The StairCase is an ingeniously designed shelving unit that combines a bookshelf with a pull out stair system in the bottom three shelves. It is designed by Danny Kuo and is currently in the working prototype stage. The shelving system is fairly high and the top shelves are accessible by using the bottom shelves as steps for access to the higher shelves. I love this concept and find it very practical. It’s perfect for a small space.

(via Apartment Therapy)

43 Comments for “StairCase”

  1. posted by Mark Roddis on


  2. posted by Deb on

    The proportions of the lower shelves/steps seem to be too short to hold the kinds of heavy books that would make it hard to pull out for stepping on.

  3. posted by Annie on

    WOW! I can envision a similar setup in the garage to eliminate that annoying pull-down ladder for overhead access. Of course, you’d probably have to move the overhead access spot near a wall:)

  4. posted by Rue on

    That’s really neat. I would be interested in that for a garage or utility room – somewhere you need a lot of shelving but don’t necessarily have a lot of room to put shelving.

  5. posted by Fit Bottomed Girls on

    I like it. You could even use it to store books or other pretty things and make it a design element.

  6. posted by Sarah on

    At first, I really liked this idea too…but wait a minute. That’s a near unitasker (they don’t point out that it could provide ‘perch’ seating). That sort of construction is bound to be more expensive and less generally useful, than a decent ladder.

  7. posted by pelf on

    Brilliant idea, but wouldn’t the lowest-most “drawer” scratch the floor if it is pulled out?

  8. posted by Kuri on

    I wonder what the weight load is on the lower steps. Would want to be careful that heavier folk don’t break them.

  9. posted by Lori on

    It’s a clever idea, but since I would need a stepladder anyway for reaching other high places (and painting), I’m not sure what the advantage would be.

  10. posted by Peter on

    Nice concept, Bravo Mr.Kuo!!!

  11. posted by shalin on

    Brilliant! I soo want one of those! 🙂

  12. posted by Splomo on

    Winner idea. We are students and collectors, so we have quite a few books in current use and a rather small home.
    This would serve to equalize the prime location for book storage, and I can already imagine how satisfyiing it would be to open, climb, select, and close the bookcase again. Those stairs look safer than standing on a chair and far more convenient than going to get a stepstool. My tall spouse could reach without climbing, but this makes me so happy.

    We have toddlers in the home now, so implementation would have to wait , but I love this idea. So, I am filing this idea under “future use.”

    And for a kid’s room? Awesome. It’s a landscape, or a mountain, or a slinky course in a one-story home. A clutter-resistant place to doodle, sit, stand, dance or jump… It would have to be pretty tough construction.

  13. posted by Maria Stahl on

    I immediately thought of our basement pantry/storeroom which desperately needs rethinking. It would be great for canned goods and dry foodstuffs. I will need about 8 of them, please and thank you. :o)

  14. posted by young c-m on

    What a great idea – what took everyone so long to think of it? 😉

  15. posted by Sydney on


    It could have some type of spring loaded little legs that would pop down when pulled out and push back up when again inserted into the stack. This would solve a few problems: floor scratching, weight distribution and make it possible to use a type of drawer roller thing to make them easy to pull out regardless of the heavy stuff on those shelves.

    Kudos to Danny!

  16. posted by Chris Yi on

    Love it.

  17. posted by Ann at One Bag Nation on

    As a short person in a tall person’s world, I like it!

  18. posted by Lazy_linchen on

    this is way cool!

  19. posted by Fubiz on


  20. posted by Wack-a-mole King on

    Interesting idea . . . for people that are vertically challenged. Being 6’2″, I can pretty much reach anything up to about 8′ without a step-stool or ladder.

  21. posted by Bobby Jones on

    This is insanely dangerous. The steps need NEVER move while on them + support the weight of the content + person on top.

    Good luck with the prototypes.

  22. posted by Michael in AZ on

    LORI, The purpose of the shelf/stair setup is to reach the top shelf. Not to be used elsewhere or for painting.

  23. posted by Michael in AZ on

    Amazing idea though. My wife would love these since she is shorter

  24. posted by Rebecka Melson on

    This is genius! I love using verticle storage to eliminate floor clutter, but it’s a hassle getting the step ladder in and out. I have high ceilings and am only 5’5″, I always look up and think there is so much wasted space that I can’t reach.

