So sorry to everyone who requested an update on this sooner! We first shared our new house to-do list back in May and later updated it at the end of July, so this check-in is well overdue. But one fun thing about going longer than you meant to before updating a list is getting to cross things off like crazy. Picture me grinning maniacally for a far too extended period like the people in this video who think they’re getting their photos taken while the camera’s really on video mode.
These posts came about when people asked us how we organize all the stuff that we have on our to-do list and we explained that we basically have one long run-on document that we update as we go. They said “share it!” and I said “aight, boo” and now we update it every few months, just to see where we’re going and to take a moment to appreciate what we’ve accomplished. I love lists like this because even when it feels like we’re all over the place and some projects are taking forever, seeing nearly 90 things crossed off after five and a half months of living here is pretty dang exciting. And addicting. Just looking at this list makes us want to dive into about five more projects simultaneously.
- The Front Yard (20% Complete) -
Remove the trees that are dead/decaying/diseased beyond repair (an arborist and a home inspector helped confirm which ones should go) Get all exterior siding and trim repainted (there’s peeling paint, some rot, etc) Dig up all the quickly spreading ground cover(we still have some mulch beds to tackle, but the parts we graded and seeded are groundcover free) Aerate, level, and seed the yard
- Make planting beds up front and mulch and plant them
- Transplant some of the crowded/overlapping boxwoods on either side of the portico (around the back or into other planting beds out front?)
- Redo old cracked concrete walkway from the driveway to the front door (add curves and pretty planting beds on both sides)
- Add some nice hard-scaping around the front (we’re so inspired by this house’s landscaping – so we’d love to add some raised stone beds)
- Plant a few green dwarf maples (it’s our favorite thing that we planted one at our previous house – you can see it in this post under the window on the right)
- Add low curved brick borders on either side of the driveway wired with lights (some of the houses nearby have ‘em and we love them)
- Get the driveway paved
- The Portico (25% Complete) -
Repaint the portico and sidelights (peeling paint = everywhere) Paint the front door
- Arch the portico ceiling (it’s low and one house up the street has an arched ceiling with a gorgeous hanging lantern)
- Add a few planters, a new double-wide door mat, new porch lighting, etc
- The Garage (3% Complete) -
Change out the tiny/rusty light over the garage doors(we attempted this, hence the 3% ranking, but we’re not sold on it, so we might return/replace it)
- Repaint garage doors and add some nice hardware to beef them up
- Add a pergola over the double garage doors with vines creeping over it
- Finish the interior of the garage with drywall to create a workshop on one side and storage around the perimeter (add pegboards, shelving for paint and tools, etc)
- Reuse kitchen cabinets in the garage (they’re dinged up in a bunch of spots around the doors and frames, but would be great for the garage)
- Redo the four steps that lead from the garage to the kitchen (remove old carpeting and paint them? rebuild them completely?)
- Build a box on casters for scrap wood storage in the garage (we need a system to keep it from being all over the place)
- Maybe we should get old lockers and paint them fun colors and remove some of the doors for storage? (love these!)
