Last week I shared some regrets I have about last year’s kitchen renovation. As I mentioned in the post, most of the regrets come from having to make decisions fast and needing things to be installed right away because of the show we were a part of. In summary, I would have done things differently. To be clear, is it totally fine though? Yes! Liveable? Yes! Important in the grand scheme of things? Nope! But it doesn’t mean that I’m not thinking about it every time I walk into the kitchen. And the staircase is in the same boat. So, let’s talk regrets again! It’s always fun to hear about other people’s right?!
I had a LOT of help on all the renovations we did for the house and the staircase was perhaps the most collaborative of them all because everything was so out of my wheelhouse. I mentioned all about how the staircase came to be in this post so I won’t go into all the details here, but pretty much, once I arrived on my concept, to bring in a bit of old Scandinavian folk combined with floral whimsy, I was fairly certain I’d love it, and I absolutely do, but there are some little things that I would have done differently.
Flat Sawn Balusters
To start off–the balusters. I got to work with Jill DeHaan, who designed and carved the flowers into the posts that my brother-in-law, Tanner Boyes, cut off of a design I based on an antique design I found. Jill’s work blew my mind! She’s an incredible artist who I was very lucky to work with. NO regrets there!
Now, instead of calling it a regret I will call it still to be determined. I left the balusters in their natural wood because I was unsure what the adjoining rooms were going to turn into. That includes the living room off to the side, the entry way, the landing of the staircase, and the hallway upstairs. All those will inform the design of this staircase and vice versa. Let’s say the living room, which is off to the side, become a room full of built in shelves, like 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 experimented with a few stains and I settled on using Feed-n-Wax on them. It REALLY darkened the posts and I got SCARED! I had Jessica, who works with wood, help me with this. She left them by a fire to absorb and you can see how dark they became here:
This is when I realized that the contrasting woods of the staircase and the floors might be an issue. I also realized that there was A LOT of wood going on. So, I decided that it could be fun to paint the stairs a color to contrast with the balusters. I know, I know. I just said that I didn’t want to do anything permanent that might impact the other rooms and I went ahead and painted the stairs green. And to that I say—I don’t know.
Staining the balusters
However! The balusters have lightened up a LOT. It even looks as if they’ve never been treated before. It leads me to think that it would be nice to get something more permanent on there. Even a colored stain? I don’t know. I think I’ll wait until I figure out some other things.
Painting the floors
I guess I figured I could always paint over the stairs in another color, but the balusters I was less confident about changing willy nilly. Pat, our Handy Nanny, graciously painted the stairs and did a terrific job. We used a deck paint, which I have found to be prone to knicks and scratches. It needs a lot of touch ups. We did put a rug over the staircase so it’s protecting it to a degree, but everywhere else it needs constant love. So I’d need to find another type of paint that really does the job. Additionally, I chose a flat sheen and I should have done something shinier because of dirt. Also, I think it could be interesting to do something glossier for effect. As I recall, I think the deck paint only came in flat and shine, which is probably how we landed there.
Onto the walls. Now, this is where I really want to see the most change. Once again, I’m not going to call lit a regret so much as a phase 2 (or 3?) of the renovation. I could have just painted the walls and been fine, but why paint the walls when you can do a wallpaper?! Sandberg had a new collection of wallpapers inspired by my favorite, Carl Larsson and it was the perfect opportunity to use it. I went back and forth wondering if it’s too much to use a flower wallpaper with flower balusters and I think my answer is yes, but I figured, even if it’s temporary, it will 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 flower and flower.
Again, I also need to pay attention to what I’ll be doing in the living room and the entryway, which I haven’t yet made any progress on because #decisionfatigue.
ANYWHOO, there are lots of other things to figure out before I make anything conclusive about this space. I love it in the mean time and will be excited to make changes at some point because I’m sure it will be a long time from now and I always love to change things up. Ha!
Would love to hear your comments!