HomeDIY CraftThings I regret about our staircase renovation

Things I regret about our staircase renovation

Last week I shared some regrets I have about last year’s kitchen renovation. As I mentioned in the post, most of the regret comes from having to make decisions quickly and having to pin things on the spot because of the show we were a part of. In short, I would have done things differently. To be clear, is it totally okay? Yes! livable? Yes! Important in the grand scheme of things? no! But that doesn’t mean I don’t think about it every time I walk into the kitchen. And stairs are in the same boat. So, let’s talk about regret again! It’s always fun to hear other people’s stories, isn’t it?!

Flat saw handrail

Regret the stairs

I’ve had a lot of help with all of the house renovations we’ve done and the staircase was probably the most cooperative of all because everything was so out of my wheelhouse. I mentioned all about how the staircase turned out in this post, so I won’t go into all the details here, but pretty much, once I came up with my concept, to bring a little bit of old Scandinavian folk along with floral whimsy, I was pretty sure I was going to love it I absolutely love it, but there are some little things I would have done differently.

Flat sawn balusters

To start – balustrades. I got to work with Jill DeHaan, who designed and sculpted the flowers into the posts that my brother-in-law, Tanner Boyes, cut out a design I made based on an antique design I found. Jill’s work blew my mind! She is an amazing artist and I was very lucky to work with her. No regrets there!

Now, instead of calling that a regret, I’ll call it still undecided. I left the banisters in their natural wood because I wasn’t sure what the adjoining rooms would look like. This includes the living room to the side, the entrance hallway, the staircase landing, and the upstairs hallway. All of these will inform the design of this staircase and vice versa. Suppose the living room, which is tucked to the side, becomes a room full of built-in shelves, as I want it to be, and I want it to be a beautiful shade of blue? I didn’t want to paint the posts bright red, you know? They all need to work together. So, I needed some flexibility there.

We tried a few stains and settled on using Feed-n-Wax on them. The posts got really dark and I felt scared! I asked Jessica, a woodworker, to help me with this. I left them next to the fire to absorb and you can see how dark they have become here:

It was then that I realized that the contrast between the wood of the stairs and the flooring might be an issue. I also realized there was a lot of wood going on. So, I decided it might be fun to paint the stairs a color that contrasted with the banisters. I know I know. I just said I didn’t want to do anything permanent that would affect the other rooms and went ahead and painted the stairs green. That’s why I say – I don’t know.

Staining of handrails

but! The balustrades have lightened a lot. It’s as if they’ve never been treated before. That leads me to think it would be nice to get something more permanent in there. Even a colored stain? I don’t know. I think I’ll wait until I know some other things.

Floor coating

I guess I thought I could always paint the stairs another color, but the banisters I was less confident about changing so easily. Our nanny, Pat, graciously painted the stairs and did a wonderful job. We used deck paint, which I found to be prone to scratches and scratches. It needs a lot of finishing touches. We put a rug over the stairs so it protects it somewhat, but everywhere else it needs constant love. So I will need to find another type of paint that really does the job. Additionally, I chose a flat sheen and should have done with something a little shinier due to the dirt. Also, I think it might be interesting to do something a little brighter for effect. As I recall, I think the surface paint was flat and shiny, which is probably why we got there.


On the walls. Now, this is where I really want to see the most change. Again, I wouldn’t call lighting a regret so much as the second (or third?) phase of the renovation. I could paint the walls and be fine, but why paint the walls when you can wallpaper?! Sandberg I got a new set of wallpapers inspired by my favorite, Carl Larsson, and it was the perfect opportunity to use them. I’ve gone back and forth wondering if using floral wallpaper with flower railings is too much and I think my answer is yes, but I thought even if it was temporary, it would be fun to try. I think it’s a beautiful paper! But I think next time I’ll probably go with a solid paint color or something less floral and floral.

Again, I also need to pay attention to what I’m going to do in the living room and entryway, which I haven’t made any progress on yet due to #decisionfatigue.

However, there are a lot of other things to figure out before I do anything decisive with this space. I love it at the moment and would be excited to make changes at some point because I’m sure it will be a long time from now and I always like to change things up. Ha!

I’d love to hear your comments!


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