Cedar Deck Railing

Connecting a home’s interior to its exterior and outdoor surroundings is becoming more and more important to homeowners. As you’ll see in the pictures, a homeowner selected branch infill for interior and exterior railings to create a cohesive flow throughout his Craftsman home and tree-lined lot. And the result is stunning!

Cedar Deck Railing
Cedar Deck Railing
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The railing with balusters made from mountain laurel branches softens the height transition from the woodsy yard to the main floor. In order to clear the lot for the home’s foundation, a few red cedars were cut down. In keeping with a unified look, the homeowner used them to make the handsome log newel posts.

Mixed media is another popular trend. The stairway railing features round metal rods that maintain the rustic look while mixing nicely with bark covered branches.

Cedar Deck Railing Posts
Cedar Deck Railing Posts
This spacious covered porch is perfect for entertaining or just relaxing in the shade and enjoying nature’s scenery. To get more use from the outdoor deck the homeowner installed recessed lighting and also a ceiling fan for warm weather comfort.
Cedar Porch Railing
Cedar Porch Railing
From a design perspective, twisting and turning twigs add movement and flow to the wood plank floor and paneled ceiling. Notice how the sinuous outline of the branches really stands out behind the sunshine and complements the trees.
Cedar Deck Railing Kits
Cedar Deck Railing Kits

The homeowner chooses to complement cedar deck railing for interior and exterior décor. Instead of using rough cedar logs for newel posts, square posts were installed and stained for a contemporary look in the interior.

A stained glass window features an Osage orange tree that blends beautifully with the twig and branch infill in the interior railing. Notice how the branches are arranged to spread out like those in the stained glass. Just like the stained glass work, the interior cedar deck railing is a piece of art. Each branch is unique as well as the overall pattern within each railing section.

Overall, this entrance way feels like an extension of the tree-lined landscape outdoors.

Handrail with Oak Boards
Handrail with Oak Boards

We think the results are stunning and so does our customer:


Dear James:

Our new home is finally complete and all of the packing boxes are empty. Enclosed are photos of the railings you made for us. While, for me, the handrails were one of the most difficult design elements of our home, we are very, very pleased with the result. When all is said and done, the handrails are exactly what we envisioned.

The stained glass front door panels is modeled after a big Osage Orange tree (used for hedge rows in Kansas to prevent erosion), which was in our back yard in Kansas. It always fascinated me. In the foreground (somewhat difficult to see) are plowed fields and a barb wire fence. On the exterior can be seen 5 or 6 tiny “m” shapes representing the Canada geese, in flight, in the distance. They make Kansas their home throughout the year. Throughout our travels, we have tried to obtain something significant to represent each place we lived. This panel pays homage to Kansas.

Sadly, we had to sacrifice a number of red cedars to make room for the house’s foundation. However, as you can see, many of the red cedar logs became the newel posts on the deck. The fireplace mantle is cut from the largest log. There are two pillars in the great room, also of red cedar. The bark was removed by pressure washing.

Thank you very much for all your patience as I tried to understand the process of fabricating twig railings.

Sincerely,

Ken

Natural twig and branch infill work beautifully for interior and exterior design while creating a connection with outdoor surroundings. If a cohesive design flow is important to you, contact us at Mountain Laurel Handrails to learn more.

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Interior Wood Railing

Small Railing Projects with a Big Impact

Although it’s a relatively small project, adding a new or updating an interior railing makes a big impact on your home’s appearance. After all, your staircase and balcony are typically the first things visitors see when they walk into your home. Additionally, Mountain Laurel railings offer a bigger benefit by inspiring designers and homeowners to broaden their creativity with the artful beauty of branches.

Let’s take a look at a few small projects with a big impact involving stair and balcony interior wood railing.

Each features a simple and straight interior stairway with a balcony that takes advantage of the natural beauty of branch balusters. While each home displays its own unique twist on a cabin, country or beach-style interior, the use of wooden rails and branching infill fits beautifully with each design style, ranging from rustic to contemporary.

Interior Wood Railing for Stairs
Interior Wood Railing for Stairs
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Pictured above, a cabin-style home gets a new staircase with chunky timber steps made to match a bevy of hefty log beams. What better way to complete this uniquely rustic look than filling these rails with bark covered branches.
Interior Wood Stair Railing
Interior Wood Stair Railing
In contrast to the small railing projects shown in the first pictures, the one above displays a more finished appearance to suit a contemporary-style interior. To create this look the railing is installed using a method that hides the triangular gap typically seen when the railing is set in line with the stair stringer.
Interior Wood Railings
Interior Wood Railings

We love our railing and have gotten many compliments on it. Thank you for helping us add the final touch to our dream home.

John and Heather
Pine Wood Cabin Railing
Pine Wood Cabin Railing

Here’s another gorgeous view of a pair of clean and simple rails framing Mountain Laurel branches, while the shimmering light in the background highlights their sinous shapes. Although the balustrade only contains two sections, it is a focal feature of the room.

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Balcony Railing Lighted
Balcony Railing Lighted

From an interior design viewpoint, few architectural items standout like an extraordinary staircase and balcony. If you’re looking into small railing projects that make a big impact on your home’s appearance, consider Mountain Laurel Railing.

Extra Tall is Extra Awesome!

tall railing
Tall Railing

These two wood railing sections are extra tall at five feet just for the railing. That puts the top of the railing at almost six feet. Just another demonstration of how versatile and inventive Mountain Laurel Handrail can be. The design of any project is crucial and, on this project, Wood Railing, the contractor and the homeowner worked closely together to ensure the best possible finished product. And as you can see, it turned out wonderfully!

tall railing screen
Tall Handrail

Like all Mountain Laurel Handrails, this was custom made to the owner’s specifications. The homeowner was looking for a special design element to add to her New Hampshire ski home and this was just the ticket! These tall sections are five feet tall and will be installed inside on a loft balcony. For extra added safety, the homeowner will install a piece of plexiglass on the face of the railings. Normally, laurel branches stick out from either side of the handrail but in this case, the branches were left flush or set in from the front of the railing so that the polycarbonate plexiglass can be installed easily.

