Stairway overhaul.

When we moved into our house last year, we were aware that it had undergone 2 additions since it’s original construction in the 1950s, which made for some strange flow/layout areas. One of the sections of the house we really couldn’t figure out was the area around the stairway, which is located behind the open concept living room, but set too far back to really be included in the living area. One of the reasons it seemed so out of place was the fact that the stairway had a half wall instead of a railing, making it seem more like a “room” rather than just a transitional area. Plus it made it feel like a basement, which I hated. Here’s what it looked like when the former owner still lived there:

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So we decided the half wall had to go. We called in a local contractor to knock down the wall and replace it with a traditional wood railing to open up the space. We opted to paint it all white, since with the older floors in the home we might end up someday changing out all the hardwood and didn’t want to have to re-match the railing to a new color.

I also knew I wanted to add a runner to the stairs. The hardwood was definitely a little slippery and with the dog running up and down this would also help cut down his nails scratching them. I measured one entire stair – tread depth, riser height, and then around the lip – and multiplied by the number of stairs, and then ordered a runner from Overstock that was longer than my total length (which ended up being about 18 feet so I purchased a 20′ runner).

When the construction was done and the stairs were painted, we went to Home Depot and grabbed an electric staple gun (no, a normal one will NOT work and I didn’t feel like dealing with renting a pneumatic one). I measured and marked off the width of the runner with painters tape in a straight line down the stairs to make sure I wasn’t going at an angle.

I also cut up a non-slip rug pad to put a strip on each stair under the runner. Because I bought an indoor/outdoor rug for the runner, it wasn’t gripping the stairs enough and the pad solved that problem easily!

I love the finished area:


The dog loves the runner, too! Although, while I was using the staple gun he was so scared of the noise that he jumped into the upstairs bathroom tub and hid there until I was done. Oh well, he’s happy with the end result!

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