- Possibly add plumbing for a utility sink out there (we’ve always wanted one in our “workshop”)
- The Foyer (70% Complete) -
Remove the doors that block the flow into the kitchen (and the pretty view out the back windows that will someday be french doors) Paint blue trim, doors, and sidelights
Remove wallpaper and repaint the walls Replace the old foyer light Turn the extra toy closet in the foyer into a craft and toy closet for Clara
- Repaint the foyer ceiling
- Replace tile? (only if it’s unsalvageable – there are a few areas where it’s pretty beat up)
- Turn the other foyer closet into a shoe/coat closet with some functional built-ins
- The Stairs (90% Complete) -
Remove the old carpet from the wood stairs Paint blue railing spindles and trim Stain the top rails dark to match the runner Paint the walls and ceiling Paint the stair risers Install new striped runner with a rug pad under it
- Hang some art
- Possibly hang a big chandelier overhead since the ceiling is so lofted above the top of the stairs
- The Half Bathroom (35% Complete) -
Remove wallpaper Repaint all blue trim (and door) Upgrade door hardware & hinges Paint walls New mirror (something larger and higher – John can only see up to his shoulders now) Paint vanity (use odor blocking primer) Upgrade lighting Replace leaky faucet
- Replace vanity & seashell sink (Phase 2) Note: We like to live with kitchens and bathrooms (and give them smaller budget-friendly updates) for at least a year before doing any major gut-jobs or renovations (this helps us get a better feel for how we use the space, and allows us to save our pennies for something thoughtful that we won’t regret (more on that here)
- Replace unsalvageable tile floor? (Phase 2)
- Here’s a shocker since this house is covered with old wallpaper, but we’re actually flirting with adding some cool new wallpaper since there’s no tub/shower in there (grass cloth? something charming like this or this?). Could be fun! Or a tiled accent wall could be fun. (Phase 2)
- The Dining Room (7% Complete) -
Clean and reseal the wood floors
- Upgrade built-ins (remove scrolly tops? build up to ceiling? paint white?)
- Paint all of the blue trim
the wallpaper(I’m about halfway done, hence the half-crossed off line)
- Repaint the walls
- Upgrade lighting and curtains
furniture, a rug (?) and art
- The Living Room (10% Complete) -
Clean and re-seal the wood floors Prime and paint the bright pink walls Take down the old curtains Whitewash the brick fireplace wall
- Prime and paint the thick woodwork that wraps around the bottom half of the room’s walls (we LOVE it, and think it’ll be gorgeous in white)
- Figure out window treatments (bamboo blinds + curtains? printed roman shades?)
- Add more recessed lights to evenly light the room (there are just three near the fireplace)
- Turn the overhead beams into a coffered ceiling (like this)
- Build/find a nice big built-in-looking cabinet that holds the TV?
- Get gas logs after we save up our bucks (Phase 2)
- Add stacked stone or built-in molding around the fireplace? (Phase 2)
- The Office (7% Complete) -
Take down the old curtains Clean and re-seal the wood floors
- Paint walls and trim and ceiling (don’t mind that little white table in the middle of everything, we were using that to shoot something)
- Add a double desk work area somewhere – perhaps coming out from the middle of the left wall like a peninsula (or the right wall between the windows)?
- Bring in storage (bookcase, file cabinet, etc) – possibly cool build-ins around the bay window?
- Add curtains/window treatments
- Hang art & create a brainstorm-zone on the walls (bulletin board? chalkboard?)
- Add two large potted plants (lemon trees? fiddle leaf figs?) in front of the two front-facing windows
- The Kitchen (7% Complete) -
Take down the old curtains Remove the wallpaper Remove shelves thank flank the sink windowand add shelves there Move the cabinet over the fridge forward so it’s accessible Get a table for the eat-in area
- Paint the walls
- Update the old kitchen lights
- Paint the pantry door and the door to the garage
- Prime and paint the woodwork and trim
- Paint the cabinets (they’re too beat up to keep forever, but they’ll eventually end up in the garage when we do a full kitchen reno)
- Remove almond microwave over stove and add an inexpensive vent (put microwave in pantry?)
- Convert giant triple window behind table into french doors leading onto the deck
- Open the wall between the kitchen & living room and add built-ins on either side (sort of like the dining room built-ins in our last house)
- Full kitchen reno for Phase 2 (replace the faux brick vinyl floors, damaged cabinets, laminate counters, old broken appliances, etc)
- Perhaps try our hand at heated floors under some fresh tile (that might spill into the foyer and hall bath if we can’t salvage that tile)
- Organize the pantry with pull out drawers and bins and containers (and replace the door with frosted glass?)
- Amp up the “command center” area across from the triple windows
- Paint the new kitchen french doors and door to the sunroom (black? charcoal? soft turquoise? white?)
