Lucy Honeychurch wanted a Florence hotel room with a view of the Arno River, and your scribe wants a home with stairs. Nothing fancy. A cabin will do (no yurts please). Or better still, a wee house designed by Terunobu Fujimori. And when your scribe has her stairs, she will dress the treads and landings with handmade, hand knotted Himalayan wool Alto Steps by designer artist Liza Phillips. (Post continues after the images.)

Lava Alto Steps with custom “winder” steps. Photograph courtesy Liza Phillips

Moss Alto Steps. Photograph courtesy Liza Phillips.

Lime Rickey Alto Steps. Photograph courtesy Liza Phillips

Alto Steps are a simple concept – “a handmade rug for every step”. But simple concepts are the hardest to create. There’s a perhaps apocryphal anecdote about artist Damien Hirst. Looking at one of Hirst’s spot paintings, a colleague blurted “I could do that!”. Hirst was sanguine. “But you didn’t, did you? he replied. So too with Alto steps. A superb but simple idea delivered in a unique way by a top tier talent. The Phillips website describes the modular versatility of Alto Steps. “Alto Steps are available in sets of 12 or individually. Many sets include solids and patterns. Designed to be compatible in every possible combination, they can be arranged to create a unique transition from one floor to the next.”

The steps make me feel joyous. Your scribe can imagine herself doing a Ginger Rogers-style glissando on her Alto Steps as though they are over-sized piano keys. Great design and great art allow the viewer’s imagination to roam, and Alto Steps have done so for your scribe. DJ