Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Step in the Right Direction?

It seems that I have stairs on my mind these days.
Many of you know that I live in a chalet-style home that is inundated with wood.
The wood ceilings and floors add a lovely warmth to our space
in the frosty months of winter it provides us with a wonderful feeling of coziness as we snuggle up by the fireplace.

But I want to harmonize some of the various stain choices and bring a sense of wholeness and continuity.

Oh there is so much I would love to do with these stairs.
Get rid of the bars that run vertically from floor to railing but that expense is not in the plans right now.

(whispered) Some day I would love to put in lovely iron balusters with a carved wood handrail and a lovely carved newel at the base and top of the staircase.

For now though I simply want to stain the treads so that they match the chocolate brown of our floors and the beams that you see running across the wall.

I am searching for a way to really have the staircase blend into the open concept of our main floor space.

Okay, so that is indoors.
As I said, I have staircases on my mind right now.

So, outdoors.
We have been bugged for years by the narrow, steep staircase that seems to be haphazardly placed off the back of our side deck.

Last year we spent a lot of time ripping out old support walls in the backyard in an attempt to develop
an outdoor dining space and garden area.
With the weather this year we were not able to get much done....well, nothing done.
But, we are finally on target to get part of this project completed so that next spring we will be able to
use the backyard.
Why does everything take so long?

Last year in our rush to have some sort of steps to the back door we were forced to use these
pavers that we found on the side of the road during the semi-annual monster pick up.

Yikes, cannot believe I am posting these here
but hey, real life.... it is what it is.

So, as we go in to the weekend I am showing you the before shots and I am hoping that by Tuesday of next week I can show you some after shots.

Fingers crossed that this truly is a step in the right direction?
Are you worried? I am.....
and mainly about the indoor staircase.


  1. Donna, I can see your wanting to paint out the indoor stairs and/or remove the wood 'sticks'. Have you though of painting these strips of wood white? I wonder if they would disappear more if they were. I can't wait to see what you do outdoors with the stairs. That's a big chore.

  2. Hmm I think I like Pamela's idea about painting those sticks. But I know whatever you do it will look wonderful. You've got such great design instincts Donna. I can't wait to see what you do.

  3. I agree about painting the "sticks" the same color as the wall, for a blended look. There is so much potential

  4. It's hard to see what you have there, but can't you cut those spindles off on an angle with the bottom of the stairs?

  5. Oh the weather has been nuts EVERYWHERE this year. I have only gotten a few things done outdoors and my list is soooo long!

    I'd cover the wall of spindles with beaded board panelling - $32 for 4'x8' sheet at Home Depot, it would be cost effective and you could paint it any colour you liked. If you want to keep them open and replace the spindles down the road, what about a curtain to cover them for now? Drop cloths or burlap or something cool like that. Just thinking out loud.

    Happy Sunday!

  6. Painting the "sticks" white seems a great idea and I believe the stairs would be lovely the same stain as the beam. And thanks for teaching me a new English word "newel"!!!

  7. I love your stairs with the really long vertical bars!!!! I really like them! Why don't you like them?????

  8. I think the pavers are pretty. So rustic. Pea gravel would look pretty between them, or slate, but I guess with the cold neither would work.

    Personally, I like the design of your stairs, but I can understand why you don't like them. They are using up valuable space. Can they be shortened? They don't look structural. That's a nice space under the stairs. I would make a library. ;)

  9. I think it is great when people post pics of real life. It is heartening and encouraging because all of us have things in our houses and gardens that are way less than perfect! What is the silver thing on the deck "to be removed" - a metal chimney??

  10. Don't you find it WEIRD that when you are in the midst of some obscure research people are similarly engaged? Stairs! We need new stairs for our basement and WOW were we surprised at the price..... Who knew that figuring out angles and risers could be so costly. $2,000 for a simple set of plain stairs.... no banister or balistrades included... and not as many treads as you have...... I would paint the old ones except we made it wider and with my (ahem) longer foot, slightly deeper...... things you just don't think of costing a lot.

    My vote for your stairs? Paint. That is if we are decorating by committee....LOL

    1. Oh I know what you mean! I was shocked at how much the materials cost before even considering the labour!
      Anyway, they are now a lovely shade of white and I am so much happier. The only surprise here was the time involved in painting out the stairs. It is such detail work. Grr...never a fan of that.

    2. Oh and I wish I had a decorating committee!!! :)

  11. You may recall I started terracing a hill in my yard in the spring. I got the rocks in place and that's where it ended. Rain, rain and more rain!

  12. I can see that painting the rails and stairs will make a huge difference, good luck and hopefully tons of energy!


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