Good Questions: Modern staircase railing ideas?

We received two emails both looking for suggestions on the same issue - stairways that need railings. We thought it made sense to show them together, so here they are:

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From Trudy:
"We recently took down the handrail and balusters of our stairs and are looking to replace them with _____? We'd like something with simple lines, but haven't seen anything at the local stores. Any ideas???

The picture shows the stairs after we removed the carpet, which explains the brown/white risers (to be painted solid once the floors are redone)."

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and from Amy:

"We are on the finishing touches of our newly renovated home, and stuck on one last area. We need to put up a railing of some sort for this L-shaped stairway to the basement, and have all but run out of money at the end of this renovation. Any affordable DIY ideas for a modern and interesting railing?"

There are a few big online railing companies that may be worth a look (even if just for inspiration); Wagner, Stair Service and Hollaender all offer some modern options.

We're opening up the question to all the AT creative thinkers - what do you suggest for these stairways? Modern, clean, simple and diy friendly...

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.