I've given you some some hints, but today you get to see how the new stairwell turned out!
When we took the carpet off the stairs we removed all the oak railings and banisters and worked with our interior design friend, Susan, who owns Interior Motives, to come up with a plan to use relatively common materials--wood, copper, and granite-- in a craftsman-based modern design for a new stairwell. In short, we choose to put our money into the craftsmen rather than the materials in coming up with a more modern stairwell.
We think the finished result matches the New York Times recent description of Apple products:
...Meticulously planned, with polished presentations and a gleaming veneer that masks a great deal of effort.
Here is the before...
And the after. While you are admiring the staircase, please take a minute to appreciate the new lighting fixture in the living room which my sister, Jean, pointed out in the lighting store we visited with Susan last May. Can you see how it echoes the ironwork on the fanlight over the front door and also the metal in the staircase? Pretty cool, yes? Good job, Jean!
The copper pipe is 3/4" type M water pipe which will change color as it acquires a patina over the next few years, turning into the color of an old copper penny.
The newel post are made of iron forged in a local shop, the The Iron Rose Forge.
We asked Amos, who forged the metal, to make us a special plate for one of the posts, which he proudly did. A work of actually putting the pieces together was done by a carpenter, Matt, but we don't have his mark anywhere on the finished product.
I think it turned out quite well, don't you?
The living room is now about complete, as we bought the perfect leather recliner to set next to the window and the fireplace. We just need to get some drapes to cozy up the room for the winter and a set of bookcases to flank the right side of the fireplace and we should be done!