Thinking Out Loud--Stairway Ideas

 Believe it or not, the City of San Francisco approved our plans and issued our permits today!
Yes, after months of nothing but demo, we can finally begin to put this house back together again.
There are so many decisions to be made, but the one that my contractor is asking me to consider today is the stairway.

We are eliminating the side entry with landing and going straight down instead.
The rail will need to be replaced.

 The question is, with what?
I can't help remembering my stairway in our old house but I don't think the style goes with the new house which is more mediterranean. 

Do I want an iron stair rail like in my friend's home?
I absolutely love her stairwell, but it's not the same application as mine.

I'm leaning towards a traditional, yet simple stair rail like this one featured in Southern Living.

I like this one also, but would probably paint the hand rail and newel post black.
In fact, black is what I'm leaning towards also.

I fell in love with this staircase the first time I saw it in House Beautiful and ripped out the page for my SF house file.  I love the black binding on the sisal runner and touch of black on the rail and top of the newel.
However, I think painting the whole newel post black would be my choice.
It's classic and timeless and I feel would work in our new home. 
Let the project begin!

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