Thursday, May 16, 2013

Replacing the Staircase from "H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks" with a Heavenly Staircase

Happy Wednesday everyone! We are half-way through the week and I hope that it has been a great one for you so far! Today we are going to check out the progress on the stair case.  Back in December, I told you that one of the big motivating factors for the remodel was to fix the killer staircase that lived in our house. Basically, the staircase was super steep because the stairs were extremely narrow (each step was only about 7 inches long) and extremely steep (each step was a different height). And, unfortunately, when you combined the fact that my closet was upstairs with my weakness for 5 inch heels and my propensity for being ended up with this scene playing out in our house on a weekly basis:

And on a complete side note, although I am 5' 9.5" (can't forget that 1/2 inch), I belong to the school of thought that heels make your legs look pretty. To me, the taller the heel the better! This is a view of the death-trap stairs from our dining room before we started the remodel.

And here is a close-up of the steep little buggers pre-renovation. Not good I tell ya, not good at all!
To resolve the steepness factor, we moved the staircase against the front wall of the house, which allowed us to make the staircase much longer and install regulation stairs.  Here is our original floor plan that shows the location of the stairs before the renovation started (they are highlighted in yellow). 

And this is our new floor plan that show where the stairs have been relocated.

An added bonus of moving the stairs was that it completely opened the space between the entryway and the living room so that the living room became one large space instead of a decent sized living room and an awkward "foyer".  You can see really see the difference in the space in this picture of the new staircase that was taken from the dining room once the drywall was in.

Here is another view of the new staircase after the wood floors were installed.

A couple weeks ago the trim carpenters came out and installed the wooden treads and started on the wainscoting.

This is what the stairs looked like after the treads were installed. So pretty!

After the treads were installed, I got to pick out the balusters and newel posts.  This seems like a simple task, but there as so many different options to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming.  First, you can have metal railings with glass walls like the staircase in Apple's Paris store:

Although I think this is super cool...this look is too modern for our house.  A second option is metal poles and wires. 

Again, a bit too modern for the look that we are going for. Also, since we are planing on adding kiddos to the mix at some point, I am afraid that the wires would scare the living daylights out of me once the little ones became mobile.  A third option are wooden balusters and newel posts, like this beauty:


I love everything about this picture.  The dark floors, the dark treads on the stairs, the wainscoting and the large craftsman newel post.  In my book, this is a stunning example of traditional architecture and design.  Although I love this look, another option is metal balusters, like this: 


Again...this baby is 100% drool-worthy to me! What I really love about this look is that it combines traditional furniture, wainscoting and columns with a rustic (yet super glamorous) metal banister.  The only problem here is the price tag that this bad boy comes with.  I don't know for sure how much the banister costs, but I can pretty much assure you just by looking at it that it is well beyond our budget.  So that leaves us with the least expensive option around...

Just saying "for-get-about-it!" to the newel post and balusters all together and opting for a floating staircase! How amazingly cool is that?!?!  But, going back to the child fear factor issue (and my own safety considering I have issues walking down stairs in 5" heels), these guys aren't going to cut it either.  So, Matt and I ultimately decided that we loved the mixture of traditional wainscoting with rustic metal balusters.  However, in order to keep the pretty factor that metal banister above has, I decided to start with this swirly beauty as my base:   

I then went online and found a website with a "design-your-own-staircase" application and created this layout for our staircase...which is a mixture of the double "S" balusters, single twist balusters and double twist balusters (because I thought that all "S" balusters would be too much and by spreading them apart, it makes the "S's" really pop).

I will report back tomorrow with the finished product! What about you guys, what type of staircase would you like in your home?  Thanks so much for stopping by and have a fantastic Thursday!


  1. Love the way the stairs are going to look. I have such a hard time with super steep stairs so I would definitely have wanted to change them too.
    Thank you so much for coming by and linking up to the Pinworthy Projects Party!

  2. Awesome article and I love your taste! However, what were the Spiral Staircase Prices like? I have always wanted one in my house and have recently begun considering putting some in.

    1. Joan - Thanks so much for stopping by! We actually didn't install a spiral staircase and instead went with a straight unfortunately, I do not know the pricing on spiral staircases. If you are looking for the spiral balusters, it was not that expensive for us to use them instead of all straight balusters. This is because we only used a limited number of spiral balusters because our stair rail is so short - so it was a few hundred dollars more to add the sprial balusters. However, if you have a large staircase will a long stair rail, this cost will increase due to the number of spiral balusters that will be required. I hope this helps!

    2. Alright awesome! Thanks for your help Jen!

  3. Great work... I've noticed that now all homeowners are going for traditional staircase which increase the beauty of their home. Just week ago, I've renovated my old staircase with traditional wooden staircase. I will get back with the photos soon...



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