Hot Trend: Mixing Metals and Woods

What’s one of the hottest trends in stair system designs right now? It’s definitely mixing metal balusters with wood handrails.

“Right now it’s all about metal,” says Craig Kurtz, president of L.J. Smith Stair Systems. “The sleekness of metal appeals to many people. We’re definitely seeing a trend of homeowners marrying up accent metal balusters with authentic wood handrails.

“This trend is evident in both new construction and remodeling projects. We’re even seeing homeowners replace their older wood balusters with iron balusters to update the look of their homes....


People are selecting their decorative iron balusters to complement other metal features in their home, like entry door hardware, lighting, picture frames and even fireplace surrounds.”

Enticing Iron Balusters

Kurtz points out that all the metal balusters L.J. Smith sells are hand made, assuring that no two balusters are exactly alike. The slight variations in each piece add character to a stairway.

We offer 11 unique iron collections. And, a variety of different finishes are available for balusters in the different collections, including Low Sheen Black, Satin Black, Matte Black, Matte Nickel, Antique Bronze, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Oil Rubbed Copper and Silver Vein.

“Homeowners can select the iron baluster that best complements the interior style of their home,” says Kurtz. “There are more than 70 different hand forged ornamental iron balustrade styles to choose from.

“Right now we’re seeing that our Horizon Collection is a best seller in 2018. And people are really gravitating to the Satin Black finish for their homes.”

When it comes to selecting wood handrails and newel posts, Kurtz reports that Red Oak and Poplar are the two most popular selling woodgrains for the company this year.

“The warmth of these woods --- especially when married with the iron balusters --- creates striking stair system options,” according to Kurtz. “Whether it’s a straight or curved handrail, the eye goes immediately to the wood selected on a stair system.

“The wood chosen for a handrail can complement the flooring in a home, cabinetry or moulding. And, because the handrail is the most ‘touched’ part of the stair system, the selection of the woodgrain is especially important for homeowners.”

Because woodgrain preferences can be vast depending on the style of a home, L.J. Smith stocks 14 wood species (Alder, Beech, Brazilian Cherry, Cherry, Genuine Mahogany, Hard Maple, Hemlock, Hickory, Maple, Poplar, Primed, Red Oak, Walnut and White Oak). Additional special order wood species are also available.

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