Hey Gabrielle. A quick question…I can’t decide whether or not to have the builders paint the bannister on the stairs all white, or have them stain the wood on the hand rail to match our wood floors and only paint the spindles white. I’ve seen pictures of both and just can’t decide which way I like better. So, I wanted to ask you what you think. What would you do if this were your house? Thanks for any advice!! Leslie

Hi Leslie. Fun question! I’m with you. I’ve seen bannisters in two-tone and bannisters in all white and both can look fantastic. But if you’re asking what I would do personally, here is my answer: if the rest of the woodwork in the house is white (the floor boards and window frames) I would go all white on the bannister — I’m craving visual simplicity these days.

But I’ll be honest. I could really go either way. Consider the state of the wood, if it’s beautiful then show it off. If it’s not, cover it with a coat of paint. If the bannister itself is good-looking, it’s hard to go wrong.

photo from Getty