June 3, 2009

Newel post dilemma

Last year, we had a staircase to our loft installed and the basement stairs refaced.


We also had the hardwood floors on the main floor refinished. We pulled out all the existing railings at that time, with the plan to install new railings all the way around — on the staircases and along this opening in the floor (there’s a similar opening in the loft floor as well):

hole in floor

Well, it’s been almost a year, and these gaping holes and both staircases are still railing-less. Hubby insists that he’s going to build and install the railings, but at this point, I’m on the brink of writing to Bryan Baeumler at Disaster DIY and begging him to help before we have a real disaster!!

Here’s the style of the railing that hubby is going to build (pardon my snicker, I just don’t see him being able to build this!!)

handrail_si25 handrail_si27

And here’s a drawing with the newel post that I designed and hubby created in some fancy-schmancy CAD-like program that lets you create cool 3-D drawings that you can spin around and do all sorts of spiffy things with. Too bad it won’t actually build the design for you!! ;-)

newel 2

I’m going for a sort of Craftsman look. The spindles will be metal and the posts will be wood (the handrail isn’t in this drawing, but will be wood too). The little squares at the tops of the newel posts are inserts of little glass & metal tiles. The post on the left has raised detailing in metal, the post on the right has the same raised detailing in wood — I can’t decide which way to go.

According to hubby, he can’t build anything until I make a decision on the final newel post design. Grrrr!!!

What do you think?? Does it look OK?? Do you have any suggestions for improving the design?? Remember, the longer it takes me to decide on the final newel post design, the longer we have huge holes in our floors that could swallow up all the inhabitants of our house!!

If you have pictures of newel posts or know of web sites with good newel post designs, please leave a comment with the info and/or send me pictures at



I’ve had thE two railing pictures in my inspiration folder for years and can’t remember where they came from.


janet said...

well kelly, i say you hand over the design and let dh get started because i think they are perfect, but i have no design sense so you might want to wait for other Happy birthday to squirt. Mr. Sandy is sure showing his age lately, which is rather disturbing but he is going on 14. I have the cabinet just about painted and im leaving the original hardware, we painted it in a cream, actually the color was called swiss coffee. I think we are putting the tv on it and getting rid of the brown/black one i just bought, i like it but it overpowers the room.

Awesome Sara said...

those look like freaking complicated to bulit!!! u think u need a professional or something much easier. but then again they are really awesome.

as for my couch dilema, i dont have the room to have the couches face each other but that is a good point to have matching couches or 2 totally different ones. now all i have to do is pick!!! thanks so much, you really helped!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Kelly, you are hilarious. What you wrote about your hubby reminds me of something I would write. My husband would be totally be doing the autoCad mock up first or whipping up a 3-D design! I totally love the design as is. It is truly gorgeous. I like the tile & glass accents. Will be very unique to your home. Tell hubby to warm up his table saw.

mrsben said...

Kelly, love the design and detailing.

Before deciding what post to go with, maybe completion of a spindle section first will help you decide. (Just a thought.)

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Wow, that looks sharp! Cracked me up when you wished the program could build it for you. I'm all for that. I've got so many unfinished projects around here. I gave my husband a three-paged (typed, single-spaced) list of things I'd like him to do, but things are getting checked off verrry slowly. I told him he needs to quit his job so he can devote all of his time to my house projects. Ha.

Can't wait to see how this turns out. Good luck! :-)

Christy said...

Hmmm I honestly don't have any suggestions - I think your ideas are spot on and that new railing will look just smashing! The only thing I might do differently would be to paint them white, not black. Just because that would match my own house better. But I think they're really awesome in black too. I can't wait to see them done...whenever that may be!

Pauline Wiles said...

Isn't it hard to strike the balance between supporting husbands' desire to build stuff, and encouraging them to be realistic of what they can achieve and when? These railings are gorgeous and I do fear for the reality part of him making them.
Julia, I'm amazed you dared give your husband a list, and such a long one at that. Did he speak to you that day?! My current tactic is to tell Beloved Husband very sweetly what is top of my list at any given time. I figure he can only do one thing at a time and he doesn't need to know the rest of his natural life is mapped out...

Gayle said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a program that would actually to the building?!

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