Recently I received a real Dear Laurel note asking about staircase design and decor.
We recently discussed long hallways and home builder gaffs which included entries and staircases.
Therefore, staircase design is a natural topic of discussion.
I looked it up in the dictionary:
The word staircase originate in the early 17th century.
Don’t you adore old architectural drawings? This is a fragment of the amazing grand stair case at Le Petit Trianon at Versailles. Louis XVI had it built for his mistress Madame De Pompadour. However, she died before it was complete.
Today, a section of the ornate railing. Photo by Stacey Bewkes of Quintessance. There are more gorgeous photos from the palace in the link.
Staircase = drama
Frankly my dear… You’re coming with me!
I get a little dizzy when I look at this but it’s because of me not this exquisite architectural gem.
Time to abandon, the extraordinary for the three “are you kidding me? examples to avoid in staircase design and decor.
What is this?
Not only does it look hazardous, it has to be the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.
No, I was wrong. This is uglier.
A proper runner or nothing. Please.
I think that staircase could use a little mowing. What do you think?
Seriously, though, I have seen this in people’s homes.
What do you do if there is no finished tread?
You can buy tread and riser covers to make a proper tread and then you can put down a lovely runner. We’ll get to that in a sec.
haha. BTW, I did change some of these to get the biggest gag-effect.
They really do sell these decals on Etsy!
I’m sure I’ve left out something.
Please let me know in the comments about any staircase abominations you’ve come across.
Let’s move on to the do’s in staircase design and decor
I love the look of this all white banister and rail. However, the reality is that the rail is going to get a lot of abuse. So, if you want to do this, it would take a lot of work to get a nice solid finish that’s less apt to chip.
This all black staircase is chic as hell IMO. Black is a trend in staircase design that I think has some legs.
David Hicks (not sure of the original source)
The question is: Can you paint a narrow back staircase a dark color?
YES! You can as you can see how fabulous this is, but— it has to make sense and the lighting needs to be very good.
I can’t possibly do a post about staircases without putting in my very favorite one in the entire world–in my favorite hotel. The JK Place Capri. For those not in the know, the style is Chinese Chippendale after the cabinet-maker, Thomas Chippendale. In the late 1700’s was the time when Chinoiserie became wildly popular in England and France.
Meg Braff’s equally gorge Chinese Chippendale railing in white.
More black stairs. Love the ebony herringbone floor too.
I think these are wrought iron spindles but not 100% sure. It’s an English Country Home by Sims Hilditch
Alright. Gorgeous staircase. Gorgeous! But, sisal stair runner. Looks great doesn’t it?
Don’t do it. It’s slippery and it stains.
I repeat. It’s slippery and it stains.
Although, I do see it in magazines like the above for instance. I don’t see any blood. Maybe it’s alright. Anybody? I’ve never used it because I’ve always been told that it’s slippery and it definitely stains!
Please note that the above runners are in the waterfall style installation.
What to do instead?
A mostly wool and sisal blend. Just plain wool or nylon.
Above and below by Loi Thai of Tone on Tone
There are also wool and sisal blends that look like sisal but are not slippery.
This is called a Hollywood installation. Actually, I did not know that term. I always just called it the one that wraps tightly around the stair tread.
With most stair runners, there should be about 3-6″ of wood showing. More than 8″ and I think it begins to look funny unless it’s a super wide staircase. But please no six foot wide staircases with a 27″ wide runner. That looks incredibly dumb.
This blog has a great tutorial for creating this wainscoting/handrail. Wainscoting is the antidote to greasy hands. Just saying…
Beautiful neo-traditional Foyer and staircase by Bear Hill Interiors.
Live the crisp tailored work and mill work.
What is this, you ask?
It’s the before for the Traditional Home Showhouse 2014 created by Eric Ross. He’s a facebook friend designer who I just finally met in person at the Design Blogger’s Conference. He and his lovely wife Ruthanne run the business together.
Did you know that you can have wallpaper laminated? The person who wrote in said that she needed something super durable. Well, there is the answer. I love Schneider Banks in Texas, but there are other places that will laminate your wallpaper so it can be cleaned easily.
Some wallpapers are wipeable but not laminated.
Then, there are some beautiful high-end vinyl papers that are super practical and great looking. The above wallpaper is David Hick’s The Vase- available through Clarence House. I just heard his delightful daughter, India Hicks at the Design Blogger’s Conference. Not only is she insanely talented, she’s screamingly funny too! Great speaker!
Some of the vinyl coverings look just like grass cloth.
Whimsical, colorful entry and staircase.