Posts Tagged ‘ commercial interior design ’

The images below represent the design process for one customer’s new stairway.  The changes are listed before the renderings.  The program used to model the stairways is Sketchup.  The rendering engine used was Kerkythea.  Let me know what you think:
In this first image the newels and rails and threads were painted black.  The balusters alternate (except the balcony – my mistake)

Philadelphia Newel

Close up of the balcony

Philadelphia Newel

Close up of the balcony with the alternating balusters

Philadelphia Newel

Here we have changed the color to the newels and handrail.  We’ve stained the threads and added box newels to the balcony

Philadelphia Newel

close up of balcony

Philadelphia Newel

In the last rendering we have gone back to the original newels.  The customer decided to go with square bases on the newels (not shown)

Philadelphia Newel



I don’t often get a request for wooden spheres – in fact I can’t remember ever making something like this , at least not as big as these.  A contractor asked us to reproduce a number of large wooden balls to fill the “kick space ” under the receptionist desk in the reception area of a children’s clinic.  They were to be painted as seen in the original desk seen below.

Reception Ball

Reception Ball

The balls measured 11 5/8″ diameter and were turned from poplar.  Below are some of the balls during and after finish sanding:

large wooden balls

Finished Spheres

ready to ship

ready to ship


Video of turning the spheres:



This is a 6″ newel that we made for a customer on the East Coast.  The home owner  had an older newel that he really liked and asked if we could reproduce.  The difficulty on making an exact reproduction of any large piece is in either having it shipped to my shop in South Louisiana or in some cases removing it from a finished stairway.  Such was the issue here. The best that could be done was to take a good resolution picture and email it to me.  So after the picture arrived I made a rendering using Google Sketchup.  The original image is below with the model and changes desired by the home owner.

original image and my first model

original image and my first model


And finally the finished soft maple newel.  The cap was provided by the home owner.

Soft Maple Newel

Barley twisted

These are white oak barley twisted balusters for a customer in Idaho. I am grateful that they remembered to send me pictures of the final staircase. We made the newels to match the balusters as you can see. The balusters are 2″ wide at the base. The “pins” at the top are 1 3/8″. The architect strictly wanted two balusters per tread with pin tops. The pins, as such, had to be quite large to meet the four inch rule which is required in most communities.

Barley Twisted Staircase

barley twisted newel and balusters under the volute

Lyptus is a very hard hardwood imported from South America that has gained some popularity in the US in the last few years.  Lyptus is a wood that is being grown on farms and harvested by some produces.  In hardness it is probably slightly harder than red oak but it seems to me to vary quite a bit in harness from one piece to another.   It is pinkish in color with a rather wild grain pattern in many pieces.   These stair newels went to an interesting stairway in Illinois.

Lyptus Newels

I thought these newels were an interesting switch.  The newel cap that we added to these is normally reserved for an over-the-post newel where the hand rail miters into the cap.  But in this case the customers wanted the cap added to a post-to-post newel.  These are crafted in poplar to be painted.  The larger of the four newel ( eight inches wide at the base) will sit at the bottom of the stairway – the “starters”.  The smaller, five an one half inch newels will be installed at the balcony level.

post to post newels

poplar rope moldings

alder rope moldings

These 4 inch wide rope moldings were made for a customer in CA.  The images are taken of the three footer and the  eight footer.  There was also a 6 footer and 4 footer.  The longer molding was made in poplar to be painted.  The shorter piece was from alder.  To make these the two halves were glued with news paper between.  After the pieces were turned and roped one simply has to use a hammer and chisel to split them with little trouble.  Presumably these will be used to apply to cabinet fronts.  Should look great.

Barley Twisted Table Legs

Pictured above are four barley twisted table legs turned for a customer in Florida.  They measure 3 1/2″ wide and 30 inches high.  Normally table legs are made 29 inches in high to produce a 30 inch overall high with  the table top thickness of one inch.  But my customer needed the extra inch to make a wider apron (the horizontal member that connects the legs and supports the table top).

For a table with a 30 inch height normally you would not have less than 24 inches from the apron to the floor for knee space though most would probably consider 24 inches a tight squeeze.

Court House Baluster Reproductions

These balusters are for a court house in Texas.  They are rendered but not completed.  In fact, the samples are not made yet but I thought I would draw and render them in Sketchup and Renderworks.  I’ll be turning about a hundred of them in pine.  They measure 2 1/2″ X 27″.  I have not seen the rail profiles yet so my rendering is not yet complete.

court house baluster

The following renderings are different versions of a pedestal newel I am developing.  They go from about 5 1/2 inch base with 3 1/2 inch turning to about a 8 inch square base with 5 1/2 inch diameter turning.  All models depict over the post style newel but certainly a post to post newel could be made.  These would have to be shipped in pieces so that the final length of the base could be cut.  The column and moldings could be attached after the base is cut and installed.

The spiral top of the newel below is another variation on a theme. Of course, there are endless possibilities. The bases on these have recessed flat panels which could be made with raised panels or left plain. The ionic columns could be fluted as well as plain.