- The Sunroom-Turned-Veranda (80% Complete) -
Rip up old carpet and padding Permanently remove the broken base heater Convert sunroom to an open covered porch with new columns and no more sliders (many of the sliders are bad and the posts are rotten) Loft the ceiling Add beadboard to the ceiling and paint it soft blue Redo the electrical to get two fans in there Paint all the trim, window trim, walls, and the french door into the living room Retile the floor with outdoor-safe stone to upgrade the old concrete floors so they’re less slick, more level, and less stained
- Add sconces to the posts around the room
- Build a box to hide the wires that creep down the brick wall near the french door
- Furnish the room with deck-friendly outdoor furniture
- Build a brick outdoor fireplace off of the sunroom after we open it up? Kind of like this, but different…
- The Master Bedroom (15% Complete) -
Remove old carpeting and install hardwoods Repaint all of the cream trim and doors white
Add faux wood blinds to all windows for privacy/light blocking
Repaint the walls
- Repaint the ceiling (or even plank it or wallpaper it like this for texture?)
- Add built-ins along the entire bed wall (with an integrated window seat, hidden storage, and a nook for the bed to tuck into)
- Add a ceiling light fixture (there’s nothing in there)
- Bring in art, curtains, etc.
- The Master Bedroom Sink Nook (50% Complete) -
Rip up the carpet in sink area (we didn’t put hardwoods there because we eventually want to tile it) Replace the mirror over the sink for something bigger Paint the walls and the trim and the ceiling Stencil and seal the subfloor (to tide us over until Phase 2) Add some simple shelves to the empty side of the vanity for balance Stain/paint the vanity and add new hardware
- Phase 2 (a full reno where we knock down a wall and combine the master bathroom with this sink nook area)
- The Master Bathroom (15% Complete) -
Remove the glass shower door Bring privacy to the window with some blinds
- Remove the wallpaper
- Paint the walls and trim and ceiling
- Replace the bathroom mirror & upgrade the lights
- Completely redo the master bath down the line for Phase 2 (the fun blue hex floor tile is in rough shape and we want to expand the footprint into the sink nook area so it’s all one space (soaker tub? tiled shower as well? double sink? should be fun!)
- The Master Closet (40% Complete) -
Repaint all of the cream trim Paint the walls and ceiling Rip up the carpet and stencil the subfloor Phase 2 (we’ll either extend the tile from the bathroom or the hardwoods from the bedroom into here, just have to decide if we’re moving the door or not)
- New light fixture
- Organize/build out/pimp the entire space (we’re envisioning cabinetry with drawers, shelves, rods at different heights, etc)
-Upstairs Hallway (60% Complete) -
Remove old carpeting and install hardwoods Repaint all of the blue trim and doors glossy white Get all new hinges and door knobs (they’re not only bright brass, many of them are rusted/corroded so they can’t just be sprayed) Upgrade to a Nest thermostat (we hear nothing but great things about them, and John is drooling for one) Stain/paint the bannister and posts
- Paint the walls and ceiling
- Replace the old hallway lights (or paint existing ones? not sure)
- Convert hallway linen closet into built-in open shelves or cabinets with shelves over them (sort of like this?)
- Add crown molding
- Add thick wood wainscoting (like we have in the kitchen and living room) to the upstairs hallway to break up the long space?
- Clara’s Room (50% Complete) -
Remove old carpeting and install hardwoods Repaint all of the blue trim and doors Add window blinds & curtains Paint the walls and ceiling Make a canopy wall for Clara’s bed (with lights) Paint the door to her closet bright pink Add crown molding
- Hang art & bring in things like her play kitchen when the crib moves to the nursery
- Make entire wall of built-ins somewhere?
- Build a bench seat in Clara’s deep sloped ceiling-ed closet nook with beadboard or shaker shingles on the ceiling and wallpaper on the back wall (we want it to feel like a little playhouse within her room)
- Add a ceiling light fixture (boo! there’s nothing in there!)
- Future Nursery (10% Complete) -
Remove old carpeting and install hardwoods Repaint all of the mauve trim and doors Add wood blinds (for light blocking)and hang curtains
- Furnish the room (we’re going to hold off on major decorating decisions until we find out what this bun of ours is in early December)
- Repaint the walls and ceiling
- Add crown molding
- Add a ceiling light fixture (boo! there’s nothing in there!)
