When we were house hunting, and looking for our dream home, we visited a house that, although it needed a lot of work doing to it, had one dream feature, a pair of beautiful staircases that were joined by a landing large enough for a feature table. It was a stunning feature, one that had me thinking of all those classic movies where the heroine sweeps down the stairs with all eyes on her, the height of drama and beauty.
Staircases can add so much to your home in terms of beauty and elegance. They are a real key feature, especially if they lead into your living room. We eventually opted for a house with an enclosed staircase, a Victorian house where the house had lots of original features still intact, including the Pigs Ear handrail (so called because of the shape). If you move into a home where the staircase is not to your taste, you can plan and carry out a staircase renovation.
If you are planning a staircase renovation, take some inspiration from the some classic movie scenes.
All About Eve
It was from the top of a rather wonderful staircase that Margo Channing uttered the immortal line ‘Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night’. All About Eve is a movie where the best scene actually takes place on a staircase, at a party hosted by Broadway star Margo. A young Marilyn Monroe and the acerbic wit George Sanders are also on that staircase, the real epitome of star power.
The most famous scene in Hitchcock’s Notorious involves a staircase. A camera spans from the top of a rather wonderful staircase, right down to the clasped hand of Ingrid Bergman, who is holding a bottle of a deadly substance (uranium?) which she has to hide from husband Claude Rains.
Once again a staircase takes centre stage.
Gone With The Wind
Staircase scenes are at the heart of so much of the action of the 1939 classic Gone with the Wind. Early in the movie we have the beautiful white balustrades of the mansion Tara, Scarlett’s childhood home, vast beautiful stairs that are just perfect for flouncing down in sumptuous dresses.
Later in the film, and in a scene that is now contentious to modern eyes, we have the staircase that is lushly carpeted in red velvet, This is the one Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) carries Scarlett up when he says she will not shut him out anymore.