Since this is my first renovation, there are many things that completely over-whelm me. Designing a staircase being one of them. I feel I have a pretty good sense of what I like and don’t like, however when it came to designing a staircase, I felt completely out of my depth.
I have since learned, that staircases have an entire language of their own. Let me TRY and explain. Behold…
… The Staircase Dictionary
- Treads: A fancy word for the part of the step you actually STEP on.
- Risers: These refer to the vertical pieces of timber that join each tread… as in, the back part of the step. (Worst definition ever. Sorry).
- Balustrade/Banister: The structure to the side of the staircase that stops you falling off.
- Stringers: these are the long structural pieces that the steps rest on. A traditional staircase has two timber stringers either side, and the steps rest on top of them. Modern staircases tend to have one steel stringer all the way up the centre of the staircase.
As you know, we have tried to combine the old heritage elements of our house, with modern fittings. And on the whole I have known when to go old-school and when to go modern. But I was at a complete loss when it came to this damn staircase!
So, what do all good renovators do when they are come to a roadblock… head to Pinterest! You can see my Staircase Inspiration Pinterest Board here.
In my mind, we had two options.
A Traditional Timber Staircase
This is the cheaper option. Although I like the look of a traditional staircase, I don’t think it has the WOW factor. And since the staircase will be in the middle of our living room, I really feel like it has to look like a beautiful piece of furniture.
The downside of a traditional staircase is that the steps are boxed-in, meaning there are no gaps between the treads. Since our staircase is in line with the hallway, we want as much sunlight to stream down the hallway as possible. So boxed-in treads are not ideal.
Modern Open-Tread Staircase
After many hours searching for the ideal staircase, I came across the one above. I love the open treads, the white stringers against the solid timber treads and the glass balustrade. It is simple yet beautiful. The only difference for us would be the bottom few steps. Our architect designed them so that they are wrap-around steps… good for extra seating!
We sent the above picture to our builder, and he was happy with this design. He said he even had some spare oregon timber lying around that he could use for the treads. Score! We had to get an actual staircase company to make the stringers, but our builder made the treads.
So without further ado, here are the pictures of our brand-spankin-new staircase!
The stringers are made of basic pine. Since they will be painted white it is not worth spending big money on fancy timber.
The treads are made from oregon, you can see the slight difference in colour between the pine stringers and the oregon treads here. But once the treads are stained they will look vastly different. The carpet pieces are there just to protect the timber while the builders are using them.
In this picture, you can see two spunky boys. Oops! I mean the staircase. You can see the staircase. Okay… the three wrap around steps at the bottom are yet to be built, but the rest of the steps are in!
The wrap around steps are in, and the first coat has been painted! The stringers and the risers are painted gloss white. While the oregon treads are stained. You can see the bolts sticking out of the stringer which will eventually hold the glass balustrade.
How beautiful are these steps! They really do look like a piece of furniture. You also get a sneak peak of the blue-gum timber floorboards in this photo. I love mixing different timbers in the home, makes it more interesting and homey.
The glass balustrade is up! It looks gorgeous, but it did cost us a pretty penny (pardon the pun). The glass alone cost $3300 including installation. Since the staircase is in the centre of our living room and kitchen, I thought it was worth spending the money on glass to keep that entire space open and light.
Well, I knew nothing about staircases before embarking on this journey… but I have to say that I am now completely IN LOVE with ours!
So much more to come:)
Hope you are all having a lovely week and staying warm.