I have been waiting to have this project finished since we first moved in!! And I’m thrilled that we managed to update our hall stairs just in time for Christmas! We have partnered with Duart Hardwood, a local stair and railing design and manufacturing company based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, for this project. Let’s be honest guys, railings are COMPLICATED and we didn’t want to DIY this. When we learned about Duart Hardwood, we were over the moon excited to have them be part of this.
Here are the befores. I mean, the stairs themselves are pretty good! We love that they aren’t cookie cutter and they add a really nice warmth to the house. We also love how open things are.
Until, we had a contractor in for another reason and he mentioned it is a huge code violation to have stairs that are open on both sides without spindles and railings. ESPECIALLY with a baby who is learning to walk and climb stairs. Oh my heart – LB has climbed up there a few times in the past couple of weeks and I almost had a heart attack.
So we asked Lee Hallett, the owner of Duart Hardwood, to come by the house and help us figure out a way to bring the stairs up to code, modernize them to our taste and do it without totally closing off the open feel.
We settled on a really simple design of burnt penny spindles with a stained wooden rail that will match the other wood and metal tones on the main floor. The install was so much easier than I expected!
Lee came over one day and took very precise measurements. Then he scheduled his installer to come to the house and do all the cutting and installing over one morning. We wanted the railing to match the stair treads because I have plans to paint out the bead board and stair risers next. The treads are birch, so our birch railing was stained with Minwax in Early American to match.
Donnie, the installer, arrived with our bannister all in one piece and he cut it size so that it fit exactly.
Then he measured and drilled holes for the spindles. We chose a Burnt Penny tone for them to match the other oil rubbed bronze we have in the house. It looks really nice with the warm wood and the adjacent dining room light fixture.
A little tidy and it was all set! I’m super excited to have this phase of the stair makeover complete. It was certainly not something we could have DIY’d. The next phase will be to address the bead board areas around the stairs. I really dislike the reddish tone. I’m trying to decide between just painting them white to blend right in or if I should paint it a soft grey to pull some of the texture out of our new dining room feature wall. (I’ll be posting about that soon – stand by!)
I want the birch stair treads and the birch bannister to really stand out and I think dealing with the bead board will make a big difference.
In case you don’t believe me when I say we couldn’t have DIY’d this – I want to draw your attention to the craftsmanship of these bannisters. I mean, Donnie made it look easy to do. I highly doubt it is!
Huge thank you and shout out to Duart Hardwood Stairs for working with us on this project and letting us document it for you!