Here is how it looks like now, after we had the carpet removed and new hardwood floors installed.
As you have probably guessed, the next step is to add a hand rail.
We want something more modern than the traditional wooden railing and balusters, and we're thinking of something out of wood and steel, with a mix of vertical and horizontal lines.
Something with this kind of feel, from the Iron Rose Forge & Welding web site:
Our friend Susan, who owns Interior Motives and has been getting so much of the house ready for us, suggested using wood rails, copper balusters, steel newel posts, and granite newel post caps. These material are reasonably priced, but putting them together in an artistic way involves the talent of both iron and wood craftsmen.
This sounded intriguing and yesterday we met with an Susan, Amos, the owner of Iron Rose Forge & Welding, and Matt, a carpenter, to plan out the project. Most of the meeting centered on how to actually build the staircase, with much discussion of flanges, bolts, and angles; "sturdy" was the keyword of that discussion. Some of the discussion was about color, finish, and decoration; the keyword here was "beautiful." After about an hour Ben exclaimed, "A stairway is a complicated thing to build!"
Since it is complicated and since the construction involves close coordination between the two craftsmen, they plan to come next week and make a model so they can capture the right angles and measurements. I'll keep you posted on how it all goes!