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Not just railings, they are also shelves, a desk, a table.

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 desk.

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 art objects.

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
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Date:Dec 1, 1984
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