Last week on Interior Obsessions with FormFire Glassworks, we took a brief look at a necessity of the house that is often given short shrift in terms of home decor, the lavatory. Today we shift over to another necessity , the staircase. Many of us have them, either inside or outside our homes. Some are quaint, some are merely practical, but some staircases are truly stunning pieces of sculpture. They range from bare-bones minimal to those that do double duty as drawer or book storage. A wide opening can allow room for a stair to shift from steps to platforms to display podia, while the addition of an adjacent slide can hasten a measured descent. You can choose to make either the treads and risers or the railing system the focal point, either way can produce a beautiful interior.
Although removing your current stairs to insert a sculptural metal and wood structure may be a bit outside your budget, you can certainly spruce up an existing set of stairs by simple material changes – swapping out an existing traditional bullnose tread for a new walnut flush tread and riser might be a more complex direction, while simply adding a graphic wallpaper to the riser of each step might be a more economical route. If you’re thinking of reworking your stairs, and you are perusing magazines and the web for exciting images, it’s important to remember that the majority of the stunning staircase images you see are not allowed by building codes. Stairs more than 2 steps high without guardrails are forbidden in the US, and those gorgeous thin minimalist treads can’t be used according to California codes, which allow only a 4″ distance between each tread. Check with your local building authority to verify local requirements before installing that lovely sculptural centerpiece!