The Stair Project

I have a cat named Lowercase. She’s a total asshole and she’s my favorite nonhuman living thing on this planet.

She has decided that the carpet on the basement stairs needs to be removed and has been extremely successful in communicating this decision. Don’t ask me how.

I’ve been doing a lot of research (scrolling forever in pinterest) and I think I’m leaning toward the painted hardwood approach. I figure if I screw it up badly enough, I can always go to a big box store and get new carpet installed. Here are some of the styles I’m considering.

Source: thedesignchaser.com

I love how bold and dramatic this style is, but I think this version above from Design Chaser relies heavily on an otherwise monochrome color palette and how completely open the floor plan is in this space. Unfortunately, my stairwell has neither of those things.

source: finelittleday.com

This version above from Fine Little Day is a little more representative of my stairwell if you pretend the railings on the right are a solid wall and the bright light is faux daylight via LEDs, but, unless I can solve my lighting problem, a deep color may end up sucking up any light I add to the space. I’m keeping this idea in my back pocket.

source unknown, found on pinterest

Next up is a colorful two-tone solution. I like the idea of having a little bit of bright white to bounce light around while still keeping some fun, dramatic color in the space. If I go this direction, I’ll probably end up using one of my usual “drama” colors; Hidden Sapphire, Hale Navy, or my newest favorite, Windsor Green.

Ripping up the carpet has been on my to do list for a few months now, but having ripped out carpet before… I’m stalling. Pulling up tac board and the multitude of staples really, really sucks and I have no idea what condition the treads are in, but after squashing the carpet along the edges, it seems like they have the bull-nose front and aren’t just plywood. It’s a good bet that they’re in questionable shape though, so I’m hoping a good layer of wood putty and sanding will get them in good enough condition to paint.

The stairwell itself relies entirely on overhead lights (which are still the infamous boob lights and I am ashamed of myself) and I’m right in the middle of painting the walls the same shade as the rest of my home, Cumulus Cloud by Martha Stewart. It’s the perfect cool light grey that doesn’t read as blue or green in my space. If I can get fixtures with bright enough LED bulbs to keep it daylight-bright in this stairwell, this is the option I’d really like to go with.

I am tempted to start over with a flat white paint instead to brighten things up a bit. I’m a chronic painter. It’s a problem. Of course, this project will force me to finally get around to building the storage container in my studio for my scrap wood collection. Whichever direction I go, it’s likely to result in my being stuck somewhere in my house during the process. I’ll keep you posted.


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