  25. posted by BevQB on

    Brilliant idea! I’d like to see them for more than just the standard 8′ high room, too (we have 10′ ceilings and 12′ is also popular).

    But as previous posters have said, safety features and features for ease of use should be seriously considered.

  26. posted by Andy on

    Would be great for LPs/vinyl collection.

  27. posted by Kerblotto on

    Not everything we put on shelves is as heavy as books.

  28. posted by Pierced15 on

    This idea is phenomenal. One could have stacks and stacks of these shelves and it wont be a problem as you could pull out as many as you need to get to the shelf you want.

  29. posted by Pat on

    great concept! but how to pull out the box when they are full of stuff..

  30. posted by Maremare on

    I love this idea! I’m 5’0″ and reaching anything higher than a couple of feet above my head is always a challenge without a step-stool around. I would only make one suggestion, tho, to keep from damaging the floor, maybe glue a rubber-type mat under the last shelf that would grip the floor and allow it not to mar the floor.

  31. posted by Nikki on

    IKEA eat your heart out!

  32. posted by Kim on

    Good idea but it looks dangerous. Not stable enough

  33. posted by Pieter on

    It is a clever idea but I foresee a multitude of hidden dangers in the design. The lower drawers would have to be very sturdy as well as the tracks they slide on. Even then the load on the tracks increases with distance pulled out from the closed position and undoubtedly the strain would cause them to fail in a very short time after only a few uses.
    If the drawers happen to slide back inwards the intrepid closet climber would plunge backwards and be killed instanly by hitting their head on other less clever furniture. That is just one possible life-threatening hazard I can picture. I see other onss as well…

    It might be safer and cheaper and far more sensible all round to just used a small step-ladder or even an ordinary chair.

    Or just settle for a messy room….. It’s better than killing yourself.

  34. posted by BP on

    Here’s an easy solution to the stability problem. One would need to make sure the stair portion didn’t move and didn’t fall forward. I would think locking wheels and make each box a little more shallow then the one on top. That way you could add legs that came out at the same time. The shelf portion would still need to be secured to the wall. I could see this working as a built in more than a retrofit.

  35. posted by A Nonymous on

    Perhaps a different plausible idea would be to not have the shelves each move forward. Instead, placing a shelving unit in the corner which could fan out and thereby rest upon the lower shelves’ bulk would be a good idea.

    I guess more like a spiral staircase with a metal post as its center pivot could work.

    Nonetheless, it’s fun to look at and doesn’t need to carry solely books.

    Finally, for all of you who are out there and naysaying the concept because you can see the ‘flaws’- the Kuo should bee grateful for your feedback. However, if you are able to ‘see’ the flaws, then these are issues to build around and on top of, which will make it a better creation upon completion. (EG- Perhaps metal tops with adhesive footing would prevent slipping and breakage.)


  36. posted by Logotype on

    A loveley solution. It seems like its quite spacious

  37. posted by Johanna on

    I love this!! It is so much more practical than having to lug out a little stool every time you want something off a higher shelf

  38. posted by Mike on


    The bottom drawer would scratch the floor — or, if it’s not meant to touch the floor, when you stood on it, the whole thing would tip forward until it did, and your stuff would spill out.

    Cute idea, though. I can see this working if it was built into a wall.

  39. posted by harvey on

    this was awesome i’ll think of making one at my place…

  40. posted by Das on

    The concept is good. My suggestions have to do with human interaction, the most important component of design.

    When people are given an option to create steps, there are accident issues involved (check the warning sticker on any ladder) Design should accommodate for the higher percentile person. The vertical structure should incorporate a grab handle. I would KEEP the three bottom shelves in the drawn out position, thus providing permanent steps that are structurally sound.

    Idea ! Start with an “approved” slanted ladder as a structure and then build shelves behind.

    Reply to [email protected]

  41. posted by Maya on


    There are ways around every possible hazard, and prototypes are always just that…prototypes…

    Good job…love the concept amd cannot wait to see it on the market!

  42. posted by Usman on

    haha..thats really cool

  43. posted by nikki on

    i really like this idea for any room in my home. i’m currently thinking of remodiling my living room and was wondering how i could build a storage shelf that slides out to use as a stairway from the living room to the attic, converting it to a reading area. now that i have seen for my own eyes that it is possible with a little work involved i think i can do it. your product will help me greatly in telling my contractor what i would like to do. thank you so much.

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