- The Guest Bedroom / Craft Room (10% Complete) -
Remove old carpeting and install hardwoods Repaint all of the cream trim and doors
- Paint the walls and ceiling
- Bring in
a bed anda dresser/desk that can accommodate my sewing machine & crafting stuff so this room can multi-task (it has the prettiest view/light – I’d love to creep in there and sew/paint on Sunday afternoons)
- Organize and build out some craft/gift wrap shelving in the closet (lots of shelves and bins, etc)
- Add crown molding
- Add a ceiling light fixture (nope, there’s nothing in there either!)
- The Hall Bathroom (5% Complete) -
the door andtrim
- Paint the walls and ceiling
- Replace the faucets and mirrors and lights for a mini-update (Phase 1)
- A complete redo is in order (Phase 2) since the old tile is stained/cracked and the tub & fixtures leak. Maybe we’ll do herringbone slate? Marble? Extra long rectangles of tile like this?
- Laundry Nook (10% Complete) -
Remove old carpeting and install hardwoods
- Lay a more washer-proof flooring under the appliances like tile (we ended the hardwoods right in front of them so we could use something more water-safe in there)
- Completely redo the nook (new doors for noise control, updated energy star appliances, new counter, new cabinets – or more cabs if we re-use the existing ones)
- Add a swanky tile backsplash and some great art/lighting (I want to make it a fun little surprise jewel box at the end of the hallway)
- Unfinished Storage Room (0% Complete) -
- This will serve as an awesomely large storage room for a while (we have no current need for additional finished rooms), but down the line we’d love to finish it – maybe as a movie room / bunk room for older kiddos? This’ll be waaay down the line, but we dream of:
- Adding drywall
- Getting flooring
- Adding lighting
- Possibly enlarging the windows to let in more light
- Building out the closets (so there’s still some storage under the eaves)
- Furnishing the space with built in beds, a TV, a big sectional for lounging, etc – wahoo!
- General Whole House Ideas (7% Complete) -
- Slowly upgrade all lights in the house to LEDs to save energy
- Replace all of the gold/wallpapered/off-white switchplates and outlets in the house (we’ve replaced around 15% of them so far)
- Upgrade to nicer frames, drapes, sheets, and curtain rods over time (they’re not cheap, but we’d love to be “grown ups” someday – even if it takes us 10 years or so to get there!)
- The Back Deck (50% Complete) -
Remove the giant oak tree that’s practically growing into the house Patch the deck hole after the tree is removed Strip and stain/seal the entire deck Replace any rotten/ warped boards as we go
- Add double wide stairs off the back of the deck that line up with the new french doors that we’ll add off of the kitchen
- Possibly build a pergola for more architecture and shade off of the back of house where the future kitchen french doors will be (square to the sunroom)?
- Build outdoor furniture like a table or lounge chairs for the deck
- The Backyard (15% Complete) -
Remove random slate pieces from the backyard Aerate or level the yard
Seed the yard in the fall Plant large holly bushes for privacy from the other houses that our wooded lot backs up to
- Transplant a few things for a better layout, like the pretty peony bushes in the middle of nowhere (not pictured)
- Reseed again in the spring/fall
- Build a fun wooden playhouse for Clara
- Plant an edible garden (not sure what the deer won’t eat, so I’ll have to do some research)
- Build a swing set
- Redo the old cracked concrete walkway between the garage and the deck
- Add more privacy plantings around the rest of the yard – tiered trees, bushes, and flowers (we plan to save up for these and add more each year)
- Build some raised planters and hardscaping
- Possibly add a patio area somewhere around the deck?
