The Deadly Staircase

March 18, 2012 | Alex

I have determined Ryan's staircase to be a doggie death trap. (We're adopting an 8-week puppy next week!) At the very least, it represents a health hazard to drunken house guests. Here's why:

IMG-20111016-00002.jpg

(Ignore the clearly visible staples and nails that remained when I ripped out the carpet exactly 1 hr after Ryan closed on the apartment. Those are gone now...mostly gone. Some were really wedged in there, my fingers hurt from gripping the pliers and, most importantly, it was boring. Animal activists can stand down-- I assure you they will be removed well before puppy learns the stairs.)

You guessed it! It's completely open on one side. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! What curious little puppy could resist such a tempting shortcut? We actually have a friend with a similar set up, who confirmed that his small dog has, in fact, fallen off the stairs on a few occasions.

Okay, so what are our options? I don't want to completely close it in, because it's an important source of natural light from above.

Here are the options I've identified so far. Please comment if you have other ideas!

1. Glass

via DesiretoInspire.net

via DesiretoInspire.net

Pros: Maximizes light; sleek and modern, but in a neutral way to which future buyers are unlikely to object.

Cons: Expensive as it needs to be tempered glass.

2. Wood Slats

via CatalogDesign.com

via CatalogDesign.com

Pros: Cool looking; Less expensive than glass (I think?); might look cool with the wood slat paneling in the study; Future buyers might dig it.

Cons: Not exactly cheap; blocks some light; maybe too much visual noise with the wood slat paneling in the study; Future buyers might not dig it.

3. Corrugated Plastic

via Dwell Magazine

via Dwell Magazine

Pros: Cheap! Allows light to filter through.

Cons: Meh, just not loving the idea for Ryan's space. Jeff Sherman rocked it in his Prospect Heights brownstone (featured in Dwell), but I'm not convinced I could achieve the same effect.

4. Rope

via Royalton Hotel, NYC

via Royalton Hotel, NYC

Pros: Could look interesting, if I do it right; allows light to filter through; inexpensive, but hopefully will look more artsy than cheap; easy to remove.

Cons: Time consuming; Rope may sag overtime.

4. Funky Wood Railing

plastolux.net.jpg

Just thought of this one, so I haven't fully evaluated the pros & cons. It would do the trick safety-wise and probably be less expensive than glass or wood slats across the entire open side. It just feels like the traditional, conventional approach-- even if it is a stair rail "re-imagined"(whatever that means.)

via OFIS Arhitekti

via OFIS Arhitekti