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Bench Railing and Deck Bench Plans

Bench Railing for Deck
Bench Railing for Deck

We built a hot tub deck recently and it turned out quite nicely. Like any good construction project, before we got started we needed a set of deck bench plans. The mountain laurel newel posts stick up above the handrails for a completely different look. Nestled in a woodsy spot, the posts and balusters also blend beautifully with the background. As you’ll see in the following pictures, natural elements bring to life our concept of an incredibly functional deck.

A deck is a great touch for the home as well as a way for the family to spend quality time together. It is respectable enough for the grownups to feel relaxed in, and at the same time cool enough for kids to hang out on, while pretending it’s a tree house. A deck is also a lovely retreat when you want to be alone with your thoughts, not to mention that it is a knock out idea for your home improvement additions.

Decks automatically call out to you, encouraging time spent as a group while getting the benefits of fresh air and other out of doors advantages. It can also do a lot for the aesthetics of a house or property, as well increase the value of the home.

Building a deck can be borne out of many reasons including decorative and home improvement objectives, recreational and leisure concerns, and even for health and wellness causes. Irrespective of the causes which bring about their construction, Decks are quite popular home décor choices, and for excellent reasons.

Deck Bench Railing
Deck Bench Railing
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At Mountain Laurel Handrail, we have been doing outdoor and indoor home improvements for more than a decade now, and though the majority of our work consists of (hand) railings for various uses and in different applications, we do dabble, from time to time, in non-rail projects, such as our line of unique Laurel furniture, for instance. This project provided another opportunity to step out of our comfort zone a little, and explore our passions in another direction.

The project here was unique, in that part of it was something we had done lots of time previously, and at the same time, the other substantial part presented new and exciting creative challenges.

This project was the recent building of a hot tub deck, with extra seating space, in an outdoor location; and it turned out really well, if I may say so. Every fresh job, as a matter of course, comes with its own particular requirements, and it was quite interesting trying to predict the direction(s) the hot tub deck would lead us in. Naturally, the homeowner also had certain defined thoughts and concepts about the way she wanted the final deck to look. It was necessary to look at all these in the light of practical design and construction parameters, and determine quickly what would work, and what would need some modification.

Hot Tub Railing
Hot Tub Railing

The environment itself, which was a woody, naturalistic terrain presented the challenge of requiring that we came up with something creative in design that was not at odds with its inherent character. Rather, the best chosen design would instead utilize the environment’s strengths in a non-evasive manner, in order to arrive at a unified and complementary whole. Nature has her own peculiarities and demands, and it is often arduous to force or shape it into a structured architectural form without resorting to expensive and time consuming alterations. In this case, the latter were not an option. So, as I said, we were excited to see where this would lead.

Like any good construction project, before we got into it properly, the first thing we needed to do was brainstorm-up ideas for a strategy that included a set of workable deck bench plans, adequate railings designs, and also a competent integration of a hot tub. The planning stage is always unpredictable, because you just never know what you are going to end up with when the team’s creative juices kick in. In addition to the usual task requirements in building a deck, we would need to incorporate an awesome railing feature that would blend in with the rest of the complete design. Finally, everything had to fit within the natural landscape the deck was to be situated in.

As it is, we ended up with something quite remarkable in a quiet, understated style. I am particularly satisfied with the finished work due to the fact that it fulfills all the many project requirements, and still goes on to be an artistic and functional success. Some of these obligations include meeting the homeowner’s expectations and desires, making use of the surroundings in a subtle and natural way, and of course ascertaining that the basics of deck design and construction were met and perhaps even surpassed.

Deck Bench Plans
Deck Bench Plans

Work like this, of course, just doesn’t happen, but is brought about by a convergence of skill, experience, planning and a budget put to work in the right, creative way. There will always be conflicting interests, factors and elements, and the main task in a project such as this is actually finding something for each part to do without jeopardizing the unity of the design as a whole entity. When you have a completed project that looks as natural as the environment it sits in, then you can let out that quiet breath of relief and contentment.

As you’ll see in the following images, by blending our design with the natural environment in which the deck is located, we have created a soothing blend of the man-made and the natural, resulting in a most pleasing fusion of the individual parts. The natural elements present truly bring to life our concept of an incredibly functional and yet decorative deck.

Looking at the images, you may observe that the mountain laurel newel posts extend above the handrails for a completely different look as far as deck architecture is concerned. This faintly maverick touch, amidst the order of the straight-lined railing and bench, is deliberate and calculated for just the effect it conjures. Nestled in a woodsy spot, surrounded by forest green, the posts and balusters nonetheless also blend beautifully with the natural background. Indeed they serve as a counter-point to the foliage, actually bringing attention to it by contrasting subtly with it.

As another unique feature, we incorporated a mature tree directly into the deck and railing design. This addition nonetheless works because it fits into the overall template of the great outdoors, and matches the main design scheme in color and form. The challenge in this type of design is finding the precise corner to place the natural element. At the same time, it must be powerful enough design-wise to make a real difference without necessarily overwhelming the rest of the design components.

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By doing so, we took advantage of the property’s natural beauty to craft more than just an outdoor living space. We in effect created a new ecosystem that blends man and nature, old and new, and the indoor with the outdoors. The result is a tranquil and relaxing backyard naturescape. This is an almost perfect design for deck bench DIY. The only thing I would do differently is to leave some space between the bottom board under the bench. That way it isn’t hard down on the deck, but instead has some space to blow leaves under.

