Stairways are a wonderful thing. They suggest a path to things unseen, hidden destinations, secret lives. If you have a multistory home or are planning to build one, take a few minutes to think about the stairs. By choosing to include a beautiful stairway instead of a mundane one, you can change your home atmosphere from ordinary to extraordinary. Whether you choose filigreed iron, steel, glass, or traditional hardwood, the right stairway for your home can serve as a compelling design accent, the focal point of a room, at once utilitarian and beautiful.
If you have an urban industrial loft, you may be thinking of taking one large, high-ceiling room and creating a number of living environments on different levels. If so, you’ll be incorporating a bunch of staircases. You may even be lucky enough to have an existing industrial staircase made of rugged steel. If so, you have a decision to make. Are you aiming for a high-tech industrial look, with stainless steel commercial kitchen appliances and exposed electrical and plumbing elements on the ceiling? Then your steel staircase fits right in. If you’re looking to emphasis natural colors and textures, however, a sort of Zen retreat, you might want to incorporate the natural beauty of hardwood stairs into your design. A straight, sturdy staircase leading to the upper levels can make a powerful statement; a curving stairway winding around the center of your loft adds elegance and a feeling of flow to your environment.
Historical homes, particularly in the eastern U.S., almost demand the inclusion of hardwood stairs. Your antique home may have a staircase in need of repair, or the existing staircase may need replacing. Either way, you’ll need the services of a company specializing in custom-designed staircases. In fact, whether you’re creating your own unique home or restoring an antique home, custom designed and built staircases are a must because of the exacting nature of the measurements required.
When you go looking for a company to build your staircase for you, make sure you choose a firm with an experienced staff of designers. A designer should be willing to visit the site, take the appropriate measurements, and present you with design suggestions and advice on materials and costs, as well as troubleshoot the site and the design for possible problems.
They also should be willing to supply you with detailed photographs of their work for other clients. Who knows? You may find inspiration in these photos and use them as a jumping off point for your own creative ideas.