Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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!

53 comments:

  1. It makes me want to go check and see what is under our carpet but I'm pretty confident we wouldn't be as lucky. :)

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  2. I have no carpeting in my condo. So that is something I con't have to deal with. But your stairs are lovely now, better than the carpet. And the painting of the ceiling... much better too!

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  3. I love and admire your stairway!! We too had the notion to leave ours wood but when we ripped the carpet off, we found the design of our stairway allowed too much echo. I'm also lovin' your walls. I'd dying to do a similar idea but again, just need to figure out how (based on our stairway and angles). Will have to try and get a pic of ours and maybe send to you for thoughts -love your creativity!

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  4. We are taking a big step ourselves & finally having the carpet in living room and the tile in the kitchen/dining room and both baths replaced with Allure flooring from Home Depot and having new carpet put in our master bedroom (I couldn't talk hubby into Allure flooring in there). The installation starts the 2nd week of May. I'm not looking forward to the mess for a week of installation but so looking forward to the end results :)

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  5. What a wonderful transformation! I love how open & bright it is now. Stunning. :)

    Julia

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  6. When we had our hardwoods installed, we had to do something with our stairs. They were already hardwood (just the light wood), and didn't match the new dark floors. I fought tooth and nail (against the contractor and my husband!) to get them painted black and white...and I LOVE them!! Love it when a dream becomes a reality! :) There's a current pic (and a link to the before and after) in this post: http://glorriedays.blogspot.com/2013/01/instafriday_18.html

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  7. I know the stairs to our basement have cheap plywood under the carpet, but I bet the stairs that lead up to the bonus room off of our foyer MIGHT just have wood treads. I'm scared to start ripping the carpet off in case they don't, but then will I always wonder?!?!

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  8. We just moved into a townhome, and the only carpet in the house is on the stairs. I hope none of us slip! ;) We're renting, otherwise, I'd re-do the stairs in a heart beat!

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  9. I have a small two story open foyer. The noise carries already so well up there. I think the carpet on the stairs will stay. Though I would love to replace it with what we put in the living room last summer. We are ripping up all the linoleum on the main level and adding hardwood floors...I love your transformation though!!! So purty!!!! :) (We are coming up on 9 yrs in our house too..)

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  10. we are currently in the process of finishing our stairs...we weren't so lucky to find good stairs under our carpet...but McG (the hubby) has come to the rescue once again...can't wait for them to be finished - thanks for sharing yours!

    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

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  11. Have you found any issues with having the risers white? Dirt, stains, etc? We're ripping up our carpeted stairs soon too and can't decide if we should paint the risers or stain them.

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    1. I do wipe off scuffs every few months -- I probably should more often but it's not been too bad. We don't wear shoes in the house most of the time so we don't have as many scuffs as we would. I wish I would have used an oil-based primer on them though, some of the knots in the pine come through just a bit after some time.

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  12. Haha, we just started this project 2 months ago. I had been bugging my husband about ripping off the carpet that had been there for 20 years (with 3 kids, 3 dogs and a husband I have to beg to take his work boots off). One night about 10:00 I heard banging on the stairs, and lo and behold there he was ripping the carpet off. That is how he rolls, from 0-90. Only problem is he has his own pressure washing business, and March is when his crazy time starts, so we are at a standstill. I had also seen tons of board and batten on Pinterest, so he started that too. While he was at it, he ripped up the carpet in the living room, so what I have now is a big mess that will stay that way until September or October when business slows down. Even with the mess, it looks so much better already! I want to stain mine dark like yours, but our floors are oak, so we will argue about that for the next couple of months. If I don't win those kind of arguments, he lives to regret it because then he hears about it forever. Would you stain the stairs and railings dark with oak floors? I am going to paint the backs of the steps white. I am trying to get rid of all the earth colors in my house and switch over to a brighter color scheme with him kicking and screaming all the way! I really, really enjoy your blog!

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    1. If I was doing it and already had hardwoods I would match them to those, but the darker stain would still be pretty!