Seamlessly integrating the hot tub deck into its nature-heavy surroundings is only a part of the beauty of the entire design. The plan also includes some incredibly functional elements. A long, built-in deck bench railing conveniently adds extra seating capacity. This particularly comes in handy when entertaining family and friends. Constructed with a deliberate slight angle, the bench features an ergonomic design crafted for comfort. It also serves as a protective railing for children especially, thereby serving multiple functions.

We built this hot tub deck around a very fine, 7′ square hot tub finished with 1″ tiles. It’s a beautiful tub and the homeowner wanted a nice outdoor space for relaxing around the tub, and at the same time, enjoy the mountain scenery beyond. It could also double for a location for entertaining guests, especially on hot days, or perhaps hosting a party for a small number of guests. To achieve this, she needed integrated deck railing seating. There was an initial hitch in trying to find exactly the right design element or option, which would not be obtrusive, but would meet the seating requirements while blending with the environment.

Deck with Bench Railing
Deck with Bench Railing

Having done some research online, I was unable to find good deck bench plans with dimensions that I wanted, as well as with details on how to build a bench deck railing. I was also quite unsatisfied with other built-in deck railing bench designs that I saw. The best option appeared then to be to draw up a fresh set of plans that would uniquely fit all the requirements for the project. So, being proficient in CAD, I decided I would draw up a bench deck railing seating plan using CAD… and here it is!

CAD again proved to be an incredible tool, giving me just the right mix of creativity and technical function to meet the project needs. This is an almost perfect design for a deck bench going the DIY route. It is functional, meets the homeowner’s special needs, and at the same time allows the surrounding element space to express itself. The only thing I would do differently is to create some space between the bottom boards under the bench. That way it isn’t hard down on the deck, but instead has some space to blow leaves under. This allows cleaning of the deck to be done much easier and quicker.

While sitting on the left side of the hot tub one can enjoy a soothing view of the landscape, which is the whole point of this outdoor hot tub design. Instead of blocking the scenery, the meandering branch balusters allow for some gaps through which the scenery can be appreciated. And better yet, they complement the background. The intricate design in the balusters are reminiscent of a natural forest or wood environment, and cleverly evoke the hap-hazard look of nature. The result is a design that refuses to call undue attention to itself, while at the same time lending itself subtly to the entire deck design.

The Mountain Laurel handrail is strong and secure, functioning as a safety feature along the right perimeter of the raised deck. The rail provides a quaint charm that is aesthetically pleasing and practically functional. It is possible to at first mistake it for a natural part of the environment instead of an artificial element. This seamless bonding is the essence of the both the deck plan design, and in fact the whole project.

Deck Bench with Back
Deck Bench with Back

The bench backing, which provide low walls around the deck and the tub to the right side and at the far end are deliberately designed to also provide an unimpeded view of the environment, while providing some protection and a boundary. The bench itself provides extra seating for guests in an open and comfortable manner, allowing perfect views of the landscape in front. Made of good wood stock and very durable, it can seat a commendable number of guests in a comfortable, non-squeeze manner.

Mountain Laurel’s newel posts are a design feature that work exceptionally well in giving the overall design a most unique touch. They are deliberately chosen to lend a rustic, country-side touch in an antique style perfect for the application it was put to in this design. The posts are quite durable, and will reasonably withstand the natural wear and tear occasioned by weather and other climatic conditions.

The twisted look is in counterpoint to the otherwise straight lines of the railing, the bench and even the square tub. It gives it an enlivening touch and adds a bit of a twisted-oak quality to the deck. It is also certain to be a great conversation piece.

The whole deck has a solid foundation in the hard wood flooring boards, which give a firm underpinning to the design. This flooring is color coordinated with the rest of the deck, and also serve as a general base for the other features of the deck. The flooring is made of solid boards that are sturdy, hard-wearing and great for outdoor application. This flooring will take anything, from the patter of little feet of a kid party to the heavier treads of a grown up cocktail hour.

Rustic Branch Newel Posts
Rustic Branch Newel Posts

The additional feature of the hot tub is of course the center-piece of the entire deck. Both in color, dimensions, shape and even style, the hot tub enjoys a somewhat symbiotic relationship with the entire deck and bench design, as they all complement each other. Providing an unusual element in the usual outdoor deck design, the hot tub also serves the artistic function of being a unifying element to the rest of the deck. Features such as the railing, the bench railing, and even the flooring basically take form and position in reference to the tub. It is also noteworthy to consider that this is a fully functional hot tub that can provide real and practical use as a bath tub, especially in the right weather.

All in all, the branch railing, bench and hot tub deck design provides a host of benefits in an ingenious and beautiful manner. Great use was made of both the space utilized for the deck, and the surrounding landscape. The finished work is a statement of great outdoor style, while simultaneously serving as a functional outdoor recreational location for social activities, such as mini-parties, or just a quiet drink or get-together with friends and family.

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Barnwood Railing with Carved Birds

Rustic Barnwood Railing
Rustic Barnwood Railing

It’s always a pleasure working with creative homeowners who entrust us to build amazing creations for their homes, but this one is extra-special…

And, it’s only the beginning!

The homeowner loved the Mountain Laurel Handrails but decided that she wanted a much more rustic feel and a totally unique look.

While discussing different wood types and species, I recommended some wood from an old barn that had been recently salvaged. I though that this would be a perfect fit for what she had in mind, so I sent her some pictures; she agreed.

The next step was the addition of the carved birds which the homeowner provided. These were tricky to integrate into the weave of the railing, but the finished look is as if Audobon is watching them in the forest!

And, as promised, there’s more to come. Once the project is installed, I’ll be back to share the finish pictures which have rustic Mountain Laurel Newel Posts in addition to some more carved wood creations!

