Besides providing the rather essential function of moving up and down one's house, staircases are also the perfect opportunity to add a striking, sculptural element to an interior.

Designers are taking note, pushing the boundaries with captivating designs that are as practical as they are impressive.

This clever space-saving staircase by Bisca is one such example; it's unobtrusive, takes up a minimal amount of room, yet hasn't compromised on beauty.

(Image credit: Jake Fitzjones)

The striking helical staircase was the result of a challenging brief: a London client owned two flats – one above the other –and wanted to join them to double the living area and to create a vertical dialogue between the two floors. As with all London properties, space was at a premium. Add to this that the flat had a beautiful, ornate ceiling – which would have been a shame to destroy.

A spiral staircase may have seemed a more obvious choice, however, if cleverly designed, a tight helical staircase can fit into the same space with the added benefit of being much more comfortable to use. Additionally, as thestaircase was going to sit slap bang in the middle of the home it was going to be visible from several angles. This meant that a regular spiral staircase was out of the question as it could have easily ended up looking more like a fire escape.

So, Bisca proposed this compact helical design. Although slim, it maximises the available width, and the recessed hand rail further maximises usable space. Adding light helped transform it into a feature staircase that commands attention and looks stunning from all angles; even from above and below.

(Image credit: Jake Fitzjones)

The helical design punches through the ceiling, retaining and preserving much of the traditional detailing, meanwhile the white painted bespoke plaster balustrades add a wonderfully sculptural shape to the room – like a work of art. A step up for small spaces.

Bespoke Bisca staircases starts from £22,000.

Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.