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Stairwell inspiration


As I often note when I post pics of our stairwell, we’ve yet to put railings up. About a year ago we ripped out two false walls that had been constructed where the railings originally were, and despite my most optimistic hopes there were no beautiful Victorian railings hiding between said walls.

We’ve been living without any type of physical barrier between us and the big drop for about…oh…a year now. And even when we are only partially awake, we somehow manage to steer clear of that deathtrap. It made me incredibly nervous for the first three months or so, but I  eventually got comfortable with the situation. Maybe too comfortable – I often catch myself walking catlike very close to the edge, even when there is no reason to do so.

But not all humans want to test fate in this manner, so we figure we better work something out sooner or later. And today while browsing fellow fixer-upper Kim’s blog – TimeThief – I found the perfect inspiration.  Her stairwell is very similar to ours, and the newel post style is exactly what I was picturing in my head.

Here is her inspiration:

Stairwell for Victorian home

I love the contrast between the dark posts/treads and white balusters/risers. It’s very crisp and would match what we’ve done with the dark wood floors and white trim throughout the downstairs. I also really like the square balusters in this particular setup, which happen to be cheaper than turned balusters.

Here’s a picture of Kim’s beautiful stairwell in-progress:

Stairwell for Victorian home - Newel post

Visit to see ee a bunch of photos and information on the project.

Thanks for the inspiration, Kim!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

amanda had this to say on 07.06.07:

Hi Mindy,
We used that box newel on our basement staircase (pictures are forthcoming when I finally get back on the blog, the baby is sapping all of my blog post energy), and were thrilled to find it for about $80 at our local Home Depot in red oak, which was considerably cheaper than ordering from a catalog. We had whatever you call those white things made up in red oak at a local millwork shop, but you have a lot of options there, especially if you want to paint them. Good luck!

colleen had this to say on 07.07.07:

how pretty is that, i think you will not regret going with this style!! good luck

kim had this to say on 07.08.07:

Hey, you stole my pics! :) Glad I could help. I may finally be able to officially mark the stair project ‘DONE’ tomorrow. I’ll make sure to do an after post when it actually happens. (Been spending too much time moonlighting on a bigger project.)

Also, a note about the wood species in the first comment…it seems to me that white oak will go darker with stain than red oak will. Might want to check with your resident expert on that before buying any red oak.

kim had this to say on 12.01.07:

Just wanted to let you know I FINALLY posted after pics. What’s a few months delay when you’re a weekend warrior, eh?


shelly had this to say on 01.04.11:

nice. i have the same problem in my 1921 home that was divided into a duplex. railings gone, wall thrown up, and half of the original stairs were torn out also and replaced with what we call “the alpine challenge” – incredibly crazy steep steps. it is going to be a major project if we ever decide to restore the staircase and is definitely far in the future at this point… and we’ve been working on our place 7.5 years. we are almost to the point of living like the normal population.

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