As you move across America you’ll see the dramatic changes in residential architecture, but the Northeast has some of the oldest homes in the country. Traditional colonial residences are one of the very first trademark schools of American house design.
Colonial homes are derivatives of the old-English style house that was first popular among the Europeans in the early settling in America. Traditional Colonial homes are generally two storied with an attic, and are bisected by a main central staircase. In more affluent Colonial homes, the main entryway may showcase a grand central staircase that opens out before the main door. Other homes may have two opposing curved staircases that frame a front parlor or hallway. However, most Colonial homes feature straight staircases that line up with the front door. This makes the staircase a key component in the architectural design of Colonial homes.
Traditional Colonial homes are built to emphasize symmetry. You’ll find that the central door divides the house down the middle with an equal number of windows on either side. Colonial homes are generally light on ornamentation, and this is often reflected in the stair parts that can be found in more modest staircases. Using simple, symmetrical design elements will define your space while reflecting the architectural standard of your home.
Standard box newels are a great way to mimic the simplistic design and clean lines of a traditional colonial home. Box newels will reflect the symmetrical nature of the architecture. These modestly designed pillars will anchor the sense of tradition by reflecting the puritanical roots of simple and tasteful decoration.
Try mixing stained wood with whitewash. Painting simple box or turned balusters and risers will help to highlight and define each aspect of your staircase by creating contrast and definition.
To create a fluid and seamless space that truly reflects the colonial style, match the paint on the stairs with the trim in the rest of your home.
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