The homeowner acquired the antique bench from the home's former owners.
Frequently it's not only a question of aesthetics - some older stairs are positively unsafe, having been constructed before modern building regulations came into force.
These state that no space must be big enough for a 100mm sphere (about the size of a baby's head) to pass through, so 99mm would be the maximum width permitted.
If you're feeling bold, glass panels instead of wooden spindles can create a sleek minimalist effect as well as increasing the distribution of light within the home.
The expense of replacing them is often a step too far for many home owners, but if your pockets aren't deep enough for a whole new staircase we can suggest a few quick and easy updates that won't cost the earth.
Swapping old-fashioned spindles or a solid balustrade for a more contemporary equivalent can transform the look of a staircase for a relatively modest outlay.For a more timeless look, oak or pine spindles will blend well with most types of decor.