Art of the Stair: Rustic-Meets-Contemporary Stairways

JLF Architects brings staircase design to the next level
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Photography by Audrey Hall

Staircases can provide a focal point in residential design – an opportunity for sculptural drama as well as all-important function. Stepping up to the challenge, JLF Architects creates statement stairs that balance engineering and artistry.

JLF Architects has over 40 years of experience building houses with reclaimed antique timber and indigenous stone, and are leaders in creating sustainable legacy houses that contrast rustic materials with the best of contemporary design.

These JLF-designed staircases reveal a variety of uniquely uplifting styles that encapsulate the firm’s talent for the compelling juxtaposition of character-laden salvaged timber with clean-lined contemporary design.

The balanced diagonal appeal of this Jackson Hole house’s staircase, above, is perfectly framed by the two-story steel-and-glass window. Glass balustrades provide additional transparency, revealing the hand-chosen reclaimed-wood piers, stringers and risers in powerful relief.

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The interior view of the same rustic-meets-contemporary staircase of this Jackson Hole house creates dramatic tension between stalwart wood and transparent glass, for a grounded yet light-on-its-feet structure that provides sweeping views of tall snow-covered pines through the contemporary commercial-style window.

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The sleek staircase in this modern Montana house effortlessly connects three levels of the house and features the crisp black-and-white contrast of bleached fir and raw steel with glass balustrades again erasing boundaries between indoors and out.

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When the clients of this Jackson, Wyoming, home asked JLF Architects if they could make a glass staircase, JLF saw the opportunity to do something completely new.

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Their design solution made the bespoke stairway quite literally the highlight of the house, spanning three stories as a set of skylights above shines light all the way through to the lower level. Supported by steel, each step features three layers of glass, the top layer textured to avoid slip. Glass-to-steel connectors were custom-designed by JLF Architects’ Travis Growney.

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More traditional in feel, this curved staircase built with prairie fieldstone and steel follows the curving stacked stone wall to create a grand entrance in this Jackson Hole house.

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Photo by David J. Swift

The staircase leading from the first to second floor exudes a sense of history, with antique chestnut treads on timber stringers topped with rustic handmade reclaimed-wood balusters and railings.

The award-winning Bozeman, Montana-based firm with offices in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Park City, Utah, applies distinctive solutions and Old-World techniques to create place-based houses closely aligned with the natural world and honoring history, from the Rocky Mountains to the Eastern Seaboard. These fabulous staircases are proof of excellence in design.

Categories: Contemporary Homes