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William Morris Inspired Library Staircase

23 September 2022

It is every bibliophile’s dream to have their own personal library. After learning the roof of her 19th century cottage needed some repairs, writer Lyn Lindsay decided to seize the opportunity to make this a reality and convert her loft space into a home for her extensive book collection. To add a sense of secrecy and enchantment, she chose one of our Traditional Victorian Spiral Staircases in an unusual shade of antique pink to provide access and make a statement in her William Morris inspired décor.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” – William Morris

From the outset, Lyn knew she wanted an unusual staircase: “I have always loved spiral staircases, perhaps from early childhood visits to castles and stately homes; they seem enchanting and intriguing.”

Knowing she wanted something in a decorative, traditional style, she researched the different options online, quickly coming across our website and our Traditional Victorian Staircase with ornate infill panels.

“As soon as I saw British Spirals & Castings’ Victorian style, I knew that was the one for me. I was immediately impressed with their products. I telephoned the company early on in my plans and made some initial enquiries and requested a brochure. I particularly like that it is a British company, family run, making a traditional product in their own foundry.”

However, she didn’t just want the staircase to be a functional part of the conversion, but a feature in its own right. She was uninspired by the typical black and white designs she saw online, searching for a colour choice that stood out and made clear reference to the Morris & Co textiles and wallpaper chosen for the library’s décor. William Morris was a key figure in the 1800s Arts & Crafts Movement, which advocated for craftsmanship and handmade production over the industrialised mass-production of that era. A fabric from the ‘Melsetter’ collection, which features embroidery designs from Morris’ artisan daughter May Morris, provided the central inspiration for the whole decoration scheme.

Its shades of indigo, blues and greens informed the selection of various Morris & Co wallpapers and heritage paint colours­— all which either feature or are complimented using a soft pink — making it the natural choice for the statement staircase. After collaborating with our design team to choose the right shade, Lyn settled on a RAL powder coating colour of antique pink.

“It is funny that at the outset I had no idea that I would get a pink staircase – I blame Ben – he said I could have it powder coated in any colour on the RAL chart, so I took him at his word! I am delighted with the result!”

Once the aluminium staircase had been created and sprayed this vibrant colour, it was delivered to Lyn’s home with comprehensive instructions ready for installation by herself and her trusted joiner, Derek. Together, it took them two and a half days to install (although with plenty of tea breaks, we have been told!), and overall, they found it a simple process.

The result is stunning. The spiral staircase not only adds that sense of magic that Lyn wanted but stands as a true testament to her design inspiration William Morris’ ethos. As Lyn summarised:

“It was William Morris who said “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.  I think he would have loved the craftsmanship and beauty of the Victorian spiral, and he would have been very impressed with it being both useful and beautiful!”

“The company is a pleasure to deal with and everyone was so helpful. I inundated Richard and Ben with my questions (regularly!) and they always answered promptly and fully. Sion was spot on doing my design and quickly made any adjustments I had, sending me copies of everything along the design process. It’s wonderful being able to see your design take shape. Joe was always ready to take calls and was great at installation time answering last minutes queries. Even the delivery was great, with my staircase being driven directly to me. It’s a real team effort by all involved.”

Explore our range of beautiful, hand-cast aluminium spiral staircases, which can be supplied in vast array of RAL colours— just as Ben promised! Get in touch via phone or email to discuss your vision for your staircase.

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