A young couple purchased a 1950’s home that required not only the normal updates of the kitchen and bathrooms but also the introduction of a stair to connect the first floor and lower level. The home was built for wheelchair use and as such there were two unique stairs: One in the garage with a steel plate trap door and the other – a later introduction – a circular stair. Both were less than ideal for daily use and required replacement.
The clients sought to retain the original character of the home in a Mid-Century manner, which included leaving all the existing windows in place, saving the wood paneling for re-use and limiting the work so as to not change the exterior. A series of concepts were developed to create an open plan, keyed by the location and type of stair (e.g., straight, U, L). The final design was developed so that the stair is an integral part of the arrival sequence and living experience as well as to afford connecting to the lower level as to limit additional renovation. The dining and kitchen areas open onto the existing and untouched living room. Client involvement and direction was key to the final lighting, materials and finishes package.