Stairway to Heaven
January 5, 2016
An architect makes a house, a staircase makes a home… if it’s a show stopper like these! I love a dramatic staircase because foyers and stairwells are typically difficult to festoon or bedazzle with furniture and fabric, although one or two of these images may prove me wrong. It’s really all in how they are designed, built and decorated. If you’re not lucky enough to have the budget or space to create something magical, work with what you’ve got a god for some DRAMA. Always a classic, the white painted riser and the black tread makes a statement. It’s an elegant choice and can be achieved on almost any typical staircase. All one color works too, but go for something bold if you choose a monochromatic look. The sisal on these stairs is a nice counter to the slick, shiny formality of the black and white. It ‘s the perfect Yang for the stairs Ying. …if you know what I mean. You might not have an all brass circular staircase in your home or apartment – get one if you can – but you could think about panting existing metal balusters antique gold in lieu of the expected black. You can also replace balusters without replacing your entire hand rail system, check into it if you hate yours. MMMMMM…. I do like a spanish influence, and these stairs are pretty classic. In the States, I think you’d see more terra-cotta tile with these pretty decorative painted tiles but simple cement stairs like this that are made on site are everywhere in Mexico, Spain, Portugal and other countries… I find this style charming and they last forever. Let’s just pretend you are stuck with a plain old, run of the mill staircase. First paint it, stain it or do what ever it needs to freshen it up. Then add pattern, animal works for me. But if you a bit more conservative you can go geometric or stripe… but I suggest animal. Grrrrr. Your last resort, the absolute final final option is add art, LOTS of art, like Philip Mitchell did at the Kips Bay Show House (and follow him on Facebook too, he’s fab). He actually did a lot more than just toss some art around, the rug, wall coverings, paint, light fixtures and everything else you see were all carefully hand chosen – you should be as diligent. But if all else fails, add art.
If you’re going to leave it bare, and I mean completely naked… you had better have one sexy staircase already!
Here is how I updated my back stairs. I painted the risers and left the treads a stained pumpkin color and added an antelope pattered broadloom, expertly installed I might add. The texture of the V-groove vertical boards is enough to add interest without hanging art.