Bluebird in Branch Railing
Bluebird in Branch Railing
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Barn Wood Railing
Barn Wood Railing
Rustic Barn Wood Handrail
Rustic Barn Wood Handrail
Carved Bird Custom Railing
Carved Bird Custom Railing
Carved Cardinal Mounted to Railing
Carved Cardinal Mounted to Railing
Red Cardinal in the Winter Forest
Red Cardinal in the Winter Forest
Railing with Carved Birds
Railing with Carved Birds
Bird in Railing
Bird in Railing
Branch Handrail with Bird
Branch Handrail with Bird
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[[UPDATE]] New Pictures [[UPDATE]]

Take a look at the pictures of the finished project and leave a comment with your thoughts!
I think the combination of the materials is absolutely amazing combined with the unique space yields a truly one-of-a-kind installation: art.

Balcony Railing with Carved Wood Face
Balcony Railing with Carved Wood Face
Mountain Laurel Handrail with Carved Birds
Mountain Laurel Handrail with Carved Birds
Balcony Branch Railing
Balcony Branch Railing
Rustic Barnwood Railing
Rustic Barnwood Railing
Barnwood Balcony Handrail
Barnwood Balcony Handrail
Unique Balcony Handrail
Unique Balcony Handrail
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Mountain Laurel Branch Banister

Handrails for Stairs
Handrails for Stairs

These incredible handrails for stairs were custom built to exact specifications and then shipped to South Carolina for installation. Mountain Laurel Handrails are available nationwide in preassembled and easy to install sections. Contact today for more information and to get started on your project.

When the homeowner sent pictures, this is what he said:

We love it and get lots of compliments!

— Bryant
This homeowner opted to go with pine lumber on the handrail to match the pine shiplap on the interior walls. The newel post at the bottom of the stairs is set to the outside of the tread. This makes the bottom rail of this stair handrail set outside the stair stringer. This is the preferred installation method since it hides the unsightly triangle gap created if the handrail is set in line with the stair stringer and has to sit on the leading edge of the nosing of the tread instead. The homeowner wanted a stair banister to match the handrails for this stairs and since the handrails are of branches, of course that the banister should be as well. The carpenters on this project did a skillful job of joining the mountain laurel sticks that were provided to them. I especially love the step up about halfway up the stairs. The on site carpenters are definitely proficient woodworkers to recognize the innate utility of each piece of wood. A custom piece from Mountain Laurel Handrails will add unique style to your home. This incredible branch banister is the unique architectural element that defines this stair. At the top of the stairs, you’re greeted by a Mountain Laurel Handrail in the sunburst pattern with a Mountain Laurel Newel Post to finish the installation.

Though the long railing was quite a challenge for the carpenters, we are quite happy with them. Thank you.

— Jody

Attached are a few shots.

Branch Banister on Stairs
Branch Banister on Stairs
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Branch Banister with Sunburst Railing
Branch Banister with Sunburst Railing
Sunburst Pattern Branch Railing
Sunburst Pattern Branch Railing

Hi James,

Attached are 3 pictures. I really don’t feel they do your beautiful handiwork justice because the railing is going down a basement stair and the lighting is not too good. If you ever wanted to come over and photograph for yourself that would be wonderful. We’ve used the wall over the railing as a kind of Folk Art Gallery and everyone always comments on the railing. Let me know what you think. I loved looking at the new website. The home in Vermont is just gorgeous.

The end piece which “swoops” is my favorite feature. We love it.

— Sue
Laurel Branch Banister
Laurel Branch Banister
Rustic Branch Banister
Rustic Branch Banister

Add Art to Railings with Mountain Laurel Branch Banister

Mountain Laurel Banisters for stairs are a unique twist on traditional horizontal rails. The curved lines of the laurel branches add pizzazz to any porch, deck or fence, and make a distinctive statement indoors as well as out. Our designs are perfect for your country home or cabin, beach cottage or Texas ranch house. The unique designs also work well in formal settings, softening, the atmosphere and adding a touch of whimsy to your surroundings. As long as you are passionate about making your humble home extra beautiful, you can pretty much add anything you want. One of the things that can make houses ordinary is the railings. There are a lot of choices in the market today to beautify railings, but nothing beats the classic old way of putting up the Mountain Laurel Banisters, which is a distinct twist over the usual horizontal rails.
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Frames and Railings Made Out of Laurel Wood

To create a one of a kind indoor setting, highlight the distinctive rails with a natural banister created from laurel wood. A banister can also be mounted on the wall for use as a quilt rack, or as a spot to hang your collectibles. The homeowner who shared these pictures placed one under her folk art collection to accent the style. Consider including a section of laurel rails as part of your own home gallery. The distinctive curved patterns of the laurel branches create a work of art worthy of framing.

Mountain Laurel Branch Banister
Mountain Laurel Branch Banister

Hand Made Products Ready to Use

Mountain Laurel also produces eclectic chairs and coffee tables. Each order is built specifically to your needs, and is delivered ready to use. Our unique hand made products will set your nest apart from the rest. Come home to Mountain Laurel!

You can even specify the kind of designs that you like to fill your house with, or if you do not have the faintest idea how the Mountain Laurel Banister works, you can ask the staff to show you their best designs or let them take a look at your house so that they can think of designs that will fit your house.

It should not only be limited to houses. Since they are basically designed for any structures, they can beautify beach cottages, cabin or country home, or your old ranch house. There are also unique designs that balance well with formal settings, which soothe the ambiance and create a softening atmosphere.

