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Window for the stairwell.

Adding a second story over a tight floor plan poses a common remodeling challenge: where to insert a staircase without eating up too much space.

In the house pictured here, the Los Angeles architectural firm of Boss & Agnew devised a space-efficient solution. The architects swung an angled wall into the living room to make a compact wedge of stairwell.

Along one side of the triangular landing, the architects installed a 7-foot-long glass wall. Below, an equally long cabinet 2-1/2 feet high, 25 inches deep houses a television, VCR, stereo, tape and compact disk players, and storage drawer. White plastic laminate panels cover all but the speakers; doors slide out of the wall on tracks, then pivot to close. Wiring for all the equipment is in a closet built under the landing; the closet is accessible from an adjacent guest room and study.

To make the stairwell more open, the lower portion of the staircase broadens and turns a corner. The ceiling shape and treads' narrow width on the living room side encourage stair climbers to stay by the handrail.
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Date:Apr 1, 1989
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