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  13. that commercial is AT&T...love those ones with the kids...I especially love the little afro american kid that says "what about the animals..what would they be made out of?" and the guys like "I am assuming they'd be candy" love it. anyway we did the exact opposite we covered big beautiful stairs with burber carpet...but that's because it just looks fresher...and then I painted the stairs white...(well the sides that don't have carpet...and the banister) but I love it...but I agree your stairs looks great! speaking of "lower case living" or whatever those sayings are called what is your current opinion on them? You should do a post covering that... when they are a good idea and when they aren't...I saw recently on a HGTV show that having cutsie sayings around your house is a turn off to buyers....interesting...thoughts?

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    1. Kelly I don't use them nearly as much as I used to -- I've taken them off the walls just because I've painted and haven't replaced them. :)

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  14. So great! Love them! And I totally agree that wood is less slippery than carpet! I fell down the stairs twice at our old house with carpeted stairs, but so far so good at our new house with wood stairs. Of course, it could be because I grip the railing in fear of falling now...Haha

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  15. Your stairs look wonderful! I agree that wood stairs are not nearly as slippery as carpet. I haven't fallen once on my wood stairs (amazing for me), but I slid down the stairs all the time when they were carpeted. I'm mostly amazed at the dust and dirt that accumulates on the wood stairs. And to think that was all trapped in my carpet. Yuck!

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  16. I am the odd ball. I love love hardwood...but about 15 years ago we put ceramic in due to 2 dogs on a seeing eye...then cats. Well recently we knew time to replace the carpet. We tore off the carpet on stairs. Yuck we looked at cost of steps,risers new side boards...as the glue horrid the stairs natta...plus my son who is blind lives with us...and wood or carpet he sets his foot better o a wide step and carpet...also he has a tough time sleeping carpet one out, a reaaaalllly good Mohawk with the best pad...the step is wider and falling not once on carpet but my sis hardwood several times...but still the dream house would be wide plank hardwood...

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  17. We want more, we want more...I can hear the little girl saying it. I still smile when I hear that commercial. I wasn't so fortunate when we pulled up red (yes you read correctly - red carpet...thank you MIL-not). It had been glued down and I worked a whole summer to get all that black carpet goo of the steps-to no avail. I finally ended up painting them. OH....the real kicker here...I have a 100 year old farmhouse that this was done to. Even the banister was removed.

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  18. I would love to tear out the carpets on our stairs one day! I love the look of hardwood on stairs. Yours are gorgeous!! I can't believe you only spent $50. That's awesome.

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  19. Love, love, love this look! I ripped the carpet off our stairs (17 of them) and stalled on the refinishing part because it was HARD work. I like the way the railing and wainscot look and that corner extended at the bottom. I am saving your picture for inspiration.

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  20. We are currently tearing out the carpet on our stairs at the home we just purchased. Our current home had the stained oak treads and I have loved them. Question though, did you have all oak treads? We discovered ours were pine with the bottom one being pieced together in oak! The flooring guys doing the carpeting says pine won't stain like oak and may be significantly different than our oak floors?

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    1. Our stairs are all pine and they stained up beautifully, but our floors are oak so I'm guessing there will be a slight difference. Honestly I doubt it will be much -- you could always test it out. If stain doesn't work you could paint them a dark color too. :)

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  21. The house we are living in now has wood stairs and I love them! It is SO difficult to keep carpeted stairs clean! Yes, I have to swiffer the dust off every few days, but that is way easier than vacuuming the carpet. I was concerned they would be slippery too, but it hasn't been a problem. The house we lived in last year had carpet and my husband slipped badly two times.

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  22. yep, that there is some awesomeness! I think I commented on your original post declaring I was doing this to mine and had started to pull back the carpet.........and yep, it's been two years since I first had that inkling with the gross, stained carpet still there. that's how i roll too.;) it's happening this year though! it will. it must! I did pull up the carpet in our playroom, just need to do the rest. thanks for getting me inspired all over again! :)

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  23. I love it! And I agree that the carpet is more slippery!!!

    Once my husband went to a Packer game... And came home to the living room carpet all ripped up ;). That'll teach him!! ;). It looks sooooo much better now!!

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  24. Such a transformation! We have carpet on the stairs and second floor but we know there's wood underneath. I love hardwood but tearing up the carpet is pretty low on the to-do list at the moment. Someday...

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  25. Boy how time flies. I remember the stair project like it was yesterday!

