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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Integrate a spiral staircase

BettyFebruary 26, 2013
Our living room (20' x 22') w/loft is under total renovation. The new yellow pine spiral is set in the living room between the entrance to the kitchen on the left. Also, it is in direct line with the main entrance door into the house (on right). It looms into the space. L.R. has natural fir cathedral ceilings. Should I stain it? Paint it? What sort of railing on the loft? Please help!
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A bright paint (red?) would turn it into a great feature since it is a dominant form in the space. White would also look good and a loft rail in white. Otherwise you have a lot of wood with the ceiling and floors so I would steer clear of a wood tone stain. If you prefer a stain: a charcoal or ebony would work.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:49AM
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I guess I'll take the opposite view, if it were mine I would want it to coordinate with your beautiful floors! I'd stain it to match the floor.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:56AM
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Do you want modern look or cabin like feel ? What is the loft going to be used as ? do you need privacy up there ? are you a very tidy person, as the loft is seen from below it will need to be very tidy so it does not look like storage . more info please.
    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 6:03AM
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Thank you for the suggestions. More info.: the home is set on private lot on a river with mature cedar trees, etc. so we don't even have drapery (just blinds). A 2 bedroom home with cedar shake siding, so inside will have an updated cabin feel. Not rustic per se, but with casual, tactile finishes. I am a very tidy person (although reno. process does not show that!). The finished loft will be a music/yoga/relax area for adults. I would add a more current picture, but can not figure out how...
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Then I suggest you stain the stairs to resemble closely the wood already there .If you close it with a railing I would imitate the stair rails,(same height as the last one at the top) but closer together for safety reasons, I would be tempted in putting Dormer windows on each side or skylights to light up the space. (i would do skylight myself) Are you dry walling that area or doing the same wood finish as it looks like you have in the rest of the area ? I think you need to insulate the space as it could become unbearably hot if you don't. I think that when finished it will be spectacular, please post photos.
    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:42PM
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Thank you for the help. The loft area does have a skylight plus plenty of windows on each "end" wall. It will have tongue and groove wood ceiling like the living room which will go all the way to the a short knee wall, so will literally form most of the side walls. The peaked end walls will be drywall & painted to match living room wall color. I like the idea of matching the stair stain to the floor color since that seems the simplest solution. I've figured out how to attach a newer picture.
    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 1:40PM
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P.S. all the piles of stuff you see on the lower level is everything normally stored in the loft, not our usual housekeeping style. The green walls look odd in the photo. This is a true sage green paint (Benjamin Moore), I'm not sure why it appears so "minty". The loft ceiling area was recently insulated with white spray foam (which is what you see in the picture).
    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Love it, love it, love it .
    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:23PM
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I agree - stain the stairs to match & put a similar railing on the loft.
    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:23PM
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i would use built ins to enclose the lost(railing height bookcases) gives a little privacy, encoses it, and extra storage-always a bonus. and I love the idea of painting it a bold colour. red or black. otherwise it will just disappear, and its such a lovely feature.
    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:44PM
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This forum has really helped validate my own ideas and open up new ones. The old loft "railing" was a bookcase open to the loft side, but we found we never used it & it seemed to close off the loft view into the living room. The option of staining and spindles seemed the safe way to go, but I admit to being attracted to the idea of a pop of color with red or the safer black. That means no turning back as it is a BIG job to sand a spiral! Our kitchen viewed from the living room is already apple red. Not afraid of color! So, I am debating the "safe" route and the "bold" route....still. At least from your comments I now feel validated either way to make my decision and go for it, THANKS to you all!
    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 10:02AM
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We have continued our project with adding the same wood ceiling as the living room to the loft. The spiral has been stained to match the floors, but somehow I still feel the rails should be painted leaving the treads stained. Other than red or black; does anyone think a warm cream would work? The vinyl windows in the living room (and throughout the house) have a cream edge on them and the cellular blinds are cream?
    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Hi Betty, why don't you print (on copy paper)and enlarge the pics ,make copies , then take markers or coloring pencils and try the colors on paper. It will give you an idea on the effect color will bring to the stairs. I think the cream will kind of dull the effect of the beautiful spiral.The black color,would give a sculptural effect to the stairs, I nix the red, because it will then limit your options on the rest of the color design in the whole house, and it is a color that hits you every time you look at it, after a while you will get tired of it. As for my personal taste, I would stick to a stain, On paper try the handrail and central post in black, what would that look like ? try it also in the cream.Take your time, and remember, it is your house , so, yours is the last vote.Good luck
    Bookmark   Thanked by Betty    October 19, 2013 at 3:08PM
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