The days of our stairs

First up, my friend Cassie over at Hi Sugarplum did a FUN series while she gallivants around Italy (I’m not jealous or anything). You can check out my answers to her 20 questions here. Go ahead. I’ll wait. :)

Fun right??

I’m feeling so nostalgic about our house lately – I don’t know if it’s because I’m coming up on five years of blogging in less than a month (whoa) or because as of five days from now we will have lived in this house for nine years.

It may be a combination of both -- it’s just this time of year I guess. :)

I love looking back at the transformation of certain spaces in our house and one of the projects I’m big fat puffy proud of is our staircase. I can’t believe in five years of blogging I only have one before picture of the stairs with the carpet, but here it is, in all of it’s dark, horrible picture-ness:

christmas stairs

I got a wild hair a few years ago – I knew we had beautiful wood stairs under that carpet because I was here every. single. day. when they built our house.

One day I got the nerve up to tear off the carpet and the mess started – there was blood. Lots of sweat. And tears. (Just a little.):

taking carpet off stairs

Tearing up the carpet was easy. Getting every tack strip off and all of the staples (the millions of staples!!!!) was some of the hardest work ever.

But it was worth it when I saw the potential:

taking carpet off stairs

I started sanding but then my late father-in-law stepped in with his heavy duty equipment – they got all the overspray off the steps for me so I could start staining and painting.

I still say this transformation is one of the biggest in our house, and I only spent $50 total:

dark treads light risers stairsdark treads light risers stairs

I still LOVE having the memory of my father-in-law working on this too. It’s like we’ll have a part of him in our house forever – he worked SO hard to help out.

You can see that I painted the wall below the handrail while I was painting the risers. Later on I finished that part off by adding trim:

dark treads light risers stairs

And then I made a simple change that made a big difference – painting the handrail:

fall decorating stairs martha stewart mice thriftydecorchick.com

Isn’t that crazy? I couldn’t believe how much that little change kind of tied it all together!

And I still don’t know if those mice are coming back this fall. Maybe with time I will forget. Or not. :)

We said goodbye to the pink(ish) walls last year and I haven't’ missed them one bit. Then I added my DIY sunburst mirrors to the big wall in the staircase:

dark treads light risers stairs

Getting rid of that dark ceiling in the dining room made a HUGE difference too. (Filing that one away into “what was I thinking?”)

But I felt like it was looking kind of blah – I loved it, but I’m craving some color here lately.

I recently added just a bit with the little changes I made to the foyer and I think it already makes a difference:

dark treads light risers stairs

But I still want more. (We want more! We want more! Name that commercial.) I had to take down the “best things in life” saying on the gallery wall when we painted, so there’s an empty spot needing filled still (almost a year later…this is how I roll) I think I’ll just add another frame, but I’m wondering if I should paint the frames? Just a little color? I don’t know. It will come to me if I sit on it (forever).

And soon I’m having the treads sanded down and I’m going to stain them all the color of our hardwoods (Jacobean stain) so they match. Right now they are a reddish tone and the fact that they don’t match is starting to bug me.

It’s been a long process, one that was harder than I thought it would be, but it has made SUCH a huge difference in our house! The before, a few years ago:

And today!

analytical gray sherwin williamsAnd I still stand by my thought that hardwood stairs are less slippery than carpeted ones. I’m really good at falling down stairs and so far so good…knock on wood. ;)

Have you torn the carpet off your stairs or out of a room? I thought about it for months (years) and one day just started ripping – scary but so worth it in the end!

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