Traditional Staircase Needs Makeover
kkbovier
August 18, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We are in the process of updating a four square. Our tastes lean towards transitional/contemporary. We have had the windows and baseboards refinished with a walnut stain to bring out the walnut in the floors and to minimize the previously existing orangey tones on the wood.

Dilemma is with the staircase. Do we:

A) stain all parts, treads, risers, banisters, rails and spindles in walnut
B) stain all but spindles in walnut and paint spindles white
C) stain all but spindles and replace existing wood spindles with wrought iron

Additonal question, second floor trim/baseboards were painted white (wood was not the same quartersawn oak as first floor). Do we paint the inside stringer (the one that will adjoin the moulding on floor 2) white as to transition to the second floor?
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Dytecture
Here is a photo showing painted spindles.


August 18, 2013 at 5:55AM     
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dlkula
I like the oak spindles, prefer wood over wrought iron! I like white spindles but love the look of all stained too. The white is a fresher look I think! GOod luck!
August 18, 2013 at 6:07AM     
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N.O.R,LLC
your spindles can be transitional if you change your post .
August 18, 2013 at 6:22AM   
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dclostboy
The spindles are making it feel traditional. Suggest changing to square or rectangular at a minimum. If you really want contemporary, look beyond iron to glass, cable or steel mesh.
August 18, 2013 at 6:27AM   
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Lynne Mysliwiec
While I'm a total contemporary/modern girl, sometimes you just have to stick with the beauty and glory of the details your house gives you and build your decor around them. No one makes staircases quite like that anymore. My vote is A. It's lovely.
August 18, 2013 at 6:43AM        Thanked by kkbovier
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net3252
think the white spindles would give the area a lighter feel. Right now it feels like too much wood.
August 18, 2013 at 7:30AM     
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bballgirl02
You could paint something like these
August 18, 2013 at 9:01AM     
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kkbovier
Thank you for your comments. Question: for those who said paint spindles, I presume that would be in addition to staining of the remainder of staircase walnut?
August 18, 2013 at 10:17AM   
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wmpj
My comment may not be help you make a decision but I think all three choices are good.
August 18, 2013 at 10:28AM   
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Linda
Stain everything darker if you like, but don't paint. Especially don't paint the upper stringer...I prefer the stringers to be consistent along the entire stairs.

It's a beautiful original staircase and adds to the value of the home. Although some older homes from th 20s had wrought iron spindles, yours wouldn't have the same look. You could replace the spindles with simple square spindles or even individual spindles designed to go together, one set per stair (left, middle, right all connected to each other)
August 18, 2013 at 10:30AM   
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maxdc
A all walnut. If your trim downstairs was white I would have added white risers and spindles but prefer all wood with wood trim. And it's a beautiful staircase.
August 18, 2013 at 10:32AM      Thanked by kkbovier
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Mackenzie Austin Design
D) Replace spindles with squared wood ones. Stain everything. Add a patterned stair runner.
Pic #1: "the look"
Pic #2: runner
Pics #3&4: rail, spindles, etc.
August 18, 2013 at 10:43AM        Thanked by kkbovier
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Mackenzie Austin Design
As to your second question: leave all parts of the stairs stained (including stringer) and only transition to white once you've reached the second floor.
August 18, 2013 at 10:45AM   
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jimjambears
I agree with Lynne Mysliwiec on this one and stick with idea A.
Keep the stairs in walnut,clean and sand then oil.
Possibly take inspirational ideas from the detail shapes in the design of the stairs and compare those shapes to contemporary ideas and extend those idea to the rest of the hallway. Don't forget to take photos of the finished design so we can see what you did.
Good luck and enjoy. :-))
August 18, 2013 at 10:53AM   
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dlkula
I really love your stairs and would not change much!!!
August 18, 2013 at 7:53PM     
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Sustainable Dwellings
I think the stairway is fine. It probably goes with the rest of the house. you can always add artwork and rugs.
February 11, 2014 at 11:40AM   
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