80's fireplace, stairs, and loft needs updating!!
Ginger ZambranoMarch 8, 2013
I would like to take the 80's feel out of this beautiful fireplace and loft area. I'm thinking paint the walls and ceiling pavilion gray, the stairs, loft railing, and wood between walls and ceiling (goes all the way around the living room) white. My husband likes the wood, but I don't know how to make it more modern without painting it. Any help appreciated! Thank you!
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myra frost
just looking at these stairs makes me feel nervous. do you have kids? if so i might consider reconfiguring these stairs for safety. also check local building codes to see whats required. if its not an issue, you could just replace the turned spindles with something more updated. i like the wood personally. nice space.
1 Like    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Ginger Zambrano
We do have kids and yes, it makes me nervous. We are in the process of buying this home and just the short time they have been in the house I have pictured them falling on to the bricks many times! What configuration would you suggest?
    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Glass railings but with kids it could be high maintenance. Maybe not with stainless steel but it leaves the space open. Market Street Penthouse Staircase
Wrought iron on both sides to tie in with fireplace. Carmel, California
1 Like    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:48AM
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A Crew of Two
What about just painting the hand rail and the sides of the stairs?
1 Like    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:53AM
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A Crew of Two
Oh and maybe just change out the newel posts to something cleaner and simpler
1 Like    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 10:55AM
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lewis + smith
I actually like the fireplace object. I would consider painting it white and remove the funky piece that comes out on the right hand side. A decent mason could remove that and make the corner look just like the left side, especially if you paint it. The rail and stair need to be redesigned with a better railing system, this time on both sides of the stair. Good luck with your project.
4 Likes    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:02AM
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Agree and second the above suggestions: remove that funny brick extension; add railing; do something with the newel posts (too early American looking).

I would replace the black fireplace insert, paint the mantel white and add a gorgeous large oil painting.
    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:20AM
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the stairs look dangerous. i'd get a couple of custom stair companies in for ideas to redsign and modernize them.

i broke my ankle in a residence with a poorly designed staircase last week. an expensive home. stairs looked okay. turns out a few people have been hurt on them. now i'm in a walking cast for 6 weeks. so i'm a bit sensitive to bad stairs.
not sure what the rest of the room looks like but would there be more space for a less steep staircase on the other side remove current stairs. and then build a catwalk/library wall at the 2nd story level going above the bookshelves from the other side of the room to the loft.

the stain works well with the brick. painting white would make it look more traditional than modern.
great FP except for the wart on the right.
    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:39AM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Two cents.......................1. Change out the railings to a simpler format. For budget sake you can just redo the verticle wood and replace the newel posts. Paint all of the wood including the headers, beams, stair treads and trim around the bookcases in "almost black" Brown or charcoal. Compromise over the wood if you need to by keeping the hand railings and the horizontal "beams" and fascia in their current state. If the bizarre brick knee wall can be removed go for it. If it cannot be,
then incorpporate it into the stairs by doing the new handrailing is sections so that every 3-5 feet there is a vertical post. Calculate the location of these posts to the one lines up with the end of the brick thing. Repeat on the other side of the stairs and carry on up......once this is done have a mason cap the high point of that brick wall with a square of slate. Now you can place a stone carving or a salvaged concrete finial from an old house. You can also find things like this at a garden center.
This piece should be tall, about two-thirds of the height of the railing. Somewhere in the room, add another piece which is similar. Walls in light Blue/Gray or Winter White, ceiling two shades deeper.
Light the loft so that at night it becomes and indoor "lantern". This can be done by simply adding a great floor lamp or some table lamps. Shoot the lights off the ceiling fan! If there's no ceiling lighting up in the peak consider installing some adjustable modern fixtures on the ribbon of wall just above your horizontal beams and focus them upward. Don't make this lighting too "hot" and broaden the angle by aiming toward the peak. Check out "Estiluz" and "Delta" Lighting. The make gorgeous modern fixture like this.
OK, finally, I wouldn't touch the brick. Paint that "mantle" the same deep tone as the railings. Above it hang something powerful like a photograph of a single bloom, an image of a tree, even a horse.
Make it big enough to just about fill the recessed brick. So now you've got a clean great room with strong lines and a natural feel. You can then get as NY as you want to with modern furniture and lots of texture.+
2 Likes    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Wood Railing
That brick masonry hearth is a work or art! put some Mountain Laurel Handrails http://awoodrailing.com to give it an added touch!
1 Like    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Wood Railing
seriously, that masonry fireplace is absolutely amazing, including the extension on the right. the handrail is simple to draw attention to the gorgeous fireplace.

before you make any changes to it, find a mason and have him price building a new one to match it.
    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:20PM
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interesting comments on the brick 'extension'. i think it looks like 1 side of an exterior path or driveway entrance
    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Jessica Boulder
Lovely chimney! I am doing some reno work in my New England home and hoping to add a brick chimney like yours!
1 Like    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 12:37PM
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Ginger Zambrano
Wow! Thank you everyone for the amazing suggestions!!! This was my first time posting and with a whole house to decorate I can tell it won't be my last!! :)
    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 2:23PM
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