Buying an older, dated home to renovate and modernise is a popular choice for many Australian homeowners. While challenging, it can also be very rewarding and is a great way to create a beautiful, modern home and also dramatically increase the value of the property.
Home renovations as a whole are made up of many smaller projects. If your home has two or more storeys, then renovating the staircase is one of these smaller projects. In older homes, one of the key objectives is to make the staircase a lighter and brighter space. Here are two ways you can do this:
1. Choose the right balustrades
Your choice of staircase balustrade will have a big impact on how much light the staircase receives. It will also have an impact on the way light is reflected around the staircase and surrounding areas of the home. The key is to avoid dark colours and keep the balustrades as unobtrusive as possible while making sure that they are safe and meet legal requirements.
Glass balustrades are an ideal option in this scenario. They allow a maximum amount of light in and help to allow light to flow unhindered through the space. Stainless steel balustrades are another excellent option. They are very thin, creating minimal light blockage or visual barriers. They can be installed vertically or horizontally, and the stainless steel is also light reflective.
If you prefer traditional timber balustrades, then it's still possible to opt for them without compromising on creating a lighter, brighter staircase. Choose slender balustrades made from natural, light-hued timber, or paint them a crisp, glossy white to maintain lightness and maximise light reflection.
2. Introduce more natural light
It's very common for staircases in older homes to suffer from a lack of natural light. They are often located in a part of the home that has no windows and the only natural light they receive is reflected from other parts of the home. This can make them quite gloomy spaces, even in the middle of the day.
A highly effective way to introduce more natural light to your staircase is to add a skylight or light tunnel. Skylights are excellent if the staircase is located directly under access to the roof line. This addition will flood the area with natural light, even on an overcast day.
Light tunnels are ideal if there is attic space above the staircase. Made of a highly reflective material, it redirects sunlight down the tunnel which is capped by a diffuser. While not as effective as a skylight, a light tunnel will still dramatically increase the amount of light that enters the space.