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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

What do we replace wrought iron with upstairs above living area?

shelbydeanJanuary 30, 2013
This house is a tri-level built into the side of a hill. When you enter the front door, you are looking at the third level with many doors (5) and lots of iron fencing that was used for structural reasons as well as decorativelly...built in 1969. The hall has clerestry windows pouring light from above into living area. So...don't won't to lose all that natural light. Do we built a solid wall all the way up (and the spaces become more private)? Do we install modern wrought iron to replace what's there? Do we go for a modern look and what would that be?
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Are the vertical pieces actually depended on for support? Is the style to be mid-century modern or other? Are the beams and mantel staying or going? What style are the sconces - keeping them? Are you painting the brick FP or leaving it. Need to know where you plan to go with the style to make a valid suggestion that will reflect a cohesive space top to bottom.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:32PM
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I would suggest replacing wrought iron with panels from a source like www.3-form.com. It will cover the three areas mentioned 1. Maintain light flow, 2. Provide some privacy/separation 3. Give a retro modern look (that will bond with your style house
1 Like    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:34PM
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Yes, there needs to be some vertical support, but not necessarily that much. We want to paint fireplace, replace lighting. Going for a mid-century look.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:19AM
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Jean Tuck
Love the colors and stair railing is gorgeous and would use vertical sliding blinds in burgandy as floors color with wicker furniture or corduroy covered furnitue in grey with bookases along wall below the top rail.Oh what a nice room to work with.
    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:27AM
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Could you extend/replace the beams and transfer the load to the opposite wall? Sistered or laminated beams would do the trick. You see this detail inside many Mid-century Modern (MCM) homes.

These beams would make it feel less like and afterthought and more like it's architecturally planned. The strong lines the extended beams bring also make it feel more open than it already does...and less flimsy.

Here are some other details to help push the MCM aesthetic...

1. Geometric-style railing.
Interiors · More Info

2. Heavy off-centered mantle extending to the right side of the fireplace wall.

3. Wood-panel cladding on the right side of the fireplace above the mantle.

4. MCM-style entry door and patio doors.

5. Exposed wood floors.

6. MCM sconces on fireplace wall.

7. Wall flats on the opposite wall to push it just a little more modern.
18 Likes    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:32AM
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Matteo Dezigns
I would install drywall to the same height the iron railing is now. That way you heighten the wall from room level and still keep the light you want. If necessary for structure, just build one column in the middle (drywalled). If you can replace the carpeting to something lighter (beige) the beams will need no work...leave em!! Now, paint the walls a pretty color of cocoa, you're set!!
Good Luck!
    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:44AM
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Matteo Dezigns
LOVE what inhabit living did, its actually perfect for the space! Disregard my comments unless you are on a strict budget!!
    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:46AM
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Michael Kilpatrick Design

It sounds as though you have consulted a structural engineer when you say that there doesn't necessarily need to be that much vertical support. Don't rely on your gut feel for this or on a neighbors well meaning input about these things.

If you haven't consulted a structural engineer then you should.

The dark brown beams may be structural or they may be fake. What appears to be a beam above the "columns" might in fact also be fake. If you take out one of the columns the house might not fall down immediately, but it could very well creep towards failure. And failure could be persistent cracking of the drywall or a leak in the roof. The point is that these things are never as straight forward as they might appear so don't do anything like this without first consulting a professional.

The image that ourfarmhouse produced is gorgeous, but remember that those new beams need to be professionally engineered and the wall that they are now bearing on (right hand side in image) needs to be reinforced right down to the footings.

Take care and enjoy the process.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 6:32AM
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I do like the extension of the beams a lot, as well as the fireplace treatment. Excellent floor choice! Regarding the wall upstairs...the photo I uploaded does not show that there are six doors on that level. One opening to area above carport.Two closets, one into bedroom, one into bathroom, and another housing the water. Maybe clad the walls with new material that looks MCM like you have on drawing. Maybe pocket doors. By the way...each bedroom (3) upstairs has a set of french doors opening onto a porch overlooking the grounds.

Here are images of the front and back of the house. We are looking at repainting the trim all the way around. The backside of the house is mostly wood with brick columns. A friend suggested possibly painting the brick. This was recycled fire brick from the tower of a paper mill in a nearby town.
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 5:56AM
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What a great house! Please post pictures when the remodel is done. Best of luck.
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 6:59AM
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Outfarmhouse hit it out of the ball park with that design. If its in your budget I would use it...it's stunning and gives you that midcentury look.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:14AM
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I'd be surprised if the wrought iron was needed for support , because it doesn't provide any. And the beams don't continue to the back wall, so they must be decorative as well. But better safe than sorry in dealing with the roof of your house.

How many children will live here and what ages? Their safety is possibly a concern - I had one that would have swinging through the living room within the week.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:24AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
I would keep it open with a railing you like. Where the parts are that go to the ceiling now I would fill those with stud walls for support. Or you could do wood/metal posts depending on the railing. I like the idea of glass panels. .
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:24AM
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HI -- I was going to comment when you first posted but life got in the way so here goes. I Love mid century homes like yours . I hope you keep the fireplace as - is because that's nice brick and I like the full wall style that it is. When I first saw the upper level and the light and the problem you stated ,I saw this as having a full height glass wall ( eg; like in office buildings )and glass railings ,and not having railings or a half wall etc. It would be a modern element without interfering with the style of whats there. The glass can have a texture added or a laminated semi clear vinyl image applied and for more privacy then draw drapes or shades can be on the inside to close when needed . This would keep it all open and a clean style element and then the other style features can show , like the beams and ceiling . I think the beams would be better in a weathered grey just to tone down the black. Search "Glass Walls " to see what I mean.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 7:56AM
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Great ideas. Thanks for your interest...I'll check out the glass walls.
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:17AM
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Lefty47's idea of glass bricks or glass wall could be good looking. It would cut down on noise in the upper rooms, certainly. I would just check on air flow and heating/AC issues is you put the wall where it was once open.
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 12:33PM
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HI -- nononanna -- sorry -- never said glass bricks ,-would never say glass bricks or blocks , those were in the 80.s ! But thanks for reading my comment ! I liked your comment too !.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:12PM
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HI -- shelbydean -- Would you be able to post some photos of the exterior of your house -- I / we would love to see it , so many of us are big mid century fans !!! Thanks
    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 8:52PM
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You're totally right, lefty47.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:05AM
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Ultra-tec Cable Railing by The Cable Connection
How about some stainless steel cable railing for a modern look and unobstructed view for your interior to replace that iron railing and for your upper deck as guard rail.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Yes, I do love that look! It makes for a really sleek look and opens up the space. Thank you.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:06AM
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Ultra-tec Cable Railing by The Cable Connection
You welcome.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Please take a long deep breath before painting recycled brick from a historic tower...
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Yes, I agree. I think a good cleaning would be a better idea.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:37AM
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That's great news about the brick. I think that's really an attractive brick you have. The historic value makes it all the better!
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:48AM
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