Revitalize Your Older Home with Horizontal Railings

Times change, but your railings didn’t

Maybe you remember the first time you opened the front door to your soon-to-be new home and gasped at the beauty of the grand staircase that welcomed you. Fast forward ten or twenty years and you may gasp when you walk in, but not for the same reason.

Or maybe you bought an older house and were never comfortable with those dominating entryway stair railings from Day One: too bulky, too imposing, maybe just too much wood for your taste altogether.

Either way, your stairway is looking tired and those traditional, turned spindles (or dark, heavy wooden balusters circa 1970) that once appealed to you—or someone else—just aren’t cutting it anymore. And what’s worse: That old staircase is the first thing you and your guests see when you step into the foyer.

Setting the stage

Stairway railings, especially those that greet you immediately upon entering a home, are an important design feature that can have a significant impact on the overall aesthetic of your home… as you know from first-hand experience.

Wooden balusters vs cable rail

Traditional turned wooden balusters

Key-Link American Series Cable Rail

Railings set an expectation for the style of the rest of the house and when there’s a mismatch, it feels disjointed. At best, your home’s interior conveys an impression that the elements are somehow out of sync. At worst, the rest of your decor is stuck in a time warp, just to coordinate with a focal point you’d rather not focus on anymore. When that happens, your dated railings limit your expression in the rest of your home design and decor. That’s no way to live!

Moving or replacing your staircase may be prohibitive, but that’s not necessary. Replacing your outdated railings can be an effective and relatively inexpensive way to modernize the look of your older home and breathe fresh life into your stairway, landings, and loft.

Go horizontal

New railings can give your Home Sweet Home a much-needed makeover that will speak to your style today by delivering a fresh, updated look. While there are plenty of beautiful options, if an open feel and clean lines are on your wish list, consider the impact of horizontal cables and horizontal rod rails.

Feeney CableRail & Atlantic Nautilus Cable Railing

Feeney CableRail

Atlantis Nautilus Cable Railing

Unobstructed views

Both horizontal cable and rod railing are great choices to open up your space and reveal the views that your old crowded or chunky vertical balusters have been obscuring all these years. You’ll find that your spaces feel larger and more connected once you’re free from those outdated railings that have been interrupting your sightlines.

You’ll even notice that what was once a dull passthrough area or landing suddenly takes on personality and interest when you introduce horizontal railings.

DekPro InvisiCable & Horizontal Rail

DekPro InvisiCable

DekPro Horizontal Rail

Something completely different

When you choose to do a 180 by rotating your railing infills 90 degrees, the change is more than just a design refresh: You change the entire perspective. And that makes for a much more striking and satisfying result.

If you’ve ever thought that there’s little you can do to make a big impact inside your home, short of tearing down walls and major construction projects, think horizontal railing.


By opting for infills of stainless steel or aluminum, your railings become largely maintenance-free, and the wear and tear that may have marred and aged your old wooden balusters is no longer a concern.

With cable or metal rods, you won’t have to worry about spindles that become scratched, cracked, or broken. And if periodic painting or stain touchups have been part of your routine to keep scuffs at bay, you can cross that chore off your list permanently. Your new railings will be looking just as good years into the future as they do on installation day.

Custom variations

Horizontal cables or rods can be combined with wooden elements, like posts and handrails, for a contemporary transitional design or paired with metals to embrace a modern or even industrial vibe.

Wooden accents, like the inset crisscross below, can be achieved in combination with cables by offsetting the cables, making space for decorative additions. Just think of the personality you can bring to your old staircase by pairing metal cables with custom accents!

DekPro InvisiCable
DekPro InvisiCable

Improved home value

While making a home improvement for your own enjoyment is always the best investment, a railing upgrade can boost your home’s appeal when it’s time to sell as well. Many potential homebuyers are drawn to open, airy spaces and, like you, are turned off by dated features that dominate the home’s interior. By opening up the railings in your home with horizontal options, you can increase its value to prospective purchasers in the future.

Get a free railing quote

If a dated stairway is holding your home back but you see potential, rejuvenate it with fresh railings for a brand-new perspective on your interiors! To start your railing project off right, get a Free Railing Quote for your new horizontal railings from DIY Home Center. For railing questions, connect with our experts with a call, email, or chat—we’re here to help at every step.

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