Building a Custom Home - Functional and Aesthetic Considerations for your Stair Design
Building a home is an experience that few people get to repeat. It is an exciting process and is full of decisions. Embrace these decisions to build the home of their dreams, but do it wisely.
When finalizing the floor plan for your home, consider making the staircase(s) a beautiful design feature of the home, rather than just a necessity. Today, we'll go over the functional and aesthetic considerations for your new stairs.
Four Functional Considerations
- Make the staircase feel right. Don’t let your draftsman cram a stairway in, just to move from one floor to the other. Let the stairway flow as part of the home.
- Look at all of the new lighting options to illuminate your stairway. Lighting will showcase your stairway, as well as make it much safer.
- Choose treads that are not only beautiful but ones that will wear well. Hardwood treads to match your hardwood flooring, achieve both of these criteria. But if you have chosen a Pine floor, to achieve a certain design aesthetic, you can have stairs crafted to match.
- Talk to your draftsman about the width and rise of your stairway. Someday, you will need to move dressers, beds and/or couches up those stairs.
- Be sure you have the width and headroom to make this chore as easy as possible. This home in Santa Cruz, California planned well when they designed their stair case. Beautiful hickory flooring and treads with and no "too sharp corners", or low ceilings to get in the way of traffic and the necessity of moving.
Five Aesthetic Considerations
1. Open the first step to invite your guests. Think “Gone with the Wind”....that was a welcoming staircase!
2. Make the first newel post a statement. Whether using a box newel or turned newel, you can make a statement about your staircase. Decide what style goes with your home.
3. Consider a modern stairway. These can float in the air. For a floating look, consider using 4” treads with a stainless steel cable rail.
4. Don't settle for choppy, boring handrails. Handrails should flow from the bottom newel post to the top. Curved handrails are gorgeous and are very welcoming. When installed correctly, curved handrails will appear that the lumber just grew that way.
5. Make your stairway look useful. Don’t clutter it with decorations. Choose stair products that are beautiful standing on their own. That Antique Oak reclaimed wood flooring with matching stair treads has enough character for the stairway of this Nantucket home.
In closing, remember that the staircase is just a small part of the overall design, so it is important to make sure whatever you choose complements the colors and wood floors you have chosen.
Good luck with your new home!