Modern metal, cool concrete, and warm wooden staircases of all different kinds – some spiral, some straight and others somewhere in between. Yet each of these stair sets was done by the same designer with an eye toward exploiting the aesthetic and structural strengths of each material. Their openness is perhaps the only the thread that ties these (open, mainly house) treads (and risers and rails) together – so hold onto the handrails and do not skip any steps on the way down!

El Studija looks mainly to the situation – exterior or interior, decorated or minimalist, commercial or residential, old or new – in deciding what material palette to employ. Classic iron and contemporary steel are paired with solid wood or see-through glass depending on the project and context. Choices between steep and shallow, cirular spiral or straight-and-narrow, of course depend more on the constraints of the plan and other functional requirements.

Of course, the disadvantage of such cool contemporary open staircases is that this style (particularly with spiral stairs) does not leave much room for under stairs storage – even where sufficient space exists it would ruin the lovely look of clean openness. Great for loft living, these designs let you see straight through and do not detract from historic loft spaces and other converted homes where the original architecture and materials are well worth looking at. While there are DIY kits for this kind of thing, these pictures make it clear just how well a custom solution can match a space.