New House Plans: The Stairs


We move into our new house in September and plan on lots of immediate changes,  One of the first things we're changing is the stair railing.  (above)  We plan to remove the current drywall and the horizontal wooden railing and do an iron railing instead.

When you first walk in our new house, you walk into the tiled section you see on the right side of the above pic.  Then if you turn left, you walk in to the living room.  You can see the stairs right when you walk in & of course they're a main feature in the living room. 

Stairs can be a really beautiful element in a home but these babies are just drywall...  I've always had dreams about stairways...  There's this gorgeous one in a dream hotel I go to sometimes that I really love.  It winds and connects in crazy ways.  Kind of like this one in Scotland's Garden of Speculation...

Read post on it here


And because our stairs will be so prominent, I want them to be special.  I'm going with iron railings and when I started looking into them, one of the first places I went was to Holly @ Things That Inspired post written a while back on iron stair rails here.  (If you haven't read it, definitely check it out.. Her attention to detail is amazing and it really helped me pay attention to the details that are important to me.)  I began collecting images of stairways that I loved.

{A gorgeous railing seen on Holly's post}


We're having hardwood floors installed on the first floor and the stairs will be wood too.  (The wood is another post ;)   I am drawn to stairs with very spare railings and am even in love with this....


...But with kids & codes = not so much.

I thought about keeping the stairs enclosed like they are here:

...But I think these work because of the plaster and the gorgeous curve.  Our stairs are straight and the curves wouldn't work with the architecture of our home.  (waa waa waa ;)  But how awesome is that hand rail on the wall?



For railings, I'm drawn to spare iron ones. 


Our house is modern but it has sort of a rustic vibe with beams & cedar. 

One of the first things I thought about was whether I wanted the sides of the stairs to be exposed like this:



or whether I liked the idea of the metal meeting the wall, like this:



or this:


or this:



I've decided that since the stairs will be open with railings (vs. enclosed as they are) that I want to accentuate the steps...


or this:


...or this:



... so we'll be leaving them exposed.

The next thing to think about was whether I wanted the rails to meet the stairs themselves or if they should meet at a bottom rail like this:



My favorite railings seem to be European ones that wouldn't be safe for my kids or pass code...  Stairways with only one rail per tread:


I was dying to expose the area under the stairs like in the above photo, but we are planning on a 4th bedroom for baby Luke under there, sort of like Harry Potter's bedroom:


He'll fit perfectly:

"Thanks, Ma."

What a lucky little guy!

A door will be added on the side:

{Totally kidding. the door on the wall to the right of the stairs is the laundry room & then under the stairs becomes utility so we still can't use the space but Luke will have a bedroom upstairs ;)

..Anyway, one of the most defining elements for me is the number of rails per tread... Like I mentioned, I'm drawn to one per tread (which isn't doable)


..But I can do two:

{yay!!}

For how the rails attached to the steps, I was thinking I wanted something very clean and seamless with none or barely there hardware attaching it to the step (like below) vs. the larger connections (above)...


We met with our iron railing fabricator (Tom of Owens Companies/ Herndon Iron Works) and he said that the completely seamless look would be pretty challenging (ie expensive) and wondered if we couldn't fasten the railings to the wall below, which would also give us a more comfortable width up our narrow staircase.

This technique was also used in one of my favorite European inspiration photos:


It's very different from most of the railings seen in our area & I love it!!! I love how the line of the rail cuts through the line of the stair tread and makes an interesting point of intersection.

We decided on something a little less decorative for the attachment hardware because something as decorative as the hardware above wouldn't work in our house.  Here's  a drawing done by Tom (of Herndon Iron Works) for how it will look:


Believe it or not, there are still some little details to think of (getting the finish right/ the post detail, etc.) but we've got the general design set and I'm thrilled!!

To see more of my stair inspiration and to view sources for these photos (from many of my favorite people's pinterest pages!!) click my "New House Stairs" pinterest page here.

Have a great weekend!!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

37 comments:

Kare said...

Love all those photos, but that last one is my favorite. Can't wait to see it finished...it's going to be amazing!

Kristine said...

That will look fantastic!

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

oh how fun! this is going to be so exciting to watch!!!

Jenny said...

I love iron railings too! I dont think you will go wrong with any of these.

Surely you've seen this pin, right??? If you are re-working your stairs too, what a great place to incorporate storage, especially being that your stairs are at the entry of your house!

http://pinterest.com/pin/104216178846638074/

Can't wait to follow the transformations!

alison g. said...

Wow. Never knew there was SO much to consider on stairs! I've only had them in one home, and I didn't have a chance (or thought) to change them.
Love the design of the railings - outside the line of the stair. It's going to be great, and SO you!

Nancy said...

Your new home looks like a magnificent space! Im so happy for you. The railings sound perfect!
Nancy
Powellbrowerhome.com

barbara@hodge:podge said...

I love the openness of that space! And I had no idea the thought and styles that can go into stairs and railings. No doubt yours will be amazing! Hope you keep things updated on Instagram!

Sandra said...

I love posts about your home and the reading/seeing the thought process behind your decisions. =)

Jen said...