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  26. Love how you've transformed your staircase, Sarah. The painting is the perfect bit of color...love it! I'm with you on the hardwood stairs. I wouldn't mind one day putting a runner up the center of mine, but I love how they look open, too.
    XO

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  28. Totally a-mazing! I kept thinking with each new picture that it was stunning, and then you kept doing more. I love the work you put into and the savings by doing it yourself. ;)

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  29. Loving the canvas! Did you make it yourself? If so, I'm sure there is a tutorial somewhere, don;t know where to start!

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    1. Yes! The kiddo and I did it together -- http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2012/07/diy-art-reusing-old-canvas.html

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  30. I love the transformation. I'm thinking that pulling a blue or green from your foyer onto the picture frames might give the pop you want. Looking at the picture though..I might paint your sunbursts with a pop of that blue or green instead if you want to shake things up.

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  31. About 2 months ago my 5 year old son and I attacked the carpet on our stairs - oh the satisfying rip of nasty carpet coming up!

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  32. OK. So the other day as I was making the 65th miter saw cut of the day on the molding in our dining room (http://livingrichonless.com/will-i-have-all-my-fingers-when-i-finish-this-project/), I was thinking of adding a reference to that same AT&T commercial (referring to the insane amount of molding I'm adding). I was even gonna bust out a "name that commercial" in the post. So thanks for ruining it for me. :) This is just another example of how creepily similar our thought processes are. Loved the stairs before (I ripped off your old dining room color, after all) ... love them even more now.

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  33. I LOVE love love your staircase! Oh how I wish you could come help me do mine! So sick of the carpet. Yours looks absolutely beautiful!

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  34. Those stairs are insanely gorgeous! Insane in the membrane!

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  35. Looks great! Would you mind sharing the new wall color. I love it! Thanks!

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  36. I've loved your stair transformations..
    have followed you from the beginning..
    love your style!!
    now with my brand new home (almost)..
    closing mid May..
    I'll be doing some of the same things to transform the house..
    Into OUR HOME!!
    ;)

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  37. I love it that you referenced that AT&T commercial! Hubby and I tease each other and laugh about that particular one all the time - "You want more, more, but your parents won't let you!"
    I think you could paint your picture frames the same color blue as your foyer credenza to carry that pop of color into the staircase area or use some fabric that matches the cute pillow on your foyer chair as matting for the photos in the frames.

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  38. Love those stairs! (And that commercial!) Every time I see pictures of your stairs it makes me want to paint our risers white. I swear I'm going to do it one of these years!

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  39. Five years ago, my husband and I ripped out the carpet out of every room in the house and put hardwoods throughout. I love not having carpet especially since I have 2 rottweilers. Then two years ago, we decided to rip out the hardwoods in the kitchen, living room and hallways and put in travertine tile which I love. Love your stairs!!! They are beautiful!!

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  40. This year we had our open spiral staircase completely removed. New stairs is waiting patiently to be finished ;-)

    Thanks for the renewed inspiration for getting started on the stairs.
    I love yours (the one after the carpet-ripping ;-)

    By the way my blog is online now and like I said of course you are mentioned in my post about my favorite blogs! ( The blog is in Dutch and English, so you can see I only wrote nice things about you)

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  41. Really fantastic upgrade! They make a huge difference and I am sure your loving them:)

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  42. You inspired me to do my stairs! Last fall I ripped out the ugly, almost 10 year old carpet off the stairs. I discovered MDF treads and decided to paint them black with white risers. I had a lot of echo and found a fun black & tan cheetah print runner. My husband wanted all black stairs with the print runner so I humored him knowing I could always paint the risers white again in the future. As you know, one project always leads to another. When deciding what to do with the landing, we found wide planked, dark hickory flooring on clearance and just finished up ripping out on the carpet on the second floor of our house and putting down engineered wood. We did it all ourselves. The main floor is next, but I will pay a professional to do this since we have about 50% of that floor already wood. I love your blog and I always enjoy reading your posts!

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  43. I had to take the carpet out of the whole house- under it the stairs are absolutely horrible- plywood for the landings- Hubby gave me a router and a table, one of the docs at work gave me his table saw and I bought myself a miter saw- I am praying the treads are only nailed in, not glued and nailed- I'll start on the stairs after the Summer-

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  44. I am in love with your stairs Sarah! I was wondering what is the color of your walls?

    best,
    Robyn

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