Staircases can be beautiful structures and establish the entire aesthetic look of the house, but at their core, stairs are truly utilitarian designs. These flights connect the different floors of the home, and therefore have to be perfectly functional in order to be safe. Some homeowners take their stairs to the next level by turning them into storage units as well as passageways.
For stairways that are especially wide, homeowners will extend the treads along one of the side walls creating something a short long platform. This, in essence, allows your staircase to double as a shelving unit.
These designs aren't perfect for every household, as they could create dangerous situations for some who travel up the flights. The tread that acts as a shelving unit must be deep enough that items can be stored without falling out or onto the platform where members of the household will be walking. This could cause a tripping hazard that only increases if a curious child decides to pull belongings out and onto the staircase.
These shelves are a good place to keep items like books, since they won't roll off and when stacked correctly - on their sides - aren't likely to topple over.
Any kind of shelving unit along the stairs can be beautiful and useful if done correctly. Instead of taking up floor space in another room with a large shelf, simply line a wall in your stairwell with a few wood planks to hold some books, artwork or other belongings. If you don't have a wide enough stairway, then this look probably won't work since you want to be sure that you have enough room for a stair rail and are abiding by building code guidelines.
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