In this world of mass production, especially in new construction homes, it is hard to make a new home uniquely yours.  We tend to accept the few options a builder presents and think we'll just make it our own with a new wall color and a great furniture arrangement.  Let's think about some of the impact areas of a home.

The kitchen.  A fireplace.  The staircase.

The staircase.  

It is usually located in a prominent area of the home.  It is usually part of the first impression.  You can't redo a first impression.  Why not put some extra thought and money into this architectural element that has forever been one of the more exciting architectural pieces?  

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It doesn't have to be crazy special.  But doesn't this staircase feel special?  All it took was a little extra thought, a darker stain and you walk in thinking... this is good.  

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Or maybe you do go custom in a big way.  This is a pretty standard entryway in a lot of new construction.  A peek of rail.  Why not make that small amount of open staircase memorable?  The marble risers aren't too bad either.  

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Again, not much open stairway here but what is available is special.  Walking into this foyer gets you excited to see the rest of the home, right?  

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This is so, so good.  One thing to consider is whether you have small children and the marketability of your home should you need to sell.  This doesn't endanger little heads trying to get through and classic enough not to scare away a less creative mind.  

I know this isn't a real estate blog but whenever you are messing with the design of your home be it cabinet choices, paint colors or even the hardware on your bathroom cabinets you're messing with the market value of your home.  An appraiser considers some of the more obvious things but what sets your property apart from your neighbors are the aesthetic choices.  Make them valuable.  First impression, again.

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Again with the Chinese Chippendale style but painted and paired with a traditional, substantial newel.  

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Nothing too crazy here other than some extra attention to detail.  You don't have to live in an older home to have the substantial, sturdy staircase that your kids can slide down the bannister on without snapping it.  I love the narrow distance between each baluster.  

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Now, this is obviously not a standard subdivision home but what you can take away from this is thinking outside the box.  This amps up a space in a dramatic way but is very doable.  Instead of steel, frame out in wood.  Even instead of glass use a substantial plexiglass.  Short of wiping handprints or puppy dog nose prints very livable.  I especially love this on the balcony overlooking the double-story living rooms people love.  

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I love this idea.  This is totally DIY and what a statement. 

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To make a home yours don't ignore the architectural elements that seem intimidating.  Don't just look at the builder grade options presented during the building process.  It is worth it.  Do it for yourself... you're climbing those stairs everyday. 

~ Meghan

** If you're interested in Design or E-Design services, please email katiegracedesign@yahoo.com for more information! **

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