Despite the fact that we don't have the space for a grand entryway, I've always adored them. After all, they're the first impression you have of the interior of a building, so it's important to get off on the right foot. One of the challenges of the project for me has been to come up with ways to make entryway utterly spectacular within extremely tight space constraints. An elegant staircase is a big part of a knock-out entry. Since the overall shape of our staircases have to be straight because that's space-saving, I've been focusing my attention on dressing up the staircases unusual materials. In our unit, that means unique newel posts. When I saw the photos of this Manhattan apartment, I knew I'd found my muse.
I figured that the cheapest way to get this look without spending an arm and a leg was to buy stock posts in the right tapered shape and then apply stock carved ornaments to them. The selection seems to be very limited, especially because I'm need such short pieces (the newel posts are maybe 7" at the top and the design is symmetrical, so 3.5" is pretty much the max). I ordered some samples of the best stock ornaments I could find and was pretty disappointed with what arrived in the mail.
So last weekend I went to the Fine Furnishings show in Providence in search of woodcarvers and I found four. One bowed out because he's too busy to get to the job any time soon, another sent me a quote of major, major money (I blush to think of it!), and I'm still waiting to hear from the other two. It's been interesting to talk to them about the project and, from their questions, come to understand some of its complexities.