Stairs & Storage

Many moons ago we made the decision to have stairs in our tiny house, rather than a ladder, to the main loft. One of us (those of you who know us know which one!) gets up several times in the night to go pee, and the idea of climbing up and down a ladder in a half daze didn’t feel like a safe choice. At the time we were making this decision there were few-to-no tiny house designs with stairs. The bedrooms were either downstairs or accessed through various interpretations of ladder set ups. Now there are many stair options in the diverse conceptions of tiny houses!

Our builder, Matt, had a general idea of what the stairs would look like all along and the design has been simmering in the back of his mind for months now. This week they materialized and … they are GORGEOUS! Really a piece of art in and of themselves. In addition to being beautiful, they are practical. They incorporate additional much needed storage spaces, take up a minimum of floor space, and are very safe and sturdy. The stair treads were one of the first purchases we made – from the local mill where our floors came from (which is sadly now out of business :(). The posts for the maple railing came all the way from Ontario with Matt and Ashlee when they moved to Cape Breton and was reclaimed from the demolition of a school. And the railing itself came from a local dumpster! There are lots of little cubbies tucked in here and there, as well as one step in which we placed a sacred object before it was sealed shut forever (sort of like a little time capsule :)). The lower steps evolved from the original design at the very last minute, allowing access to the stairs from both kitchen and living rooms sides.

And as you can see from the pictures below, Elias demonstrates how the lower set of steps can also be used as a seat and table for little ones, and Judy has found a cozy sitting and reading space up above. Versatility is key in Tiny! And our impromptu gathering had seven people visiting at once. How about that??!!


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One Response to Stairs & Storage

  1. Gerry Black says:

    Been following your posts with interest. Not sure if I could live in a tiny home, but the idea really intrigues me. I definitely need to downsize in my life, and have started that process at least. Love your stairs! As a carpenter myself, I wondered at first how to fit stairs into a small space, but then realized there must not be any building code restrictions for minimum / maximum riser and tread widths in tiny homes. Much more flexibility, and the storage space is great, too.

    My mom is from Nova Scotia, and I’ve spent lots of time over the years in the Maritimes (including 5 years at UNB many eons ago). I’m sure you’ll find a great spot down that way, if that’s what you want. Most people seem to think first of Nova Scotia and/or PEI as retirement destinations, but I wouldn’t overlook New Brunswick as I’ve seen plenty of beautiful country there as well, and I’d imagine land is cheaper than it would be nearer the ocean. In any case, best of luck to you – I so admire you both for following your dreams!

    Gerry Black
    Brockville, Ontario


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