Rate Your Railings: Which Should You Choose?
The stair railing doesn’t get a lot of glory when it comes to home design. Yes, it’s functional; it serves its purpose, but most of the time, we don’t pay it much attention. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
When your railing is adequate, it probably blends right into the scenery. Not much to notice, but definitely not ugly, either. You’ll probably won’t even take notice until your railings are severely dated and unfashionable, but that doesn’t mean that all old railings are passé. In fact, a well-preserved vintage railing can become a focal point in your home if you know how to accessorize it!
Building Element Or Beauty Feature? You Decide!
We’re here to offer a few tips, tricks, and suggestions to help you take your stair railing from drab to fab. Read on to find inspiration (in-stair-ation?)!
Before we get into it, it’s worth defining some terms for the uninitiated:
- Newel post(s) are the central supporting pillars of a staircase. There can be anywhere from one to several newel posts, depending on the type of staircase.
- Balusters are the spindles that support the railing. Their purpose is mainly decorative rather than structural.
- Balustrade is the railing that sits on top of the balusters.
- Handrail is the part where you put your hand for support. It’s usually attached directly to the wall.
Art Deco Railings
Take inspiration from the Roaring Twenties with an Art Deco-esque railing. The Art Deco period was notorious for its bold use of geometry and sleek forms made out of chrome and steel, making it easy to adapt these style tenets into a stair railing that makes a statement. You can play with the silhouette and interior shapes of the railing using metal framing. Slender rails in black and silver will give you that iconic Deco look without going overboard into gaudy.
Are you looking for something chic and modern? Industrial-style railings might be just the thing for your home. For railings that are sleek, simple, and stunning, why not try square railing structures made of black metal with unadorned posts and horizontal bars? To mix things up, use the same metal frames, but instead of metal bars, use cable railings. Cable railings are a unique feature for any home, and for added flexibility, the cables can be positioned either horizontally or vertically between the balusters.
Classic Traditional Railings
Traditional home décor takes its style cues from 17th and 18th century Europe. To give your home that classic aristocratic touch, why not elect for something with a little Victorian flair? Carved ornamental balusters will provide you with lovely shapes and plenty of visual appeal, and you can match them to the design of your newel posts. Newel posts and balusters painted white paired with a dark wood balustrade is a gorgeous and classic look that will never go out of style.
Elegant Wood Railings
If you like the idea of the traditional but find all the ornamentation just a bit too fussy, it’s easy to tone the look down to meet your needs. Choose newel posts and balusters that have some shape but aren’t over the top. Square is a good pick: it’s timeless, and its straight lines and definition make it feel a bit more grounded and practical than curved shapes. Use quality wood. Let the grain, texture, and color speak for themselves. You don’t have to do anything fancy with it: its simplicity is a statement in itself.
Nothing says modern glamor quite like glass. You can often find glass railings outdoors, but it’s a perfect choice for the indoors as well. It’s super simple: glass panes are supported by newel posts at each landing, and sometimes there is an additional post interspersed halfway up the stairs. Often, the glass panels are reinforced with a single metal handrail that runs along the top or side. The ultra-clean look can be accomplished thanks to standoffs, round stainless steel pieces that latch the panels firmly in place. They almost look like accessories themselves!
Let’s not forget about handrails! These standalone wall-mounted supports are mostly practical in use, but you can still match your handrail style to the rest of your staircase.
Do any of these ideas inspire you to think about the state of your staircase? If you’re ready to take the next step, Winthorpe Design & Build is here to help. Let us design, order, and install railings that suit you, your home, and your lifestyle perfectly. Connect with us today to get started.