I give my hubby a lot of credit for seeing the potential in our current house. While I’m incredibly grateful to have a comfortable home to live in, it has been a long process for me to actually come to love the look of the place. There was a lot of pink, red, gold, and heavy ornate-ness that we’ve been slowly replacing. I think the recent work by our painters was the tipping point for me. I can now truly say that it is a pleasure to walk in the house and see these stairs.
As you can see, a lot has changed since the (blurry – sorry, I had to enlarge it to focus on the stairs) real estate picture was taken. We started by changing the light fixtures from crystal chandeliers and sconces to more architectural fixtures, and we replaced the red and grungy carpet with a brown textured wool with a sage green twill binding.
This fall, our painters Joe and Jose (yes, they know they have the same name), helped with a new wall color – Manchester Tan from Benjamin Moore – and painting the stair risers white to match the trim. After they were done, I also spray-painted the metal carpet rods, covering up the tarnished brass with satin black.
The easier thing would definitely have been to paint the risers before the carpet runner was installed, but sometimes inspiration does not come in an orderly way.. So Joe and Jose patiently taped off all the carpet, sanded the risers, primed and painted them.
As for the carpet rods, I considered replacing them, but these innocent-looking pieces of metal are actually very expensive, at $40 plus a set, so a little but of work went a long way. I sanded, primed, and spray painted them a satin black finish to match the wrought iron balusters. I decided to leave the brackets on while painting, which held the rods off the cardboard surface. However, this did mean that I had to shift the brackets between coats, so no areas were missed, and it took a lot of coats. I would recommend lining the rods up very close to each other when painting, so each pass with the spray paint will cover multiple rods.
After I re-installed the carpet rods, the screws were still brass. Luckily, I had watched a wrought iron handrail get installed in our old house, and I saw that the installer painted the screws by spraying matching paint into a cup and then painting it on the screws. I used a cotton swab for this.
I did have a debate about whether to put the carpet rods back on at all. They’re decorative, not functional. I think they make the stairs look more formal and traditional, while they look a bit more contemporary without the rods. I put them back, at least for now, because they do a hide some staples and raw edges on the carpet. What do you think?
Finally, we’re not really statue people, so I decided to fill the spaces on and around the stairs with orchids and houseplants instead. Here’s how our finished space looks. Ahhhh….
And one last before-and-after look, so we can put the memories of the old stairway behind us!