slabs, and the steps are made of elite wood species. Laconic railings that follow the shape of a staircase on thin balusters.
- Indian. Single-flight staircases with winding steps on both sides, made of stone. The steps themselves in the upper part are decorated with light wood. The main aesthetic element is given by the metal railing with rounded curls.
- Japanese. Functionality is brought to the fore, therefore the most important element of the staircase is the steps, which can be designed in this way, whether suspended in the air. Materials from dark wood to glass. Thin railings without decorative elements.
- Country. Only wood and the simplest constructions. Without decoration and carpets.
- Provence. Curved single-flight staircase, made exclusively of light wood. The railing is large and simple, with curly balusters.
Modern interior styles
Modern interior styles aim to create a harmonious environment, with balanced color gamut, laconic and accessible plot. For an emphasis on modernity, new building materials are used, in an independent or complementary form.
Stairs in style:
- Constructivism. Geometric simple forms of construction with obligatory sites. The main material is stone or concrete slabs, possibly wood. The same strict geometric railings, with thin balusters.
- High tech. The design is chosen for the space in order to keep as much free space as possible. Modular staircases with simple handrails. Steps from any material to which the style is located.
- Minimalism. Single-flight (in rare cases, two-flight) design of a simplified straight form. The structure consists of steps protruding from the wall, without a base and supports. Railings can be made in the form of a single bar or absent altogether.
- Kitsch. The most complex, bulky and fanciful designs, with unnecessary decoration and a combination of all available materials.
Lighting is divided into types: artificial and natural. Natural light is daylight, artificial light is lighting. Depending on the location and design features of the stairs, one or more types of artificial lighting are selected.
For staircases with stained-glass structures (large gaps between steps, handrails transmitting light), several large lamps at the beginning and at the end of one march are enough. Lighting for monolithic and spiral staircases is selected individually.
Lighting on the stairs can be direct, diffuse or combined. Direct is required in the dark, for full illumination of the flight of stairs. Scattered mostly plays an additional role, as well as performs decorative functions. Combined assumes a harmonious combination of different types of lighting.
The choice of lighting fixture is based not only on the requirements for comfort, but also on the decorative characteristics of the staircase structure..
- Local lighting is necessary for targeted lighting of steps. It can be made in the form of floor lamps built into the front part of the steps or at the ankle level in the side wall. The same local lighting can be installed additionally in the railings. For spiral staircases, local lighting is installed vertically on a pole-base.
- Decorative lighting aims to emphasize the characteristics of style and interior. Neon lamps, LED strips, diffused lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, any style attributes are used for light contrast.