- Make a wooden teepee in the corner of the backyard with Clara and then plant some vines to grow around it to make a cool little hideaway (like this)
- Build an air conditioner cover with wood boards like this
Thankfully the journey is a lot more exciting than the destination is for us (more on that here), so if our list makes your brain fog up: 1) sorry about that, and 2) we’re a weird breed of human who actually loves stuff like this (we upgraded our house for fun for years well before this ever became a job of ours). We’ve also learned that taking things one day/project/victory at a time keeps us from getting too overwhelmed, so if you’re wondering how we choose what to do next or how we avoid getting overwhelmed, we just do whatever sounds fun and whatever works with our current budget (barring anything that needs to be moved to the top of the list for safety or other extreme-urgency reasons). We also jump around a lot, which seems to keep our momentum up. For example, right now we’re:
- halfway done peeling wallpaper in the dining room
- just getting our Phase 1 kitchen makeover rolling
- contemplating wall colors for the hall bathroom upstairs and the guest room
- beginning to brainstorm what we want in our office to make it functional for two people (and to add a lot more storage/work space)
So that’s what’s next on the agenda. How do you organize your house-related to-do lists? Do you use your smart phone? A good old fashioned notepad? Is it all up here (points to head)?
Last week we promised you the final update on our stair runner project, and here it is! And now for the nitty gritty of how we got here.
Hint: we finished installing it less than 20 hours ago. Nothing like a nail biter…
Wednesday, November 6th – LATE AFTERNOON: Time to paint those risers. We saved this step to the very end of the project, just to see make sure we didn’t rush into it and live to regret it. But once everything else was painted and the runner was here, we laid it out with the unpainted risers and were finally 100% sure we’d prefer them painted (like this inspiration image) so we finally pulled the trigger. Since we knew it would take lots of coats, Sherry taped off the bottoms to make things speedier than having to meticulously edge each time and I applied a coat of primer (since it’s low-VOC, but not no-VOC) to block any wood bleed.
Wednesday, November 6th – NIGHT: With the primer dry, Sherry applied the first coat of paint (it’s the same no-VOC Simply White in semi-gloss that we’ve used on trim everywhere else).
Thursday, November 7th – MORNING & AFTERNOON: Sherry applied coat #2 of paint and I went in for coat #3 later, just to be sure we get a good solid white tone on each tread.
Thursday, November 7th – NIGHT: Right before bed, I applied a coat of Rejuvenate to each tread to restore the wood finish (more on that here). I worked my way up the stairs right before bed so that it could cure overnight while we were all up there sleeping. In the morning we woke up to a much fresher looking staircase. We love the look of bare stairs like this, so we soaked up this pretty sight, and then pushed onward towards our goal of a fresh new runner (we’d just prefer some extra padding with young kids in the house to cushion the blow if anyone does fall).
Friday, November 8th – MORNING: Since we wanted to get as much messy stuff done before the runner was installed (stain drips on a new carpet = the stuff of nightmares) we dove into staining the railings a deeper tone so they’d pick up some of the black in the runner (more on what inspired us to do that here). We found this PolyShades stain + polyurethane that didn’t require any heavy sanding (just a light roughing up) in a nice deep color, so we grabbed it.
Unlike stain, you don’t wipe off the excess once it’s applied. The railing on the right side of the stairs is pictured here, but I also did this to the long rail that goes up the left side of the wall (we had removed that when we painted the walls and ceiling last week and decided to just keep it off so I could easily do that staining outside).
Friday, November 8th – AFTERNOON: The first coat didn’t quite dry as dark as we hoped, but we crossed our fingers that a second one would do the trick. The first should’ve been dry after 6 hours but it was still tacky, so rather than wait an unknown amount of time for it to cure, we switched gears and started painting the newel posts, which we decided would look best white like the other stair posts after seeing some other people making that call (here, here, here, and here). Like the risers, Sherry taped it off so I (the less perfect cutter-inner of the two of us) could apply the primer.
Friday, November 8th – NIGHT: Sherry applied the first coat of white paint (also Simply White) to the posts while I read weird Buzzfeed articles to her out loud to pass the time. Oh yeah, we know how to party on a Friday night.
Saturday, November 9th – MORNING: Sherry applied coats 2 and 3 of white paint to the posts about three hours apart.
