I wrote last week about how often circulation spaces (stairways and hallways) are often over looked in the decoration of a home. I wanted to expand on that and show you another example of a stair case that was changed from bland to “love it!” by adding detail. In this case, what was once plain drywall was embellished with the addition of moldings, wallpaper and paint to transform the space. This back stairway is used almost exclusively by the homeowners and is a fitting path of travel to their beautiful bedroom suite on the second floor.
This was not an easy space. The stair hall was long, covering most of the distance from the 10’ ceilings on the first floor, the walls were high due to the additional 9’ ceilings on the second floor, and the width was narrow. A mere 42”. The solution in this case, because the homeowners loved traditional moldings, was to break the wall plane by adding a wainscot. The long hallway was further broken up by adding vertical columns that create a repetition of elements, leading the eye down the wall. The beautiful pendants by Vaughn Lighting are another example of repletion of elements, again, the pendants lead the eye along the path of travel. The cork wallpaper installed in this space served two purposes. The first was purely decorative. The holes in the natural cork are filled with pools of gold which further reflect the light from the pendants and create a fantastic sparkle effect in the stair hall while the variation in color of the natural cork further warms the space. The second purpose was to control sound. Cork is a great sound absorber, and in a space like this, narrow, with very tall walls, sound tends to echo. The cork wallpaper, combined with the beautiful Nourison wool runner, greatly diminished the noise level in this space. Take a good look at your circulation spaces. Maybe all they need is a little paint and molding.
Thanks to Mike Haug at Decorative Mouldings in San Diego for a meticulous installation.