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Monday, September 8, 2014

The Stairwell

When I built up the columns in The Loft, then added a couple more smaller ones to case The Linen Closet, I started to get the feeling The Stairwell was feeling left out. has a number of very stunning images of stairwells, so I feel no shame going there to get some ideas.  For starters, the banister I paid extra for, is ugly.  I can't believe paying extra for it, over a capped wall was a thought in my head.  Now, with the idea of trimming the area, a capped wall doesn't seem so bad, but in truth, I plan to keep the baluster approach, but give it an overhaul.

Some of the thoughts I had going into the design stage are as follows:

  • We plan to add hardwood (diagonally) in the loft--probably a dark Hickory to offset the natural hickory we have downstairs.
  • We want a more craftsman banister, wrought iron balusters, and square newels, all dark stained wood, espresso color to match prospective hard wood, and white sides
  • Should tie in The Loft, so it does feel left out
  • Should not feel cramped, since the space is small as it is
To get an idea, of course I went to a 3D CAD program, Sketchup.  Chief Architect, wouldn't do so well because, while it does support stairwells, doesn't do so hot for vertically faced trim work, especially in confined areas.  And while Chief Architect is great at automating a ton of detail, including stairwells, Sketchup is proving better at complex spaces.  Of course, I had to take a ton of actual measurements to get The Stairwell close to realistic.

Here are a few starter images showing my progress:

First Flight:

Second Flight:

Trim Work:


Newel + Baluster:

OK, not all the details are added, but it's a start.  Here is what it all might look like (excuse the lighting, I have yet to learn how to dial that in).

I might replace these pics down the road when I get in tweaked a little better.  

Feel free to comment on concept, or whatever.

The File


  1. I absolutely LOVE what you've done there. Beautiful. We have the cap wall, and this post makes me wish we had the railings! But two small boys...bad idea. Any chance you could share the Sketchup file for the staircase? I've started using that program to model the front half of our downstairs (I have a built-in bookcase/cabinet plan for the Living Room) but I'm waaaaay too new at this to do the staircase!

  2. Sure, I shared it with you on Google Drive.


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