In the Oxfordshire countryside lies a newly built country house. Led by the architectural team, this project had a clear vision to include a centrepiece solid stone staircase, that matched the flooring already chosen by the owners.
The design had been set, yet the matching stone turned out to be a stunning but rare French marble that had never before been used to create a solid stair structure.
The overall vision for the space was created by the architects and interior designer team, who brought in experts from Ian Knapper to realise their vision for the centrepiece staircase.
The overall concept was of luxury and quality, using natural stone to bring texture and continuity moving up through the building.
An important part of the scheme required matching the stone chosen for the ground floor with a cantilevered solid stone staircase all finished to a high polish and set against black and chrome accessories.
“It was important for the overall design that the stone not only matches visually, but it also achieved the same polished finish.” – Ian Knapper.
A design set-in-stone
The stone turned out to be Blue de Savoie, a rare French stone that is thought to have never been used in a solid staircase before. This was going to be a first.
Blue De Savoie is a crystalline marble that is quarried in the Savoy Alps of eastern France. It is one of the most elegant marbles for premium architectural building projects with a naturally occurring blue/grey colour and black veining which can make it a tricky material to work with.
Completing the finish
One of the biggest challenges of the brief was in achieving a high level of polish the designers and owner were looking for. Having tested a range of products and techniques, the team were able to create the desired polished finish by hand to match the factory polished floor tiles, including the subtle stepped detail on the soffit.
“In a factory setting and on a flat surface is one thing, however on a bespoke handmade stair using a material that had never before been used in this way, was completely another. It took some testing to get it right, and the result was spectacular.” – Ian Knapper.
The result surpassed even the owner’s expectations, with the solid staircase rising from a stone plinth making a real statement for the space. The material chosen by the client not only gave one continuous feel to the entrance hall but added real luxury and opulence to the room – not to mention the kudos of being the first to attempt a staircase in this rare stone. The testing to achieve the highly polished finish on this material paid dividends.
Delivered with black and chrome balustrade and floor lighting, the designer’s vision was complete.
“We were delighted with the finish of the project to such an extent that we asked Ian to design and make a staircase for our son as well.” – The Client.
- the project required an estimated 300-man hours to complete
- It took 3 months to manufacture and install from the point at which stonework commenced
- Used approximately 8 tonnes of stone
- Used Blue de Savoie and included 15 traditional carved treads
For more information
Specialising in quality bespoke masonry from staircases and fireplaces to commissioned pieces, Ian Knapper’s team include national and international award-winning masons who have built a reputation for delivering the best. For more information, visit www.ianknapper.com.
Read more home interior and design articles in our dedicated section here.