Walk into any grand old home and one of the first things you’ll notice is the staircase — but you don’t have to live in a mansion to have a beautiful stairway. All it takes is some planning and careful attention to details to make the staircase an appealing design feature in your home.
For a classic look nothing beats a hardwood staircase. One of the wonderful things about hardwood is that it lends itself so easily to different decors. Modern, traditional, funky or Victorian…it’s all possible with a hardwood staircase.
The quickest way to have the same staircase take on an entirely new look is in the decorative elements — such as the handrail, balusters, or newel post. Choose a more ornate baluster and you have an old-fashioned look, opt for simple lines if you want a more contemporary style.
If your house is small, or if the space near the stairway is narrow and tight, the stairwell can easily seem confining or restricting. Finding creative ways to “open” the space can create a more spacious feel. Ideas include opening the space beneath the staircase, if possible, or if not, adding a mirror or changing the lighting to divert the focus.
To really “open” a space you can opt for an ultramodern look with open risers and exposed stringers. Visually this look can be stunning, however, they can feel somewhat unnerving the first few times you ascend and descend. Not recommended in a home with young children or pets.
If you are adding another level to your home or are looking at completely redesigning an existing staircase a curved staircase will give a gorgeous and distinctive look — and may use less space than you think. Arcways is a Wisconsin-based company that creates high quality custom curved and spiral staircases. According to their company information, a curved staircase takes up the same amount of room as L-shaped stairs.
Using different materials, such as wrought iron, glass and metal, in combination with wood can create a stunning effect as well.
As with any major home improvement project taking the time to plan what you want will pay huge dividends at the other side of the project. Look for ideas in home improvement books and magazines. Look at stairs in other homes and commercial buildings — it may not be what you are looking for, but it will start your mind thinking about the many design possibilities.
Whether you are redesigning an existing stairway or adding a new one, it is best to hire a professional. More than almost any other type of carpentry, building a staircase demands exacting measurements. There is no room for error. Make sure you see examples of the company’s work and have checked references to ensure you are getting a top quality professional for the job.
For more information on Arcways custom-designed stairs, check the company website at: http://www.arcways.com