To make a unique kind of indoor setting, the best way is to highlight the rails with banisters that are naturally created with laurel wood. These can also be used to build a quilt rack and mounted on the wall. It can also be used as a spot in your house where you can hang all your collectibles. Turn all your boring elements into something decorative with the laurel wood banisters. Even your own painting collection can be framed with laurel branches.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Like they say on Monty Python…

If you missed the first post of the finished, but not yet installed, custom designed and built wavy stair banister, then you’re in for a real treat today since I have the pictures of the installed piece. It came out AWESOME! There’s no doubt that this is a one-of-a-kind, work-of-art that was a real collaboration between the homeowner’s vision and the master woodworkers in our workshop.

Wavy Wood Banister Installed
Wavy Wood Banister Installed

On the left is the view from the bottom of the staircase looking up towards the landing. This is the longest of two runs of the banister. This piece was about 11′ long. The other piece was much shorter for only two steps at the top of the landing. Careful measurements and communication allowed our workshop to draw a model from which a cardboard template was cut out. The template was stepped off over the length of the blank piece. Once the lines were drawn on the lumber, the power tools came out and sawdust and wood chips started flying! A circular saw and belt sander were used for rough cutting of the blank, which was then finished to the desired 2″ diameter. The homeowner is going to stain and finish it once her color scheme is final.

Here’s what the homeowner had to say about her project:

The banister is finally up! YEY!!! It looks great. See the pictures. I think in reality it looks even nicer than on the pictures …. I have to finish my stairs first and then I will finish the banister. I think I may tint it to golden oak color and put teak oil. Thanks for all your help!

— Margaret
Custom Wood Banister
Custom Wood Banister
This is the view from the top of the landing down to the foot of the stairs. I can only imagine that it is quite amazing installed. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to see it since it was shipped from North Carolina to New Jersey.
Custom Banister
Custom Banister

Here are some other views of the custom wood banister. Even the cardboard template was cool; it looked like a lightning bolt.

Banister Plan
Banister Plan
Wavy Banister
Wavy Banister

Any project like this requires close coordination between onsite crew and offsite workshop. Exact measurements are so crucial to quality workmanship.

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Rustic Stair Railing

Rustic Staircase Railing
Rustic Staircase Railing

We follow an important philosophy in our design work, and that is to compliment, not compete. Our custom-made stair railings give a homeowner a new look to their already beautiful home, and a fixture that looks like it belongs. Our rustic staircase railing designs are gorgeous, yet cozy. There is a lot to our work that you may not notice at first glance, but we know the devil is in the details, and those details are what make the difference in a staircase railing project that comes out beautifully.

When it comes to rustic stair railing, our job does not just start and end at installation. Before we even take out our measuring tapes, we are using our creative expertise to design a project that fits your exact home. Our job is to make home still feel like home, and we take plenty of time to make sure the end result gets a “wow!”

Designing stair railing is actually many jobs in one. It takes an eye for design, as we always want to add beauty to the home, not just an awkwardly installed fixture. It takes an understanding of safe construction, as staircase railings are intended to add support and aid someone walking up and down the stairs. And lastly, we always have to put ourselves in the shoes of someone who lives in the home, and interacts with that environment every day. We strive to make home feel even more like home. Making our clients feel comfortable in their homes is a job we take very seriously.

Rustic Stair Railing Interior
Rustic Stair Railing Interior
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Our work goes all around the country. Most recently the crew took a drive to install a rustic stair railing near Mocksville, North Carolina, a beautiful part of the country that boasts the tagline, “time well spent”—our goal was to create a home where this rang true. The home was located in a small town with a great deal of natural beauty in the area, and this home fit perfectly within the geography and landscape.

However, this beautiful log home was in desperate need of a handrail for safety and ease of access to the second-floor loft. Safety, of course, is what we consider first in our design, so we made sure whatever structure we placed alongside the stairs was strong and sound. We only use materials that we know can withstand a great amount of weight over time, and work closely with contractors to ensure impeccable installation.

We also wanted to make sure the railing design was balanced enough not to be overwhelming. Our designs can be very grand and regal, and can add a lot of beauty in a home, but size, placement, and coloring have to be carefully considered so that staircase railing does not take away from the rest of the home.

Before diving into the project, we took some time to get to familiarized with layout and design of the house, and come up with a something that looked like it belonged, not just haphazardly added. Every piece is custom made for our clients’ homes, not pre-made in a factory. Our clients know that, and that is exactly what has us driving us all the way to North Carolina for staircase railing installation!

Rustic Stair Railing Designs
Rustic Stair Railing Designs

We took a tour of the home, designed the railing, and then got right to work with the installation process. We took our time to ensure safety and sound structure, and also pored over the entire thing to make sure nothing was amiss.

The staircase we installed ascends from the left to right of the great room, creating a visual division. The timber frame trusses are finished with pine tongue and groove ceiling boards that give the home a radiant wood glow. An ornate antler chandelier hangs from the ceiling and only adds to the woodsy motif. The homeowners have cleverly utilized the space under the stairs to display part of their library, and the stain on the stairs matches exactly with the shelves on the library.. The railing extends beyond the stairs and also serves as a protective barrier on the balcony part of the upper loft, allowing continuity of the overall design. The railing design has a webbed quality to it, so it is fairly see-through—this keeps from breaking up the room too much, and allows it to still feel large and comfortable.

After our design, construction and installation came time for the big reveal, the part we look forward to the most. The most important feedback are the reactions that come right after our clients have seen the piece for the first time. Once we were done with this stair railing, we managed to get exactly the kind of reaction we love: all of the extended family, from paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother to the kindergarten-age granddaughter, were thrilled with the new look of the stairs. That is the most we could hope for: a family excited to live in the space that we helped create. The best compliment came from the lady of the house who told us,


“It looks even better than I imagined… And I have a pretty good imagination!”

