I had a pretty busy weekend, and ran out of time to write up my intended post for the week – so I’m reposting an old one from a few years ago that many of my newer readers may not have seen. Happy Monday, everyone!
Somewhere in the not-so-distant haze of the 60s and 70s, wrought iron railings were pretty common. Our house had them, inside and outside, where they had to be painted every year. Many were replaced by more traditional wooden rails in the 80s and 90s, and now in recent years, have returned full swing with loads of style. Some are pretty common, while others are very ornate and fanciful.
The one below is a lot like the ones I grew up with.
Anytime I see a new fad in interiors starting to take over, I want to express caution. Just as granite countertops may be the current standard and increase the value of your home (slowly being replaced by Carrera marble), remember that ten, twenty years from now people will be tearing them out in homes where they don’t work with the space well and shouldn’t have been installed to begin with. Before you make architectural changes to your home, you want to be sure it’s right for your home. I’m only saying this because I’ve been seeing iron rails installed in many homes lately, and often the only reason is, it’s new and changes the perceived value of the home.
First, we need to see the original source of iron railings – usually they were found in Spanish-style homes in the Southwest, such as the modern interpretation of that influence seen here:
And of course, we see them on the exteriors of homes in the historic districts of New Orleans and Savannah:
From there the style has branched out into all sorts of imaginative ways! I’m including images of iron done well below:
Below is a railing style we see fairly often – but you can tell the designer chose it on purpose to add to the graphic nature of the rest of the home’s design and interior. The posts echo the paneling -itself an odd mix for iron rails- and therefore make it work. Note the light fixture and the furniture choices made – very straight-line and minimal. Painting the stairs black grounds the rails as well. Nicely done.
Our next railing is far more intricate – but note the paneling and trim details elsewhere in the home. Here too, the designer played up the curving details in the railing and echoed them in the hall dresser and lamp choice. Love how this railing curls around the post.
Another photo, taken further back, of the same railing:
Another very intricate railing – but see how curvelinear it is, and how curvaceous the stairwell itself, the alcove above, and the roundess found in other elements of the home’s architecture? Absolutely, this railing is a great choice for the space. The grid of photos is an interesting touch, I love it when there’s a little juxtaposition between curves and straight lines.
The coolest thing about iron is how it can be customized to echo the home’s architecture. Another great example of rail choice made to emphasize the design of the staircase – see how they criss-cross, much like the staircase itself seems to?
A very straight-line rail. It works here so as to meld in with all the black-and-white photography on the walls – it almost disappears, and doesn’t detract at all.
A very masculine choice, but the angles represented in the rails echo that of the staircase itself.
Another image of the same house:
A similar, simpler railing – nicely executed:
Going back to curvy – check out the oval window, and you can just barely see the light fixture peeking from the ceiling – pointing back to the insets in the railing. Smart.
Rails don’t need to be new – see how this repurposed rail – previously it probably lived outside – was used here. Such a soft space. I could sit here.
If you want your home to reflect you and your style, contact me for a consultation!
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