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Amazing and Unusual Spiral and Wooden Staircases

Enelle Lamb is a community support social service worker, published author, jewellery designer and single mother extraordinaire.

Spiral staircases are not for the faint of heart!

Spiral staircases are not for the faint of heart!

Unusual and Weird 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 myself, 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.


Space Savers

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.

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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.

Artistic License

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.

Loft Staircase

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 . . .


Optically Challenged

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!

Circular Stairs

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 someone 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 it 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 . . .

I hope You Enjoyed These Interesting Staircases!

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!


Blackspaniel1 on May 04, 2015:

These are indeed unusual.

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on January 24, 2013:

My pleasure :) I actually saw one of these staircases on a television show, I think it was "Live Here Buy This", or "Unusual Homes" on the HGTV channel! It was pretty cool.

Farhat from Delhi on January 22, 2013:

Wow, amazing styles of staircases!..each and everyone reflects the designer's/architect's creativity....thankyou for the sharing ...i'm definitely passing it on to my Architect son...Thanks a lot & voted up dear!

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on May 19, 2011:

I thought these were the coolest staircases! It was fun to write :D Thanks howcurecancer, glad you enjoyed it :D

Elena@LessIsHealthy on May 19, 2011:

I love the photos! How ingenious!

attic ladders on April 12, 2011:

Staircases are part of the house that comes in different styles that depends on the availability of the materials and the kind of theme the homeowner wanted it to be. There are a lot of staircases types and as we see it, attic staircases are the most common. Their functionality varies and the following examples are indeed very interesting. Interesting in the sense that it encompasses style and function as one.

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on January 10, 2011:

I agree PaperNotes! I think these staircases are incredible!

PaperNotes on January 10, 2011:

Wow, wow and wow! The minds of those who created and designed these stairs are really creative. I especially like the staircases which can double as storage spaces!

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on September 22, 2010:

It looks like it would be fun to slide down it, that's for sure! Thanks for the comments and the fan mail :D

Peter from Australia on September 21, 2010:

Wow thanks for sharing! The builders of these staircases have weird imaginations. My favorite was the wave staircase!

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on June 07, 2010:

I absolutely had to share these - they are just so outside the box! Thanks Moneylady :D

Moneylady from Texas on June 07, 2010:

These are amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on April 21, 2010:

A couple of those staircases would be very hard to look at, especially in the morning, but I have to agree with you Buffoon, they are really cool :D

Buffoon on April 21, 2010:

These are so amazing! Some are a bit challenging on the eyes, and I can bet they are also a bit challening on one's feet, but so so cool!

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on April 20, 2010:

Thanks hypnodude - I appreciate that very much :D I must admit, I like the book lover one for the concept, but it looks just a tad too steep for me LOL.

Andrew from Italy on April 20, 2010:

I would really need the book lover staircase, but I agree with you, the last one is wonderful, really Lord of the Rings style. Great pics, rated and stumbled.

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on April 13, 2010:

Hi saddlerider1, it could have been the wine, but I think a few of those stairs would make me dizzy with the wine lol...I don't think I could use those stairs no matter how I was feeling...too dark - oops, in a hurry - oops, one too many - big oops! LOL

saddlerider1 on April 13, 2010:

what a business to be in, staircase building. It reaches out to so many different personalities. A few of the ones you post here definitely defies gravity. I like my glass or two of fine red wine but it would be no easy task to navigate some of these beauties without possibly spilling my vino:0) Great post though, I felt a little dizzy, or could that have been the wine.

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on April 13, 2010:

I totally agree! Imelleda has a hub about spiral staircases, and the bottom picture is the one for me! It has a slide :D absolutely love it :D

It was fun to write this - the pictures were just so cool. I liked the bookcase idea, but don't think I could navigate those stairs!

jill of alltrades from Philippines on April 13, 2010:

What a fun hub! I enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading your comments about them. However, much as I enjoyed looking at them and maybe try them too (if given the chance), I definitely would not want them in my house. I can just imagine what would happen if I make a wrong step or a wrong turn somewhere!

I love the space saver idea especially the books, but those steps are just too challenging for me!

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on April 09, 2010:

My sentiments exactly thh, but they were sure fun to post!

Hi parrster, I agree - I just don't want to use many of them LOL! Thanks for coming by to read :)

Richard Parr from Australia on April 09, 2010:

They're all brilliant. Thanks for the unique and intriguing hub!

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on April 09, 2010:

These are wonderful!! Wow! The wrought iron railings are fabulous and I love the staircase in the tree. Some of the others....hmmmm...i might have trouble making my way up and down them. lol

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on April 08, 2010:

Welcome lefseriver, unfortunately, I can't say I have, but I will see if there is something online - you got me curious now! Glad you enjoyed the hub - thanks for stopping by :)

David Walli from Northern Minnesota on April 08, 2010:

Have you seen a photo of the spiral staircase at Shaker Village in Harrodsburg, Kentucky? It is very cool. thanks for an interesting hub...

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on April 08, 2010:

Thanks Red - I didn't like the look of that one either...I would be jumping or crawling over those for sure!

RedElf from Canada on April 08, 2010:

This is a great article, Enelle. Those staircases are amazing! The striped one gave me vertigo just imagining walking on it! Thanks again for another good one!

Enelle Lamb (author) from Canada's 'California' on April 08, 2010:

Thanks AARON, they were too awesome not to share! Thanks so much for being the first to comment :D

AARON99 on April 08, 2010:

O! they are so stylished. The photographs are so beautiful. Well done. Enjoy.

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