Friday, 25 July 2014

Origins of Stair Rods

You may be wondering just what are stair rods, what is their purpose, and where did they come from? Well, here are some facts behind the history of stair rods and how they came to be used today.

Slightly more up to date stair rods
In the late 18th century stair rods emerged for practical purposes in the lower-middle to upper class Victorian homes which featured wooden stair cases covered by carpet runners. In the 1700s, before wall to wall carpeting and before non-slip padding were invented, stair rods were used as a means of installation to hold the carpet runner in place.

They were a smart invention for a practical purpose. Part of the ingenious behind the rods was that they could be used so that, periodically, the runner could either be pulled up or down so that the nose of the stair wouldn’t rub or fade the runner in one place.

In the wealthier homes, stair rods featured much more innovative and decorative designs. This included styles like metal scrollwork on the bar and different shapes such as triangular shaped rods. Stair rods were crafted in a few different materials which ranged from brass to wood. Middle-class home owners who couldn’t afford to place decoratively styled stair rods on every step often used decorative rods up to the landing to impress guests while a plain rod was used to secure the runner on the steps farther up the staircase.

Today, with much stricter safety measures than in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds, stair rods are used for decorative purposes rather than as a means of installation for a carpet runner. Stair rods were very common up through the 1940s but slowed with the advent of wall to wall carpeting in the 1950s.

The 1980s triggered a large resurgence in the demand for stair rods from customers who were no longer using wall-to-wall carpeting. Instead, the trend grew with customers wanting to recreate turn of the century, European style, hardwood and stone staircases featuring elegant runners, accented by brass stair rods and clips.

The trend continues today with more and more home owners and designers going with the timeless and decorative options of using runners and stair rods. The style has expanded to incorporate, not only, the classic styles but more modern and contemporary styles as well.

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