Saturday, November 9th – AFTERNOON: With the post paint dry and the first coat of stain on the railing more than fully cured, I could go back to applying our second coat of stain. Beforehand, I had to rough it up slightly with some fine steel wool. Thankfully the second coat made it darker, just like we hoped. We were aiming for it to pick up on the black stripes in the runner as well as the dark espresso console table and the oil-rubbed bronze light fixture nearby in the foyer.
Saturday, November 9th – LATE AFTERNOON: With all of the messy stuff done, we could finally turn our attention to the runner. Thanks to a couple of helpful tutorials (like Rhoda’s and Jenny’s) we had some goods tips to go off of – like when Jenny mentioned that she wished she had measured to keep hers centered so the stripes aligned all the way down. Thanks to her post, we decided to create some tape guides to follow so we could make sure the runner didn’t shift from side to side as we move down the staircase (which can be especially obvious when it has stripes). In order to be centered, our guides needed to be set 4″ from each side of the wall, so we marked that line with some tape.
We read that if your stairs widen on one side at the bottom like ours do, it’s recommended that you center them on the narrowest part of the staircase, which means the part up top (if we had centered the runner on those few wider steps at the base of the stairs, it would have rubbed against the right wall on all of the upper steps and looked a lot less balanced). We also wanted to use some sort of padding to keep the runner from sliding and to add some extra cushioning, but we wanted to be sure to go with something that wouldn’t adhere to or damage the wood stairs, just in case we want to go runner-less again sometime when the kiddos are older, so we got a standard 5 x 8′ rug pad at Target and discovered that cutting it in half made it just about the perfect width.
We took the time to cut individual pads for each riser (long enough to wrap around the nose of them) so that we could get this all done for the cost of just one rug pad instead of needing to buy two. We didn’t adhere these at all, knowing that stapling through the runner on top of them would hold everything nice and firmly.
Sunday, November 10th – MORNING: We took Saturday night off to do something fun, so Sunday was crunch time. Less than 24 hours ’til posting time. Yikes! We started off by using an electric stapler that we bought from Lowe’s for $30 (a Bostitch 5/8-in electric staple gun) to set the edge of the runner right under the nose at the top. Our runner had a pattern all the way to the end and the rolled edge was barely noticeable, but had it been more distinct, we would’ve cut off the edge and rolled it under so the pattern would look seamless instead of having an obvious border at the top.
We noticed the first staple that we shot through the runner was more visible than we’d like (since it was a slice of silver on a black stripe), so we took a second to color the tops of a row of staples with a black Sharpie (a trick Sherry saw on Pinterest for making decorative gold staples). Then we were sure to staple only into the dark parts of the rug so they’d blend in. Worked like a charm.
With a row of staples in at the top, we then pulled it tight along the riser and Sherry stapled a row along the bottom into the riser, not the tread. We wanted to avoid stapling into the tread since that’s where people would be stepping and we didn’t want the staples to “surprise” any bare feet (even though they generally sink into the rug and aren’t pointy or anything).
Sherry had been firing a staple into each of the big stripes (the pink ones in the diagram below) but we found it wasn’t enough – at least at the top under the nose, where it seemed to sag a bit between staples. So she went back and did another row of staples up top (the blue ones that you see below). Here’s a sense of where we put staples and in what order:
One runner wasn’t enough to get all the way down the stairs, so at some point we knew we’d have to join the second one as seamlessly as possible to the first one, so we wanted them to meet under a tread nose where the joint would be least visible. First we snipped off the end of the first one so it would wrap just below the nose.
Then we stapled that one under the nose, just like we had done on all the steps before it.
I didn’t get a good picture of the next part (picture us sweating bullets and using all available hands) but we just lined up the edge of the new runner as flush under the nose as possible. Our goal was for the edge to catch your eye as little as possible, so by tucking it under the nose of the stair, it seemed as hidden as we could get it. Can you see the seam in the photo below?