– Kristin

Rustic Stair Handrail
Rustic Stair Handrail
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Kristin is spot on—imagination plays a pretty major role in what we do, and we like to think of ourselves as experts in imagination. When it comes to installing rustic staircase railing, from design to installation, it takes the right combination of technical expertise and a creative eye to install something that looks and feels like home. Without taking that time, the piece may look out of place or it may drown out the rest of the home’s beauty, which is certainly not its purpose. It takes an experienced eye, and a committed designer to develop a rustic staircase railing design that fits the textures, layout and size of the home—this is never a one-size-fits-all kind of project.

We knew at first glance what kind of shapes would fit in this home. A rustic wood stair railing, with a more natural finish and natural curves would be a far better fit than a more modern design. We knew that a metal railing would look out of place.

We were also inspired by the homeowner’s existing style, and made use of the shapes and textures already found in the home. The vaulted ceiling, tongue and groove wood paneling, big timber rafters and antler chandelier hanging from the collar tie were perfectly paired with this particular decorative handrail. Since there are already plenty of strong straight lines, the sinuous shapes of woven branches tie all the different wood elements together. The result is balance and beauty, without being overwhelming. The elegance of the curved branches in the handrail pair almost exactly with the antler chandeliers.

The crew has developed a keen eye for detail. Working with a material palette that is mostly wood, it is a challenge to pick suitable colors and lumber. Since there is so much wood already, it made more sense to strike a bit of a contrast, as opposed to trying to find an exact color match. Color can really change the dynamic and feel of a room, and many people may not realize the role a big, powerful rustic stair railing like this can play in creating an atmosphere. So striking a contrast is what was done here. You will notice a lighter color stain on the same pine lumber, which lightens up the room. The mountain laurel branches are a deeper, reddish brown color, and work their magic in adding depth. The result is a room that is cozy, comfortable, and easy on the eye, while still boasting a stunning, rustic design.

Rustic Stair Railing Ideas
Rustic Stair Railing Ideas

Unique Rustic Staircase Railing

Every home is unique. Even two homes built with the same exact layout can have completely different elements in them that would warrant a different design. The walls, furniture, decor, stains all tell their own story in each home. We always look for a particular center of gravity in the layout of the home, and create designs to align with that, and flow with the lines, shapes and patterns of the home. We also gain inspiration from our clients’ own style, working with them instead of stubbornly imposing our own vision on their home.

Another recent project features a unique rustic stair railing. In all homes, stairs are more than just a solely component connect two floors together. Many people underestimate how much impact a staircase can have on the atmosphere of a home. Strong design skills also make stairs an element of design to tie into the homes structure and decor and create a room that feels comfortable and well-designed.

In this particular home, the stairs ascend from the living room to the second floor and are an important visual element of the rustic home decor. The wall against which the stairs rest are made with a stone pattern with alternating shades of grey. The railing design must appropriately compliment the rest of the home, and its unique, nature inspired features.

This is the kind of layout that needs a truly customized approach. With this installation, the staircase is supported by an 8-inch to 10-inch diameter hickory log and finished at the bottom with a hickory newel post, both of which are in their natural state with the bark on. This is the kind of center of gravity that we tend to build around. The natural, unfinished bark gave us some ideas to work with when it came to designing the staircase. This room was smaller than the one we worked with above, so that played a role in the size of the staircase railing we ultimately designed.

We absolutely love homes with features like these—natural fixtures make homes unique, and add something that breaks up the room creatively and comfortably. Because we are experienced in designing rustic staircase railings, we always welcome the challenge of designing with and alongside features like these.

Rustic Stair Railing
Rustic Stair Railing

A big part of home design is texture, and this is a great example case. Texture is found on the walls, the floor, the ceilings, and of course, the stairs. When we are developing a rustic staircase railing design, we are taking into consideration what kind of textures are in the home, and what we are going to be adding. The important thing is to compliment, instead of compete. Since this house is nature inspired, with a beautiful newel post in the center of the room, we definitely wanted to keep the nature-inspired theme going on. The tree branch stair railing that we installed is built with Mountain Laurel Handrails. With the stone wall in the background, this rustic stair and handrail give the feeling of being in the woods near a rock face.

While the first home boasted a more finished, carved and designed look, this one feels more raw and natural. The stains we picked to color our project took into account the dark stone walls and the amount of light found in this room. The shade of brown in the railing closely matches the staircase itself. Because there is less wood in this particular room, we could get away with more color matching and did not have to worry as much about striking the right contrast.


Hi James,
This is the finished product at the Gibson residence in West Virginia. The owners were very happy with the end result and it was a pleasure working with you on the project.

Thanks,
Rob Loar
Loar Home Improvement

As always, we love hearing firsthand what our clients reactions are when they first take a look at our work, but we also love to hear what our partners in construction have to say. We do not just work with homeowners, but with fellow construction and home improvement professionals as well. We depend on their construction expertise to help us create, and as a team, we are all working toward the same goal: a very happy client.

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Decorative Deck Railing

It’s been a while since I went to the Lissara Lodge and witnessed firsthand all the great work they were doing. I caught up with them recently and got a bunch of new pictures of the decorative deck railing to share. You’ll be amazed at the progress and impressed with how this decorative deck handrail enhances the overall look of the lodge and its outdoor entertainment space.

Decorative Deck Railing
Decorative Deck Railing

Deck railing gives this project a finished and sophisticated look. Featuring sturdy branches in place of traditional spindles, this decorative deck railing enhances the landscape and adds to the lodge’s rustic but contemporary flair. Each knotty branch has its own shape, curvature and thickness which provides this handrail with a distinct look and charm. Carefully spaced, each panel helps to build a solid structure around the deck for both safety and security. Its open design however beautifully frames the picturesque views of the lake and scenes of nature all around.