How funny that this is your post. We live in Virginia Beach and have an 80's style house that looks similar to your new house. We had that same wall and just ripped it out when we put in hardwoods upstairs. We also wanted to expose the steps and we just have it open right now but need to figure something out to put up there. I am so much happier without that dated wall.

I look forward to seeing what you do, perhaps you can inspire us.

RLC Interiors said...

I'm still laughing about baby Luke's bedroom under the stairs! What a great pic!

autumn said...

who knew there were so many details to decide when putting railing on stairs? wow! how eye opening. i think the look you eded up with is going to be beautiful and unique! it was so interesting to follow you through your decision process. GOOD stuff!!

Jennifer said...

very cool, Lauren. oh, the details! my dad is building a house right now. SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT!!!!

LindsB said...

After all the photos you posted here I have to say I think the last one is the coolest looking and maybe my favorite. I love the choice for your stairs and I cant wait to see them installed now!

mom23 said...

So much to consider...who knew?? (you ;) Anyways...you had me going about the baby room under the stairs! Really! I'm gullable like that...

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

My goodness...I hadn't realized so much thought and preparation went into stairs and their rails. Seriously...who knew?
I do agree though that safety is key!

Pat

Linda said...

Lauren, our brains work exactly the same!

Exhausting to most, but when you get to work with a contractor who really understands... great solutions are created.

Cheers!

Vel Baricuatro-Criste, MD said...

Wow! Huge house! I'm sure you'll have a blast decorating. As for the stairs, I agree with your choice of keeping it prominent and open, ours is wood, but I stained the railing espresso, to make it more prominent. Good luck! :-)

Vel Baricuatro-Criste, MD said...

Wow! Huge house! I'm sure you'll have a blast decorating. As for the stairs, I agree with your choice of keeping it prominent and open, ours is wood, but I stained the railing espresso, to make it more prominent. Good luck! :-)

Interior Design Musings said...

Great post! Love all the elements you discussed that go into it! Very well thought out and can't wait to see the results. M.

kayce hughes said...

So excited to see this house unfold.

Kelly Pelley said...

This is so exciting! It's almost like building your home. So many great choices. I can't wait to see how it all turns out : )

Molly BW said...

This is a great post. My husband and I are looking at redoing our stairs as well that are a lot like yours. Can't wait to see how yours turn out. Will yall do it yourselves?

Velvet and Linen said...

Love it!
The space feels a lot like our house in Oxnard.
We did a simple iron railing as well. It's that great combination of rustic and modern.

Love your inspiration images!

xo
Brooke

Tablescape Tuesday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Lovely inspiration images and love what you have selected. So unique. When we remodeled this past year we re-did our stairway to create a center hall plan. We had to have three spindles per tread for our code which is very restrictive here in our Dallas neighborhood. Here is an in-process shot of what we went with. The finish was tweaked....it is more of a natural iron / pewter finish and I love it. Even though our baby proofer brought to my attention that the oval could be enticing to our two year old's feet as a launch pad. So far, so good.

http://www.maddiegdesigns.com/renovation-progress/

Acquired Objects said...

I am so excited for you and moving into your new home. Luke is a cutie he almost got a wink out...lol. I know what you mean about stair railings being open but unfortunately code gets in the way. I know whatever you finish with will be beautiful and I can't wait to see.

Enjoy your Sunday!
XX
Debra~

ddu said...

Lauren, does code require you to keep a railing on the wall side of the stairs? I took the clunky railing down on the wall side of my staircase and felt as if I'd gained 100 square feet of living space. . . as long as I don't fall and go boom! Best wishes!

hong kong property said...

cool post! i really love the stairs the leads to the lake. so awesome!:D

Megan said...

I love the hutch you put in the old house. I'm sure it provides a lot more function than the old pantry! I can't wait to see how the stairs in the new house turn out. I love you inspiration photos too! You have amazing style.

figtreesundays said...

These are some of the most beautiful stair pictures I've ever seen! Also, thanks for bringing that level of attention to detail to my awareness. It all makes me sad that I live in a one-story ranch.

Sunitha said...

Metal railings always looks more stylish than wooden ones provided they are done in an aesthetic manner. And it was really nice of you to provide the web-site details of environmental graffitti. Their works are simply superb.

Granger Harper said...

Planning a house is very important thing in building new homes. Thanks for providing new house plans which are very useful for me.

New Home Builders Perth

www.blogspot.allthatispie.com said...

What does code say? The city may come in with a 4 or 5 inch ball , which if it passes through the baluster would be a defect.

james morkal said...

After reading some nice stuff in your article I really feel speechless want to learn about design for home. there are great ideas for home plans Thanks for giving me such type of useful information..

Keelytm said...

Wow, I definitely never knew that there were so many things to consider when choosing a stair rail. Like you I really like more simple iron rails, and now I love it when they are attached on the sides. I have to look at companies that do railing in Statesville NC to see what options my husband and I have for our stairs.

Sarah Paul said...

Small bits of content which are explained in details, helps me understand the topic, thank you!


King Iron Works

Steve Davis said...

These staircases look great, I recently got a great new Oak staircase for my house and it looks great, it really helps to add a style to the house.