Before & After: A Stairway Transformation

Before & After: A Stairway Transformation

The 1980’s “Colonial” staircase. Sigh. Orange oak. Oddly beige-y painted spindles. Old carpeting that’s seen way better days. And a tile foyer floor that doesn’t really flow with anything else.

 My "before." Yikes.

My “before.” Yikes.

That was my foyer in a nutshell.

I bet many of you in Hudson can relate! Almost every Hudson home I go to has this same type of staircase. Some of you are lucky enough to have wood floors in your foyer.

 A current client's "before." At least there are wood floors!

A current client’s “before.” At least there are wood floors!

I’ll be honest: even though the black and white tile floor didn’t really “go” with anything else in the house, I fell in love with it from day one.

My foyer floor

My foyer floor

No, it’s not the fancy black and white marble tile that’s found in grander homes, but it’s quirky and different! And black and white is pretty darn classic, so it fits with my “be yourself – don’t follow trends” style.

I knew I didn’t want to change the floor, so I focused on changing the other fixed elements: the carpeting, the stair treads, and the railing.

That's some pink beige...

That’s some pink beige…

The carpeting had seen better days. I’m sure it was lovely when it was first installed, but years of heavy use had left it looking rather grim. Also, see that top stair? Yeah, the carpet isn’t supposed to go over the sides of that tread. That was a lazy install. Also also, the carpet was pink beige – my nemesis. Pink beige doesn’t play well with any other undertones.

The woodwork in the rest of the downstairs is a bright, true white color. (Before that, it was taupe.) We painted it all white to brighten the house up when we moved in 5 years ago. The spindles on the staircase were the ONE thing we didn’t paint. Why? Pure laziness. I hate painting spindles, so I didn’t do it. Fast forward 5 years and I was REALLY tired of looking at beige spindles. My painter painted all of the spindles – by hand – in one day. Worth. It.

 The spindles finally match the woodwork!

The spindles finally match the woodwork!

The stair treads and railing were orange oak. Literally nothing else is the house is orange oak. I originally wanted to re-stain everything in Jacobean to match our wood floors. However, it’s quite a job to sand and re-stain risers and railings. Since it’s so labor-intensive, it’s justifiably a pricey proposition. The alternative is to paint everything, which requires less prep and labor.

I opted for the paint path so I could invest the money I saved into nicer carpeting. (There are always trade-offs and priorities in design – even for the designer!) Below is a picture of the painting in progress. My painter used Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel paint and corresponding tinted primer (the gray stuff).

Painting in progress. Always prime your woodwork!

Painting in progress. Always prime your woodwork!

I selected Black Fox as the paint color. It’s a dark brown that mimics the deep brown tones found in many classic Colonial and Victorian homes.

And then came the carpeting. Stairway carpeting doesn’t have to match the rest of the house. Sure, it needs to coordinate – but you’re free to select a different color or pattern. Be expressive with your stairs – it’s a small amount of carpeting.

The new carpet!

The new carpet!

I fell in love with the blue and white pattern, which looks a lot like Chinoiserie vases.

This is Chinoiserie.

This is Chinoiserie.

Chinoiserie is all over my house, so it only made sense to incorporate it onto my stairway.

The new stairs

The new stairs

I’m extremely happy with how the stairway turned out. The stairway now compliments the black and white tile floor, instead of competing with it.

The completed ensemble!

The completed ensemble!

Does your stairway need a makeover?

#InteriorDesign #BeforeAfter #HudsonOH #Foyer #Stairway #Carpeting #Chinoiserie #BoneInlay

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