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The basic design principles of a turned newel

Posted by Amber Burkhart at

The most fundamental difference between a turned newel and a box newel is the general shape: turned newels are rounded, box newels are squared off. But there is a wide spectrum of particular detailing and design that goes into making numerous kinds of newels that fall into one of these two categories.

For example, there are varieties of turned newel that literally appear to spin, as a spiral design is sculpted into the wood that makes the circular post appear almost fluid. Other kinds of newels utilize an almost hourglass shape at one point in the structure that give the post a voluptuous quality.

Turned newel designs are most appropriate in homes that feature flowy, more elegant decoration. The atmosphere that these kinds of posts create on a stairway is lighter than the aesthetic established by a box newel, which gives a sense of geometry and architectural heaviness. As well, turned newels in general tend to be a lot thinner than box posts, making them a less commanding presence.

These kinds of newels are found commonly in older homes with a colonial aesthetic. Because they have a simplistic and non-imposing appearance, the staircases in these homes appear delicate and subtle.

A darkly stained wooden staircase looks beautiful with a turned newel that features a spiral design like the kind found in the Montpelier Collection offered by Stair Parts USA. These designs pop out when given a richer stain which highlights the expert craftsmanship involved in making these posts.

The balusters in the Montpelier collection also feature tightly wound spirals which are subtle yet playful. This makes them ideal for homeowners who want their staircase to be beautiful yet unassuming.


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