Friday, July 5, 2013

One step closer to staircase design

I learned a new word last month.

That word was stringer.

Josh asked if I preferred a single or double stringer staircase. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about, even after he tried explaining it to me verrrry slowwwwly. He had to show me pictures of various staircases to illustrate what he meant. Like I said last week - I'm a visual person.

Here's the difference:

This is a smiling Trevor Linden. He looks pretty darn pleased with his B.C. home which includes a gorgeous, single-stringer staircase. The stringer is the white beam that connects the stair treads, essentially "stringing" them together.

Below is a double stringer. Instead of joining the treads through the middle, two stringers connect the treads on both ends. 
Josh and I were talking stringers because our staircase will be "floating" just like the ones above. I like the open look, and the fact that natural light can flow right through.
When I try to explain our future stairs to others, I become acutely aware that I'm not very good at communicating intricate architectural details. My hands start flapping like I'm doing sign language, and I think people just nod, smile, and say they understand so that I'll shut up and put them out of their misery. Below is a visual I'll simply whip out from now on, and spare them the brain cramp.
Just like the above photo, the sides of the stairs will be walls of glass and we'll have a landing in the middle. I like the seamless, modern look and that the glass allows sunlight to flow in uninterrupted. Because the staircase landing will be at the side of the house, building codes won't allow us to have a wall of windows like they have here. There will be some windows - they just won't be floor-to-ceiling.
As for the material of the stair treads, we're currently leaning towards a wood with a look similar to the treads below. It'll bring a bit of extra warmth to the space.
I'd like to add a sparkly light fixture to hang down to the landing and this photo from Houzz is a big inspiration.
The light is by Bocci and it's way beyond my budget so it remains as "inspiration" instead of on the "things to buy" list I'm mentally compiling in my head. To give you an idea of price, the company sells the little round balls of light individually so you can create your own arrangement, and a single glass ball retails for $350.

So that's our plan for the staircase. I hope it made some element of sense. For the record, we're still not sure whether we'll go single or double stringer. Single seems pretty modern, while double seems more traditional. We seem to change our minds daily.

More house plans to follow.  :)

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