Rain Showers Over the Lake Railing – Video of Rainy Day Railing

This video is from a while back, but it nicely captures the unique appeal about Mountain Laurel Handrails. On a rainy day like this, looking over the deck railings at the lake, the distinction between the deck and the lake slip away. See how the deck rails don’t move in spite of the heavy winds. Consequently, it would be quite relaxing to cozy up out here next to a warm fireplace while taking in these awe-inspiring views! This video shows how this outdoor space makes an outstanding retreat space no matter the season or what the weather is like.

Who’s up for a nap?

Posted by The Lake at Lissara on Saturday, July 14, 2012

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Lake Lissara Lodge
Lake Lissara Lodge

From this locale you can relax with views of the lake and trees. What a great place to meditate or practice a little yoga! Climb up the hill to get a more panoramic look at Lake at Lissara and its surroundings. You can also admire the beautiful and interesting architecture of the lodge from this spot. Look at how the deck and railings wrap around both the front and back of the lodge. Enjoy views from every angle of this property.

Decorative Deck Railing Panels
Decorative Deck Railing Panels

I think this is a particularly nice picture of spring when the trees are full of foliage and the birds are chirping and flying all around. From here you can see how the decorative deck railing and all natural wood panels complement the building’s cabin like exterior and its woodsy surroundings. Its decorative deck railing design joins elegance with earthiness which makes for the perfect combination.

Decorative Deck Railing Inserts
Decorative Deck Railing Inserts

Mountain Laurel Handrails blur the lines between the built and natural environments. Our goal is to make every deck look as though it is actually a part of nature. While standing on this deck you’ll feel like you’re in a tree house. It will seem as though you can reach out and touch the trees while you are experiencing the mist from the lake and the beauty of the clear skies. Its decorative deck railing inserts are made with all natural, tree materials to give it its delightful and down-home look. As we planned, these handrails like the deck look as though they are part of the natural landscape.

Decorative Deck Balusters
Decorative Deck Balusters

Ornamental and creative, its natural tree balusters have warm amber hues that showcase its lovely wood grain and texture. It further gives this decorative deck handrail an organic and timeless feel. They also provide added security to the deck even when the winds are high. Our team has met and even exceeded building codes and regulations in the construction of this decorative deck handrail to ensure that is a safe place for all ages and physical abilities.

Beautifully Decorated Deck
Beautifully Decorated Deck

High quality with an artistic design, this custom decorative deck handrail transforms this deck into an amazing and relaxing place where guests can take in all of its surrounding views. This beautifully decorated deck expands the lodge by adding outdoor living space and creating an excellent place to entertain. Keeping with the rustic theme, it is decorated with Adirondack chairs providing comfortable seating and a place to chat and catch up with friends. In the future LED deck lighting and a wood-burning fire pit can be added for a romantic and warm ambiance.

Decorating Small Decks
Decorating Small Decks

Sitting on this decorated deck with its custom made handrails, you’ll feel like you’ve drifted to a far-away place. Its baluster are spaced perfectly for strength, safety and durability. Still, its open design and spacing does not take away from or hinder its views. What a photo opportunity! From here you can take pictures of the water, trees, birds and other wildlife.

Decorated Decks
Decorated Decks
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Party on the Decorated Deck by the Lake

Rekindle memories of summer with these pictures of a party on the deck at the Lissara Lodge. Notice how all of the guests gather around the stunning deck handrails to safely and comfortably appreciate the glistening waters of Lake at Lissara and the beautiful Carolina Blue skies overlooking the lake! The deck and railings surround the entire lodge and provided plenty of party space. Its wooden construction is not only sturdy but it makes the space feel more inviting. Equipped with a wide entrance, guests were able to go on and off of the deck with ease. Everyone had a great time enjoying each other and all that Lake at Lissara had to offer. We are sure there will be another party here real soon.

Original post from April 16, 2011:

The Lake at Lissara opened up just in time for the Parade of Homes this past weekend. I’m sure that our decorative deck railings got lots of attention.

lake deck railings
Deck Railings overlooking the Lake at Lissara

I know it’s been quiet over here… It’s because the wood railing artisans have been working on deck railing plans and crafting a project for the Lodge at The Lake at Lissara. This is going to be an incredible building in just a few short weeks. Ready to install handrail sections are going to be framed by a handrail design that is as unique as woven mountain laurel. Soon guests will spend the morning on this deck watching the sunrise while drinking a cup of coffee or sipping on a mimosa. In the evening guests can sit back while reading a book or enjoying an evening cocktail.

handrail drawing for lissara lodge
Architect’s drawing of handrail at The Lake at Lissara Lodge

There is a lot of work put in both by myself and the mastermind at Lissara in getting all the details right and ensuring that the finished product will be a perfect match for its creator, Bob Timberlake. Our custom deck railing design incorporates smart design with functionality, charm and character. Crafted of natural materials, the deck also complements its metal roof and stone accented front. Made of top quality wood and crafted with a solid frame, this deck railing will stand the test of time.

handrail detail
Detail of Railing Frame

We have drawn up our plans for the railing frame which includes numerous details and specifications that make our vision come to life. Our deck railing frame includes wooden posts and a solid rail system. Constructed of treated wood, the posts are attached to the frame to give it extreme strength and stability. With this frame, the deck will remain stable even when there are high winds or heavy rains.

railings being delivered
Railings Being Delivered

We let you in on the planning by showing you our architectural drawings and designs. Now we will give you a look into the process of framing and building this decorative deck railing. It began with the delivery of our framed railing sections. Here it is! A photo of 225 linear feet of framed railing sections ready for delivery. They were packed like sardines into a moving truck to be driven to Mountain Laurel. Being the actual drivers, we were thrilled to finally get it here because rental moving trucks are no fun to drive. The truck we rented was unbearably loud because of road and wind noise. And at the end, our ears were ringing. Additionally, the steering was so bad you could hardly adjust the radio.

