Not just railings, they are also shelves, a desk, a table
The railings work hard in this house in Mill Valley, California. In
different places, they double as shelves, a table, or support for a
From the entry landing, a railing topped with a series of
1-foot-wide shelves borders a short stairway up to the living room.
Shelves are staggered one above the other and provide room to display
At the top of the stairs (right), the railing meets a 2-foot-high
table measuring 40 by 110 inches. The owners use it as a plant platform
or as a buffet during parties.
In the loft above a bedroom, a redwood railing functions as the
base for a desk. On the underside of the desk, 2-by-3s on both sides of
the rail provide bracing. Some of the railways don’t meet strict
code interpretations, but the inspector felt their width and placement
justified their design.
Robert Yeakey and architect John Marsh Davis designed the house.
Photo: Living room counter extends across stairwell, giving display
space for plants and pottery. Stepping down the stairs, wide rail and
supports are built like fine furniture
Photo: Desk in bedroom loft turns small space into study. Seen
from below, support structure for cantilevered desk is cleanly
expressed. Her feet can rest on a 2-by-4 bolted to 2-by-6s. Underside
of desk is white to match ceiling