This week, Spaces by Jacflash's custom slatted stair guard was finally installed! It is one of the final installations of our Ossington house project. The house originally had a load bearing wall closing off the first to second floor stairs, which made the stairway feel very narrow, and dining room dark and separated from the living room and entrance. By taking this wall down, we have created an open concept/modern plan without taking away from the character of the older home. Taking out the load bearing wall involved a structural engineer and approval from the city, but the outcome was worth the extra steps.
This original drawing shows what parts of the original brick wall we planned on exposing, as well as how the stair guard would be designed. Having each picket on the first level attach to each tread allowed the stairs to be almost 5" wider than the original. The pickets are 1" thick x 3" wide, which allow some separation when you are walking adjacent to the stairs, but sitting in the dining room, you are still able to see the exposed brick and anyone using the stairs. It also allows for any natural light from the dining room through the stairs during the day, and the hallway light from upstairs to illuminate the main level at night.
On the second level, having the pickets start from the new nosing to the ceiling, makes the first floor pickets look almost as if they run through the second level floor to the third level. We took this into account when we designed the 'recessed ceiling' in the dining room to disguise a bulk head for the new master bathroom, and installed it adjacent to the pickets.
We chose a white oak material for the pickets and nosing to match the new hardwood floors, treads, risers, and handrails. Next week we plan on sealing the stairs and guards to match the floors, which involves a white wash and matte clear coat. The white oak warm tones make this house feel more welcoming against the almost entirely monochromatic palettes of the living room, master bedroom and en suite bathroom.
The overall concept for this redesign was juxtaposing traditional bones with modern finishes, lines, symmetry and technology. These stairs work so well as a conversation against the Victorian inspired mouldings and original brick. On the second level we love how symmetrical the hall is. We chose black hardware for the handrail to tie into the black door knobs to the bedrooms.
This design was one of the leading factors to the concept of the entire renovation. Fluidity between spaces connecting all white walls, with warm white oak floors, and black metal accents is simple, yet captivating. It is an amazing feeling to see it all come into place and look better than we imagined!