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Colonial Style Stairway with Oak Handrail, Volutes, and Newel Posts
This picture shows a traditional colonial style stairway with oak newel posts and oak handrail. The handrail is an "over-the-post" style which uses shaped fittings to form a continuous, uninterrupted grip rail the full length of the stairway. Painted balusters, skirt boards and trim provide contrast and are very much in keeping with colonial period tradition.
In the Pacific Northwest, colonial and neoclassical style homes became popular again in the early 1980s. This home was built in the mid-90s, just as those styles were fading from popularity, to be replaced by craftsman style. Oak has also largely fallen out of favor, and metal stair balusters have become more popular than the wooden ones used here.
Note the art niche built into the stairway landing wall. Commercially made cast foam niches are available, but this one is incorporated into the wall framing and lined with sheetrock at a fraction of the cost. Plus, because it has a flat "ceiling", it's easy to build in a recessed light. Now all it needs it the right objet d'art.