MUKWONAGO, WI – Architects tend to have more specific visions of their dream homes than other homeowners – and Greg Buchheit, a principal with Architectural Remodel Contracting, Saint Charles, MO, is no exception. He and his wife, Amanda Buchheit, aimed to align their staircase's railing with their home's overall aesthetic, and Banker Wire mesh provided the perfect design solution.
Located in St. Charles, MO, the Buchheit's highly custom home has a rustic-modern design, and the couple relied on materials in their raw state to achieve their desired look. Reclaimed barn wood makes up the home's living room wall, its countertops are made from concrete and an exposed steel beam supports its ceiling. A traditional wooden spindle railing for their home's staircase would conflict with those design elements, so the Buchheits sought a bare steel alternative.
The Buchheits took their railing search to Pinterest, where they found a photo of a wire mesh railing that they deemed their "inspiration image." Their next step was finding a wire mesh infill provider, which led them to Banker Wire. Amanda sent the image to Banker Wire, and learned that the company could produce mesh perfectly suited for their space.
After familiarizing themselves with Banker Wire's virtually unlimited design possibilities, the Buchheits began the process of selecting a product suited to their unique aesthetic. To achieve their rustic-modern vision, Banker Wire representatives guided the couple to plain steel L-64 woven wire mesh from among seemingly endless combinations of alloys and patterns. The mesh pattern's highly-defined square openings, surrounded by Banker Wire U-edge, create simple and sleek infill panels that harmonize visually with the weathered steel railing and reclaimed barn wood stair treads. The juxtaposition of the infill and its perimeter, and the railing, aligns with the home's pastoral, yet contemporary, overall design.
"We left all the materials raw, in their original state," says Amanda Buchheit. "It all came together with a rustic-modern feel."
The couple wanted to maintain the straight lines and 90-degree angles characteristic of their home in the transition between its levels. To achieve that goal, they created a railing system that positions the mesh pattern perpendicular to the ground, even as the railing slopes upward. Greg first constructed each infill panel by surrounding Banker Wire mesh with raw sticks of Banker Wire U-edge. Then, he welded each panel to a steel channel and support posts, which were purchased from a local metal distributor. The entire railing was one welded piece, which Greg then installed on the stairs. Since Greg fabricated the railing on-site, precision was of the upmost importance.
"Everything Banker Wire provided was precisely cut and flawless," says Amanda Buchheit. "They were very responsive and more than accommodating throughout the design process."
The railing feature was completed in August 2014.
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