But my whole mood changed when I got to check out the fabulous work that’s going on at the Lodge. The woodworkers there have built a beautiful timber great room that is ideal for social gatherings. Featuring huge 12″ x 22″ yellow pine beams, this room is cozy, warm and welcoming. Adding its rustic charm, its beams are made of yellow pine which brightens the room and brings a little of the outdoors indoors. Being the main ridge, these beams weighed a whopping 3000 pounds.

But it was well worth it when I got to check out the great work that’s going on at the Lodge. the woodworkers there have built a beautiful timber great room with a huge 12″ x 22″ yellow pine beam as the main ridge; it weighed 3000 pounds. The decking is cypress and the siding is of poplar bark. This is the view from across the lake that is more than a half mile long.

lissara lodge across the lake
Lissara Lodge from Across the Lake

The decking itself is cypress and the siding is of poplar bark. These sturdy materials will ensure this decorative deck railing is both attractive and strong for many decades to come. This is the view from across the lake that is more than a half mile long.

Mountain Laurel Handrails blur the lines between the built and natural environments and make you feel like you’re part of the scene around you! We take pride in our work and treat every project as if we were building it for our family or loved ones.

Want to create an outdoor entertainment space around your home or business? Add wood railing to your deck or patio to give you your own stylish backyard oasis. Contact us as so as possible so that we can get started putting your vision on paper. In no time we can turn your dream into reality.

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Mountain Laurel Handrails in North Carolina

Mountain Laurel Handrails in North Carolina
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Get a taste of North Carolina with handrails and railings made in the resort lodge style! These Mountain Laurel Handrails were installed on this cozy home in Highlands, North Carolina. The mountains of Western North Carolina is where the traditional art of using mountain laurel branches and twigs for rustic deck railing began. The local craftsmen and carpenters recognized the inherent beauty of the sticks and began a style which now decorates homes across the United States.

Highlands NC Cabin Handrails

This covered porch is a great place for such beautiful North Carolina railings! This particular porch has a view of the neighborhood road and is a good place to sit and catch up.

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Railing for Highlands Home

The woven branch railings blend nicely with the rhododendron bushes that grow in the mountains. This organic style of decorating helps to blur the boundary between the North Carolina handrail and the exterior of the home.

Highlands, North Carolina Rustic Railing

Relax with a cool afternoon breeze in a rocking chair on this porch deck. The railing design and stone fireplace are a great match.

Rustic Porch Railing

Mountain Laurel Handrails are available nation wide in easy to install sections. For a complete quote, please provide your total railing length and city/state for delivery. All railings are built one inch longer than actual measurements and are cut to fit on site.

Rustic Railing

Imagine yourself relaxing in the mountains and enjoying the scenery. The porch and rocking chairs invite a tall glass of lemonade and maybe a cocktail! The inspired deck railing design add to the visual aesthetic and make an impression like no other!

Wood Railing
Highlands Handrail
carolina branch railing
Carolina Branch Railing

What a beautiful backdrop for this Mountain Laurel Handrail! These deck railing pictures show the forest near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina which is the traditional setting for this artform. The curved and sinuous shapes of the rhododendron and mountain laurel trees inspired previous generations efforts to decorate their abodes and set the stage for this work you see here. The trees with yellow leaves in the picture are rhododendron trees in the fall. It’s an evergreen tree but drops old leaves in the fall.

Couch and Handrail
Couch and Handrail

This project, like many, is custom and was closely coordinated between homeowner, design team and workshop. A good amount of woodwork like milling and roughing up lumber was required to achieve this elegantly spaced pattern. The homeowners vision of spacing and mass was translated by the designer in a series of drawings and achieved in the wood shop. As usual, the onsite contractor and carpenter assembled the railing with nice cuts and tight joints.

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The wood railing looks terrific installed. Looking forward to enjoying the porch soon.

– Laura

charlotte-nc-wood-railing
Charlotte NC Wood Railing

The one-of-a-kind Charlotte NC wood railing with its artistic flair was made to match this Arts and Crafts style home, perfectly. The porch features a beautiful blend of architectural shapes, textures and colors — an elevated brick base, floor to ceiling windows and a steeply pitched roof. And natural branch handrails work harmoniously with all of these elements to create the captivating exterior.

Charlotte NC Wood Railing
Deck Railing Charlotte NC

The railing’s quality craftsmanship really stands out in the picture above, and the installation and finishing are flawless to the last detail. A translucent stain preserves the inherent beauty of the wood used in the top and bottom rails, pillars and newel posts. This allows the grain to show through. At the same time, the branch balusters are left natural covered in their rich bark.

While viewing this relaxing photo of the sitting area on the riverfront, it’s easy to take two key points concerning the handrail for granted. First, notice how the twig balusters blur the boundary between the porch and tree-lined landscape. Clearly, wooden spindles or metal rods just wouldn’t have the same effect.

Second, the railing mingles well with wrought iron furniture. In fact, the sinuous branches mix nicely with many materials such as metal, wicker and glass. So, there’s no need to invest in new outdoor furniture if you’re updating a porch or deck with Mountain Laurel handrails.

Charlotte NC Deck Railing
Charlotte NC Deck Railing

As you can see, this Charlotte NC wood railing is the central focal point in the height transition from the brick base to the pitched roof. If you’re looking to easily transform the plain appearance of your front porch, consider the look of outdoor art created by natural branch railings.

This handrail was built near Asheville, North Carolina by a customer who purchased mountain laurel material to build branch railings.

Asheville, NC Wood Railing
Asheville, NC Wood Railing
Mountain Laurel Handrails in North Carolina
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Side Railing on Stairs
Side Railing on Stairs
View of the Deck through Trees
View of the Deck through Trees

Deck railing in Asheville, North Carolina should be as beautiful as the surrounding scenery.

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