You really have to look for it, but it’s under the nose of the the step there on the bottom. The line where they meet is a little more defined than the underside of the other steps if you’re this close (Sherry was about a foot away when she snapped this photo) but if you’re standing up you really can’t detect it at all, which is a relief because during this “joining of the rugs” we were both really nervous that it would be bulky and obvious.
The other tricky part was the very end, where we also had to cut off some excess runner, leaving about an inch that could be rolled under.
By rolling it under and stapling it like this, it meant that our cut didn’t have to be perfect and the edge would look more finished (and would be protected from fraying).
I’ve kinda broken from the timeline structure that this post started with, but despite the many steps to installing the runner, it only took us about three hours. In fact it was the fastest step of the whole stairway makeover process (removing those old staples and painting the ceiling while balancing on a ladder were waaay more intense). So to anyone wondering if you can install a stair runner, we’d rank this task as simple and straightforward. Especially if you spring for an electric stapler, which really made things easy.
We’re both pleasantly surprised at how soft the runner is (since some flat weaves can be scratchy). As for the light color, we’re a no-shoes household, so that should cut down on lots of potential dirt or staining (we’ve had light colored rugs like this in rooms like our living room and kitchen for years without any issues). We also hear that Dash & Albert rugs hold up well (Sherry’s friend with two young kids has a white and brown one on her steps and is really happy with it) but we’ll keep you posted either way!
Update: We’re getting a few questions about whether we considered staining the stairs the same dark color as the railings, but since the entire upstairs of our house are hardwood floors that match the current tone of the stairs (which run right into them at the top) we didn’t want a big color change at that point. So we we thought dark railings would tie into the dark stripes in the runner (as well as the nearby foyer chandelier and dark console table) without needing to match those stair treads. To us it’s like putting a dark wood console table on top of a mid-toned wood floor – it seems to be compatible even though it doesn’t match.
Oh and this photo shows why we opted not to stain the vertical newel posts on the railing that you see below on the left (and painted them white instead). Since we knew the railing on the right would just be a clean dark stripe on that side of the stairs (with nothing vertical going on) we thought something dark on the left going down to the floor might look unbalanced.
And now for the budget breakdown:
- Two runners (more on where we got those here): $199
- Electric stapler & staples: $34
- Rug pad: $39
- PolyShades stain & brush for the railings: $11
- Primer & paint for the risers, posts, trim, walls, and the ceiling: $0 (we had it already, but a guess for what you’d spend might be $80)
- TOTAL: $283 (or $363 if you need to buy primer, trim paint, and wall paint)
We read here that it would typically cost about $318 for a similar installation job by a pro – which doesn’t include the cost of the runners or the padding themselves (or the staining/painting/priming that we squeezed into this makeover), so we’re really happy with where we ended up.
And here’s a full recap of the entire stairwell makeover (which came to about 20 hours in total):
- primed and painted the blue posts and trim
- selected our runner (more on that and the previous bullet here)
- removed the old carpet, rug pad, and the 600 staples that came with it
- painted the stairwell walls and ceiling (more on that and the previous bullet here)
- primed and painted the risers
- stained the railings
- installed the rug pad and runners
- high fived like maniacs
We’re really happy with how it turned out. The color scheme and pattern of the runner are still pretty classic and not too wacky, but the high contrast elements still make it interesting. We especially like how the dark stripe in the runner and the new railing color ties into the light fixture and the console table. If only there weren’t all that blue trim winking at us from the dining room…
Oh yeah, and to complete my timeline…
Sunday, November 10th – EVENING: Finally finished sizing pictures and writing a super long post about the previous week of stair projects. Poor Sherry’s gotta proofread this sucker in the morning. Sorry honey! But the good news is, we made it!
What did you guys do this weekend? Any runners going in, or old carpet coming out? How about using dark stain on something to accent it? We’re really having fun with contrast these days, which is admittedly something that used to scare us. Change is good.
P.S. We were devastated to hear of the damage that Typhoon Haiyan did to the Phillipines. NBC News has helpfully provided a list of some of the organizations offering relief to survivors of the typhoon, so we wanted to include that link for you guys.