Stairway to Heaven

Way back in December while in Minnesota for family Christmas, Ben worked on a not so little project at my sister’s house.  You see, she has an open staircase, similar to the Brady Bunch set, with slightly better safety features.

Brady-inspired stairs + over spaced balusters = safer than Brady stairs.

Where am I going with this?  Well, Ashley wanted bookshelves under her staircase.  Ben gets bored in Minnesota, so he offered to help her. Before he could make bookshelves that tie in to the stairs, he had to rework the treads.  He started by ripping the carpet off.

Then, Ben used L steel to build support brackets, cutting a long piece of steel into many 10 inch pieces.

Ben made a template and drilled holes through each bracket, screwing the supports in place.

Originally, Ben and Ashley agreed to plane down the original treads to reuse.  One tread later, the planer belt broke and they couldn’t find a replacement.  On to plan B.  Ben proposed joining two 2 by 12 boards together to make one thick and beefy stair tread.

Ashley told Ben to do whatever he would, so he bought enough wood to finish the stairs.  Careful cutting, lots of glue, and screws later, the new treads were ready for install.  Ash, the boys, and I left and came back to see this:

Oooh, ahhh.  Luckily, we still had a day left in Minnesota, leaving time for Ben to build some bookshelves.  He used the same process for building the stair treads to make the shelves.

Fast forward several months because Ashley and Arik have finished staining and sealing.

Isn’t that awesome?!?  All that storage and I love that it’s a small reading nook.  What do you think?  Do you have a fun staircase?  How about a little reading nook?

23 thoughts on “Stairway to Heaven

  1. Wow! I love it (and her eclectic style!). All I’d want is a small pendant light in the nook so that I could curl up with some wine and read the evening away. Beautiful.

    1. Hey Stephanie, Isn’t is great?!? She said she still has more books and arranging to do, but I couldn’t wait any longer to share. 🙂 I think she had a small chair, table, and table lamp there before, but she may have moved it… Just so cozy, isn’t it? And I love that the stairs are still so open.


        1. Hi Melissa,

          Ben made the brackets by cutting 9 inch long pieces of 90 degree angle iron. Steel suppliers and some recycling centers stock angle iron in usually 8 foot lengths. I hope that answers your question, but let me know if it doesn’t.


  2. It looks fantastic! I wish I had a little hidden nook under the stairs where I could cozy up to a book…but alas, we only have a one story house :/

    1. Hi Nora! So cool, right?!

      Hi Chris, Yep, just 2 by 12 untreated pine. Ben used a lot of wood glue between the boards and then screws from the underside to keep everything tight.

      Hey Christine! Doesn’t that sound so nice?! I wish we had a little nook under the stairs, too!


  3. Hi Amanda:
    Just recently found your blog and became a subscriber. So glad I did! I wish you and Ben lived next door to me….. Your sister’s staircase is amazing. I absolutely love it! I just redid my staircase, and although not nearly as cool as the one Ben did, I did improve it a bunch and we are super happy with it. Check it out if you have a minute.
    Can’t wait to catch up on some of your old posts. Love your style!

    1. Hey Caitlin, Love the shelving you added! Such a great addition of space. 🙂

      Hi Jilly! I’m glad you became a subscriber, too! Love your staircase redo. So much fun!


  4. It looks great! So much better than buying a unit, and it can hold so many things 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  5. hi Amanda!
    i love it how you guys were able to work and visit at the same time!!=) ur sister must be alwaze waiting for you and Ben to show up at her place lolz kidding well my mum does…she stays in Sydney and calls me just to tell me how she wishes i could organize her home n how much she admires my organizing skills!! i just recently decided to blog n yesterday i posted on my blog about my grand vacation…the only help out we did by far i remember is help my brother in his wedding in Fiji Is!! but otherwise if we build someone those(oh so charming shelves) they will crown us king and queens <<not kidding winks

  6. This is too neat! Ben is such a craftsman! Also, I spy that rare Missoni for Target blanket in the last photo!

  7. Now I just need to get my butt in gear and paint those 20′ walls and it will look killer! So….when are you guys coming back? JK 🙂 I’m glad to see everyone loves the bookshelves as much as we do.

  8. What a creative idea! We almost bought a house, just because of the “brady bunch” staircase. Love the book shelf idea and that it stays true to the style of the home.

  9. I love how open it is still! We’re considering putting a second story on our house and I’d love to do stairs like these. Unfortunately, space limitations might require us to stick with closed in stairs, so our washer/dryer can be nicely hidden away beneath. But these are so beautiful… wish we could find another place for the pesky appliances!

  10. I have ALWAYS wanted an under-the-stairs “book nook” but sadly, I don’t have any stairs in my little home…! However, I still do manage to have HUNDREDS of books all throughout my house and can never resist adding just one more book. My grandchildren tell their friends that their Nanna lives in a library…! NADIA IN PERTH

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