Sunday, November 6, 2011

Upstairs, Downstairs

I have a very narrow and steep staircase. The stairwell has a decrepit  mine shaft vibe going for it right now. I am looking for ways to make the space inviting  and reflect upon that you are transitioning from the public house space to the private space of the bedrooms and dressing room. 

Currently the plaster walls are cracking and very banged up along with a very tired coat of Behr brand OatStraw on the walls. We removed the baby blue 40 yr. old carpet to uncover oak treads. I would like stain the stair treads dark (cappuccino) and paint the risers a crisp, bright white. 

Looking up (sorry for the weird slant)

 Here you can also get a bird's eye view of the door at the bottom of the stairs. Unfortunately it must stay because it is the only way to move furniture up/ down the stairs.

Looking down

 Here there is a weird pseudo-cubby that really is dead space. Not sure what to do here. Hang a mirror or art? Someday I would like a window. Lots of light! The picture doesn't show well but the light fixture is the only thing I like in the stairwell.  It is shaped like an acorn, has a milk glass shade and the hardware is brushed satin nickel.

Looking straight ahead from the landing

Color options?

(Oatlands Subtle Taupe, Smoked Oyster, Smoke Infusion)

(Betsy Ross House Green, Winter Calm, Jekyll Crane Cottage Yellow)

Our upstairs bath has the Subtle Taupe Ceiling and Smoke Infusion walls.  My dining room/ office has Smoked Oyster walls. All trim and doors are/ will be crisp white. My dressing room is painted Winter Calm.  I think I will paint the lower stairwell walls Smoked Oyster. The upper and lower walls are separated by the 10 inch wood molding (similar to a chair rail divisor).

The upper wall will be Subtle Taupe with a simple stenciled motif with a contrasting color. The green will be a bridge color in the upper hallway. The yellow will eventually be used in the spare room. All of the colors (similar shades) are found throughout my house. It is just a matter of making a cohesive color story.

 I love the ideal of stenciling a quote on the stairs. Something like this....

Courtesy of

Family photographs in assorted frame shapes and sizes (all painted white, maybe a sprinkle of silver) will be on one wall. Perhaps mount  an heirloom quilt on the other wall to help muffle the sound? And what to do to conceal that door? It is only in use 2 or 3 times a year. Maybe mount a custom sized decorative screen? So many possibilities. So what do you think? Ideals and suggestions are welcome! Also if someone wants to bring a ladder and help, that is even more welcome, ha!


  1. Thank you. I actually have more time to focus on it now.

  2. cindy kay sullivan clarkNovember 7, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    I like your Blog.its a great way to keep up on what your doing to your house.

  3. Oh how I wish we had stairs, I would SO do this. Love the idea! that I think about it, we DO have porch stairs! LOL!

  4. I am OBSESSED with doing something with the stairs. I have a huge number of inspirations on Pinterest.

    You DO have porch stairs. How awesome would that be?!

  5. Hi Tonya,
    I love your theme and ideas. I always do like your ideas.
    this is great idea! I love it!
    Keep it going.
    your old friend that needs to see you for dinner.

  6. Hi Doni! Thank you for the encouragement. It is much appreciated!


    P.S. I sent you a private message!

  7. I love your blog. You crack me up but you keep it interesting. I wish I had to drive you do to write a blog and the heart to keep pushing on a project like you have with your house. I know it will get done how you want it and it will be amazing.

  8. OK, I know this is an old post, but I saw this today in my surfing and remembered your stairs. This is pretty cool and could certainly brighten it up!


  9. I bookmarked these stairs ages ago. They are my inspiration for MY basement stairs. Also, the valspar color Smoke Infusion. I have now used it in my spare bath and Master Bedroom...I LOVE that color! I am also a DIY'er...Crazy lives we lead, huh?! :)


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