Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stucco, Bookcase, Stairs

Progress is chugging along, though the schedule has slipped. We're probably looking at another 2-3 weeks before completion. The big excitement of the last couple days is that the exterior scaffolding has come down! Here are some exterior shots.

The bad news is that the scaffolding will go back up after the driveway and exterior stairs are poured! The exterior stucco has proved more challenging than expected, since we're using an unusual product that looks more like a concrete skim coat than traditional stucco; it will probably be the last task completed in the house!

Two interesting architectural features on the interior are complete; a large bookcase, and interior stucco walls. The two-story bookcase forms one side of the stairs, beginning on the first floor and extending up to the second floor to serve as the guardrail. It's built with painted MDF, and the carpenters did a terrific job; I cannot find a single flaw. On the first floor, the bookcase includes a bench area to sit and put on shoes, and has storage below for boots and shoes.

The bookcase is double-sided, with sections alternately open to one side or the other. Here it is rising up the stairs.

And from the second-floor hallway.

This photo also shows the interior stucco, which was an addition to the original plan. The stairs scissor around this wall, and the wall is sometimes indoors and sometimes indoors, so we we decided to extend the exterior stucco finish to the indoors to make the indoor/outdoor transition more seamless.

You can also see the floating stair treads with windows below leading to the third floor. It was a sunny day so the image really highlights the light. The stair treads have an LVL structural core, and are wrapped in strand-woven cross-laminated bamboo plywood from Bamboo Hardwoods. The pieces are mitered together to give the appearance of one thick, solid piece; the treads are attached to the wall using hidden Simpson hardware.


  1. Love the bookcase Idea, Chris. Wish my old house could incorporate such a design!

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  3. Hi there,

    Our house is scheduled to finish renovation in 2 weeks and we did bookcase stairs as well (an inspiration from Dwell). In its current incarnation, did you place a handrail on the bookcase side or the wall side, and what material did you wind up using? I'm curious - we have to pick one out in the next few days, I'd love to know what you used.


  4. Hi Jenny, we did our handrails on the wall side. We just used wood, painted black, to minimize cost. I think it came from Lowes.


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