|I think this unique runner is fantastic!|
|I love everything about this foyer! Who says small can't be spectacular!|
The black steps, railing and newel post are gorgeous...wonder if there is a runner?
After a four year absence, one of the first things we did upon our return was to remove the builders yellow oak staircase. I had loathed the style and color for years. We had re-stained the railing and newel posts years ago and that definitely helped make it much more attractive. If you find yourself feeling the same way about your builders' special, another option/consideration is to paint it black. A great "fix" that I have recommended to friends and clients without the budget or interest in a staircase replacement.
|Currently we have fully carpeted stairs like this.|
I still think this is an attractive option with an interesting or textured carpet choice.
After a very long search, I found the ideal parts for our new staircase railing, balusters and newel posts. Then hired an expert in staircase installations to cut and install each part. We mixed a blend of two different stains to get something that resembles mahogany. The 3 newel posts with their acorn finials made me crazy happy. This design is French in origin according to the company who made them.
|A little glimpse. Sadly, poor lighting and my mediocre camera doesn't capture the beauty and detail.|
We did not have the treads and risers finished because we didn't have the luxury of time (pressing issues such as bathrooms, kids rooms, etc...were the priority) required to sand, stain and dry the wood with two kids in the house. Then we got a dog. The same went for the floors. We pulled up and replaced damaged floor boards(courtesy of our renters), but that's it. Thank goodness for beautiful rugs.
|One of the most beautiful staircases and foyers I've seen recently. From designer Barry Dixon.|
The entire main floor is hardwood (except the powder room is limestone tile) and we took out the existing broadloom and re-carpeted the upstairs in a Ralph Lauren diamond patterned wool. The staircase currently has this carpet too. Some of you have previously asked for details: the pattern is Clayton and the color is Toffee (very close in color to sisal or older seagrass). It was installed in August of 2005 and has worn well and is so soft and luxurious underfoot.
As much as I love the beauty of wood, I know we are going to want to feel something soft underfoot for the numerous daily trips up and down the stairs. A runner also is good for safety, noise control and a bum knee! So as you might imagine, I've had runners on my mind for quite awhile.
|Wood stair treads and black railings.|
There are 2 basic types of stair runner installations. The first is waterfall and I would say, the most common. This is where the carpet runner cascades over the stairs and is attached at the base of each riser. Often it is thought to be be more casual, but I think the runner material, pattern and style are a more determinant factor than the layment choice. One drawback: you can see pockets from the side where the runner doesn't touch the riser. I am also thinking dust and pet hair would find it's way here. Worth Noting: bold patterns and stripes often look best with waterfall runners.
|Here is a side view of the "pockets" a waterfall installation creates.|
|Stripes often look best installed in the waterfall method.|
|A textured waterfall runner doesn't distract from X motif detail on the iron railings.|
|A waterfall runner in charcoal gives depth and interest to a narrow staircase.|
|Subtle pattern on a waterfall runner.|
|Bold patterns also look best with a waterfall runner. Designer Eric Cohler's house.|
Monica Rich Kosann's book, Living With What You Love.
The second is called upholstered or Hollywood. This makes no sense to most people. I refer to this style as fitted or bull nose because it is fitted/wrapped under the nose of each step. It looks like the bull nose profile edge of natural stone counters or a bull nose brick. In other words, it curves under the lip of the tread. Worth Noting: A fitted stair runner will show wear faster on the nose of the step and does not look good with certain patterns.
|Designer Barbara Barry sitting on the staircase of her LA home looking chic as always-2004!|
|Another one of my favorite saved images from 2005. All the details from this private|
little landing to the master bedroom to the curved wall are the sort of things I dream about!
|Here is an example of a fitted runner with a small pattern. I think in this case,|
a waterfall runner would have been a better choice.
|This vibrant orange looks great as a fitted runner. In lieu of the painted stripe on the wall,|
stair rods would look great here.
|Stairs rods always seem appropriate in traditional spaces, but there are now|
modern versions being seen more frequently.
|Brass stair rods that compliment the unique and stunning brass newel post and railing.|
|Another example of stair rods adding a bit of glam.|
While I ponder what to do with my own stairs, I'd love to hear your thoughts about stair runner styles and I am also curious how many of you have and like the feel of bare wood steps?
Images courtesy of House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Traditional Home, Martha Stewart, BG&H, Living Etc. and my miscellaneous(somewhat old) tear sheets!