Before designing a bespoke piece for a client, whether it be a staircase, balcony, balustrade or railing, we always sit down with them (either in-person, on the phone or via email) to try and get a clear idea of their vision. Customers are often surprised by the amount of choice and design decisions they need to make. For a typical spiral staircase alone, common questions can include:
- Would you prefer wooden or cast aluminium treads?
- If wooden then what type of wood (we offer a wide range of grade-A timbers)?
- If cast aluminium then which pattern (options include Victorian, LCC, Modern Art Deco, Diamond or a completely bespoke pattern)?
- What material would you like the handrails to be made from (we can match any handrail design with our treads)?
- Would you prefer the riser bar to be metal or timber?
- How many spindles and/or railing panels would you like per each tread?
- What design of spindle and/or railing panel would you like?
- Would you prefer a wooden or metal handrail?
- Do you need an inner handrail?
- What colour would you like the metalwork to be powder coated?
This is before we even get to more practical questions about the diameter of the staircase, depth of treads and height of handrails.
Understandably, all these choices can be a little overwhelming. To make things easier, it is a good idea to gather together examples of designs you like in one place. This might include images from our website, ones found on social media or sites such as Real Homes or Houzz or even pictures of staircases, railings or balconies you’ve seen when out and about.
Whilst it is possible to simply collate these all in a folder on your computer, we’ve found that the approach which works best is to create a Pinboard on Pinterest. If you’ve not used it before, Pinterest is basically a digital version of a noticeboard, allowing you to “pin” images together and add notes to them. You can either search for images on Pinterest, link to other images by pasting in their URL or even upload pictures from your phone, tablet or computer.
Pinterest offers a useful beginners guide to help anyone who is new to the platform to help you get set-up.
What to include in your inspiration board
To give you an idea of what to include, we’ve created an example inspiration board. In this case, the customers are looking for a spiral staircase for their new home.
As you can see, when you open each image in the pinboard there are useful notes pointing out what we like about each image, whether it be details like the thickness of treads and design of spindles or simply the design of the entire staircase.
To add some context, we’ve also included some interior images to help communicate the overall feel of the property. These can be really helpful in narrowing down the design options.
You don’t have to pin hundreds of images but if you can gather around 7 or 8 it should provide a useful starting point, meaning we can get on designing your staircase more quickly!
Once the board is ready, simply click the three dots next to the board name, select “Share” and then click on the “copy link” button as shown below. Then simply paste this link into an email and send it over.
Visit our Pinterest board and start gathering your ideas today!