Before & After - Chowen-2

Your Stairs : Rising up!

Even though they are the third most expensive part of the home, stairs are often the most overlooked item when planning out the design of a custom home. Besides the functionality of it, how it looks is another important aspect to consider.

Stairs can be a huge factor when designing the layout of your home. For example, if we had installed a closed riser staircase in our Minnesota Mountain Modern home, the entire flow of the house would be different--the main floor would feel closed off and more private. Instead, the floating, open-riser staircase allows light to pass through, creating a unified open-floor plan.

Stairs (above): custom-crafted steel stringer open staircase with cable tails, steel posts, and 3.5 inch-thick wide oak stair treads.

Open riser staircases have quickly become a popular option in modern and contemporary homes as they provide a sleek, minimalistic look. It works in great contrast to the boxy, closed-in staircases of the past. Not to mention, they are extremely versatile.

In all three projects shown above, we used closed-risers and metal banisters to achieve a contemporary look compared to the very modern staircase from our Minnesota Mountain Modern project. Having closed-risers means that a full timber, vertical wall set between each step. Specifically, in these projects, the "riser" part of the stairs is the white section in between the wood treads. Like with open-risers, this design is equally versatile.

Notice how these closed-riser staircases boast a stair runner to soften the look of the modern railings. The stair runner used in our Lakeside Retreat project adds a fun pop of color to the all-wood stairs.

Adding a carpet running is equally functional and beautiful. Not only do stair runners come in virtually all colors, patterns, and widths, but they also provide additional safety for children, pets, and those with mobility issues


These two closed-riser staircases are our most classic and timeless examples. Both projects went with staircases made entirely out of wood with custom newels, which are the large posts at the bottom and top of a staircase.


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