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Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Still Staircase Woes
After last weeks disasters it was pretty clear I would have to use the house I have without too many modifications. So I've rebuilt the house, re assembled the pediment and spent far too much time changing my mind about the stairs.
This is the bottom part of my curving staircase in situ. If I put the top half ontop of this to create a staircase with a continuous curve, it ends up being far too wide to be able to squeeze two rooms either side of it. I would also mean that there wouldn't be room to put a fake door in the back wall of the stairwell/hall meaning I would have to add a real staircase up to the top floor and down to the basement to create logical access to all areas for the people who live in the house. That's a lot of space just for steps.
One alternative is to do this:
By using a landing I could fold the stairs back on themselves, but there's still no room for fake doors. Plus it looks a little odd.
Then there is the problem of room size. With a central staircase folded back on itself and two evenly sized rooms either side, the rooms end up about 23cm wide. I pulled out the bedroom suite I bought for this house almost a year ago and tried it in a room this size.
As you can see, it does all fit (except for the bedside table), but only just and it really isn't showing off the classy high quality furniture off to its best. I've also ordered some wallpaper with a mural scene on it that you won't really be able to see in a narrow room; it needs a long back wall to really show it off.
So . . . . .
Now we come back to ritzy staircase and one big room per floor or cramped staircase and two cramped rooms per floor or no staircase and two good sized rooms per floor. It seems that every choice is a huge compromise on the vision I have for this house. One compromise would be to have two rooms per floor, the staircase/hall in one of the ground floor rooms and have the staircase emerging directly into a room upstairs, say the drawing room. That would eliminate the need for a second floor hallway and I would only lose one room to the grand staircase. But which room would get the boot and would the emergence of the staircase into a room a) take up too much space in the room or b) just simply not be grand enough for a grand house?
Whatever I end up with, I do have one piece of good news. I've been trying to find some inexpensive fancy wrought iron look stair railings. I've seen some lovely things, but all with prices to make your eyeballs spin. Then I had the idea to use pieces of fanblade. I bought a stack of these cheap fretwork fans for $2.50 each and provided I make no mistakes I can get as many as 30 spindles from each. All they need is cutting out and painting black. Much better than paying about $15 for a pack of 6 spindles. Sweetington, a talented miniaturist I have contact with via Flickr suggested using the fan blades as the steps themselves and gave me this link to illustrate his point: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bara-koukoug/3518523444/ The steps aren't suited to this house, but I can imagine them someplace with a steampunk theme. . . .
I still have a couple of weeks to agonise over the decisions that need to be made for this house. I can't procceed too far with it until the things I've ordered (wallpapers, doors, mouldings, etc) arrive and as much of this has to come all the way from England it won't arrive for at least more two weeks. I think in the meantime the best thing to do is to ignore the house itself and start working on the basement instead. The basement will be built by adapting a flat packed shelf unit. Oh wait . . . . I can't plan that until I know where, and if, stairs will come down to the basment from the upper house. That's the way this house is going; there's always something that prevents the next bit from working!