Staircase landings can be awkwardly shaped and sized, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a use for them! An armchair, an area rug and a side table is often all you need to turn these often overlooked spaces into something magical. Exhibit A (and B and C and D and so on): these homes from the WL archives.

Photo: Janis Nicolay

Saved Haven

Denise Ashmore of Project 22 Design completely changed the look of this 109-year-old house in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Every room that didn’t serve a purpose was scrapped—but we were glad to see this little spot on the landing survived (though it now has a different function). What was once a cramped office space is now an airy oasis. See more before and after photos.

Womb Chair at staircase landing
Photo: Phil Crozier

Perfect Match

Designers Alanna Dunn and Reena Sotropa paired black and warm-metal finishes throughout this entire Calgary home, including the staircase landing. Though technically, this isn’t even a landing! The chair and side table are actually part of the living room, but from this angle, it’s easy to pretend. Fake it until you make it, right? Peek inside this beautiful family home.

Nothing But Net

Armchairs look great on a staircase landing, but you don’t really need one—especially not when you can install a canopy instead! “It’s a little bit scary when you step into it, even though you know it’s completely secure,” says homeowner and RNDSQR creative director Majida Devani. “It’s super fun.” Bonus: the hammock let’s natural light flow into the entryway below it. Check out the rest of this playful Calgary home.

Photo: Joel Klassen

Win-Win Sit-uation

Designers Alison Connor and Aly Velji of Alykhan Velji Design had a couple goals in mind for this Calgary home: 1) Make it as functional as possible for a family of four, and 2) Fill it with lots of colour. We think it’s safe to say that the window seat on the landing ticks both of those boxes. “It’s not one of those homes that’s just pretty—it’s truly utilized,” says Velji. Step into this warm and inviting home.

Photo: Brett Ryan Studios

Simple Plans

Despite there being pretty minimal room on this landing, we can imagine ourselves getting a lot done here. Reading a few chapters of the latest Emily Henry book with a coffee in hand? Yup! Listening to our favourite Taylor Swift album? Obvs. Meditating before bed? You betcha. Here, Joy Chao proves that the simplest designs can have the biggest impact. Explore the rest of this Richmond abode.

Make Room

The owners of this North Vancouver townhouse wanted Gwyntie Van Tuyl Weswick to make their space feel as big as possible, so the designer made use of every square inch—including those at the top of the landing. A simple turquoise armchair, hexagonal side table and antique rug have been placed just outside the primary bedroom to give the family a quiet place to relax. And if this spot’s taken? There’s a nook-worthy bubble swing in the living room. Tour the rest of this bright and airy townhome.