Cheese-Inspired Design Element: Emmental Stairs

Cheese-Inspired Design Element: Emmental Stairs

Some homes feature exquisite design elements that make them reach their full potential. These white, crater- patterned stairs are the focal point of the room. Designed by Croatian interior designer and architect Biljana Jovanovic, the Emmental Stairs evoke a creative approach to necessary architectural elements. Spot-like intrusions were used to create a fun atmosphere for a young family and their two children. The inhabitants of the apartment needed a set of stairs that would “harmonize with the historic ambiance of the apartment and their aesthetic requirements, but also add an extra touch to their living space“. The dining, living space and kitchen were delimitated and accentuated by the construction of the stairs in the middle. Hovering above the floor in a central position of the room, the cheese resembling stairs offer a fun partition of the living space while connecting this floor level to the next. The steep slope was carefully designed, having treads set at alternating angles, to minimize the space taken up by the stairs without compromising the safety issues. Children will use the stairs “as an inspirational toy that boosts their imagination and develops their creativity.” Do you think that the designer did a good job?


  • Tania @ Passport2Design June 20, 2011 at 16:56 PMLogin to Reply →

    Hmmm, I’m not opposed to quirky design, but I find the irregular treads to be dangerous and daunting. I know that I would think twice about using the stairs, and would worry about getting up and down efficiently in the case of an emergency.

    I would have compromised space for safety and given up on the idea of the stairs resembling a ladder. The space that would have been lost at the base could only be 2-4 feet maximum.

    As for the emmental-style walls, I think they are a fun addition to the space, but I can’t get over the irregular-looking steps.

    Thanks for sharing and making me think!
    *Tania @

  • Erica Cottrill June 20, 2011 at 17:26 PMLogin to Reply →

    Adore these stairs. What a great whimsical look!

  • bi June 20, 2011 at 18:46 PMLogin to Reply →

    actually, angled treads were not something used as an extra element to make these stairs look cool. it was a must. the slab opening was very small and could not be made any bigger. so, the choice was either:
    a. having a ladder there (which was out of question)
    b. stairs with more comfortable treads (which would result in no space for using them in an upright position….or hitting one’s head all the time)
    c. steep stairs with angled treads
    the designer and the owners chose the c option, and love it (and btw, there is 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on upper floor, so one doesn’t really have to run up and down all the time)

  • Daniel June 20, 2011 at 20:38 PMLogin to Reply →

    Given as it is white, it makes me think of the foam made my warm milk rather than cheese. All in all, it’s a good combination of function and aesthetics, with just the right ratio of negative to solid space.

  • Arfe June 21, 2011 at 10:25 AMLogin to Reply →

    The label of the kitchen is: Hús-hentesáru.
    It’s hungarian sentence.

  • Laminate flooring June 21, 2011 at 16:25 PMLogin to Reply →

    Nice cheese stairs, I can honestly say that I didn’t expect to see cheese inspired stairs today

  • Kat June 21, 2011 at 16:39 PMLogin to Reply →

    I can’t tell if they’re really slanty or if it just looks like that…but knowing me, I’d trip on them every time!

  • 5 Sites for Summer Design Inspiration « Emilia Ceramics June 28, 2011 at 16:30 PMLogin to Reply →

    […] could see in my own apartment to totally crazy how-could-you-do-that (yet inspiring) designs. This cheese-inspired staircase is just one example. The round cut outs and child-friendly treads are beautifully thought out, […]

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  • Phung Markis April 29, 2013 at 02:44 AMLogin to Reply →

    Hello it was a joy visting your blog.