Three Options…. You Choose

Sometimes our clients cannot decide the best route for their staircase transformation. When we are faced with this challenge of pleasing a client, our designers here at First Step Designs get excited at the opportunity to flaunt their skills. This blog shares the process of the Bithell family Staircase Transformation.

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#renovate #replace #re-invent

Once our clients have realised they need a change in their Staircase, we always ask the same question…

Would you like to #renovate #replace or #reinvent?

All these options are not always available, but when they are we at First Step get to have some fun and show you what we are capable of. The Bithell family already have a great staircase, but dated. The stairwell is large featuring a beautiful gallery and just oozing potential. We always have many discussions with the client about what time of end product they are looking for, it is important to realise a brief from these discussions to propose the best solutions. This is what our designers specialise in.

This particular brief was very open ended, the main focus was to create a feature of glass to ensure light was at a maximum throughout the hallway. The client knew they wanted a contemporary chic style home but was open to finishes at this point. We made sure that we mixed this up with our options to aid the client not only in their staircase design, but interiors as a whole.

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The option to renovate gives the opportunity to keep costs down but have a complete new look staircase. We merged our white painted timber with engineered Oak for a source of contrast in the furniture. We used our glass spindle method, this creates a variety of straight lines throughout the staircase and adds a new element of detailing. All treads and risers were clad with engineered oak so we have a solid look staircase, additionally we fully replaced the bottom step to create an opening feature. This allows us to approach the staircase from more angles and opens the entrance hall up substantially.

One key element of this staircase is the straight edges… every part of the staircase is square, the nosings of the new treads are square, the hand and baserails are all square, the posts and machined tops are fully square. The simplicity of this design merged with the straight lines created from the glass spindles creates an ultra modern finish.

Everything is in the finer details!

To renovate the existing flight we could replace all posts and balustrade and clad every element of the remainder of the staircase. This includes the strings, treads, risers and apron, all while creating very minimal damage to the existing decor. It may be a renovation, but it gives away the aura of a completely new staircase.

This complete renovation cost:


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If the client chooses to replace a staircase, the opportunity arises to choose from any one of our designer staircases that aren’t not available through a renovation. Since a lot of the time the existing layout of the staircase is the best option for the home, a replacement flight can be perfect.

This particular design shows our ‘OPEN CUT’ flight. Using engineered American White Oak throughout the product really creates an atmosphere of elegance to a home we cannot renovate a closed flight to an ‘Open’ flight as they are manufactured in different ways (however can can make an Open flight Closed). When an ‘Open’ flight is used with glass light could not ever be at a higher intensity. To suit building regulations some form of sub riser was necessary, in order to keep a truly ‘Open’ feel we used glass sub risers embedded within our luxury 32mm Engineered Oak treads.

We chose to display a ‘Cut’ string feature within this design too, it’s a more traditional approach to staircase design modernised by First Step Designs. By using this feature we create ultimately bespoke glass as each panel is cut around every tread and we use our square edges brackets to house the glass. Using a brushed steel finish to compliment other fixings and fixtures around the home.

A traditional cut string design merged with a modern open riser with subtle glass risers, transforms an everyday staircase to an object of desire.

This replacement Staircase cost:


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If you have the space why replace like for like? Our specialised staircase designers can determine if there is in fact a better way to layout your staircase. This may be to take up more room or even save space. Each design is bespoke and tailor made to each client. The removal of the quarter landing created more space downstairs in the entrance hall and managed to maintain the same amount of space on the first floor. We did this by integrating a tapering tread system so the staircase gradually winds around the right at the top. Due to quality of our product and workmanship we don’t even need any posts to the ground for support, this allows the space under a flight to be fully utilised.

Our exclusive ‘REVERSE’ design in Black Walnut is a masterpiece, this model of staircase was designed in house with our team of creatives and cannot be seen anywhere else in the market. Even though the staircase has full risers, no fittings or fixtures can be seen. Instead you can admire the perfect craftsmanship and joinery on the underside of the flight, flaunting that every element of the staircase is real timber.

When this design is mixed with side planted 15mm glass it becomes so much more special. the glass is cut following the string line and fixed with brushed steel plugs. The glass is available with out without a handrail at the customer request, but 17.5mm toughened laminated glass would be used instead to suit building regulations.

Walnut is one of the most prestigious timbers available, but we can offer the same solution in American White Oak at a lower cost. Why not be the talk of the town and reinvent your staircase with First Step Designs?

This re-invented Staircase Cost:

Black Walnut £19,800+VAT

American White Oak £16,610+VAT

Why not explore this renovation in 3D?


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