Some projects are like chipping away at a mammoth piece of rock to find the masterpiece inside... with a little chisel and a tiny hammer.... chip.... chip... chip!

Can you hear us chipping away at our front hall and stair project?

Yesterday the stair runner was laid. It's not easy to look at a swatch of carpet and envision it as a runner going down the entire staircase!

Here's what we chose...and some tips I found along the way...


The "before" without the ugly floral runner...







The "during".... painted white risers and black railing 







The "still a work in progress"... blue tape and all. We are continuing to painting the spindles and underside of the railing.








Although I loved the bare stairs, they were not practical for us. We have a little dog that cannot climb bare stairs... and bare stairs are NOISY! 

I wanted a natural low nap rug, like a sisal or jute... love the look... but they don't wear as well on very high traffic areas and I have found sometimes their fibers shed and that can be messy!



We opted for a very durable natural fiber look-alike. I ordered the carpet from Ethan Allen and had a local installer bind it as well as install it.











We would have preferred wool, but because of cost (big big bucks) opted for a soil repellent synthetic in a not-too-light neutral.







Here are some helpful tips I learned ...

* purchase a dense, thin carpet pad for stairs. Thick pads don't lay well on the stairs and they are often too "squishy". It is important to buy the most dense, thin pad, though!

*if you can't find a runner you like, buy a broadloom and have it bound. That's what we did.  Binding is not as expensive as you might think. 

* in most cases, have your binding match your carpet. Contrasting binding calls a whole lot of attention to the carpet and draws attention away from the decor and architecture of the stairs.

*opt for high wear carpet on stairs... with a short nap.

*there are great organic looking carpets that wear well on the market

* a solid with a slight "pattern" in it will hide traffic wear and dirt better

*a runner does not need to cover up most of the stair or be very wide. Our stairs are 43 inches wide and our runner is 26 inches wide. We love the look of wood on our stairs so we left as much exposed as we could.

* opt for a runner to soften the noise on the stairs.


This part of the makeover is finally done!!!! Now, while Bobby is at work I'll be ripping down wallpaper this week! Can't wait to show off the stairs with freshly painted walls!







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