White stairs, painted runners and our next big project

We've been thinking about it since the day we moved in, but a couple of weeks ago we finally started the quote process for our stair reno. It's a big job and a significant financial investment, but it has the potential to dramatically transform our living space. You see, I love the layout of our house - except for the stairs. They're narrow, awkwardly placed and a major tripping hazard. The plan is to open up the stairway and replace both sets of stairs (up and down). I think it will make our space feel much larger and - most importantly - the new stairs will be safer and easier to navigate.

via Pinterest

Oh, and I'm just a teeny bit excited that we'll finally be able to finish installing hardwood upstairs (the hardwood for the hallway is currently hanging out under the guest bed) and pick out and install hardwood downstairs.

via Pinterest

To come up with a plan for the new stairs, I've been pinning images of stairs that I like. No particular criteria - if I like it, I pin it. Once I had a pretty good board together, I looked through my pins to see what they had in common. It turns out I really like white stairs.

via Pinterest

Since we're planning to go with a slightly different look for the hardwood on the main floor, I think an all-white stair would tie both floors together nicely. That said, function is priority number one. We have a dog. And an almost-toddler. And there are kids - Adam's drum and guitar students - going up and down the basement steps every day. I don't want 'washing the stairs' to become a full-time job, you know?

via Pinterest

I'd love to install a runner, but I don't think it's practical, given that my biggest pet peeve about the steps right now (ignoring the design) is the carpet. It's impossible to keep clean and I hate vacuuming steps.

via Pinterest

A painted runner could help disguise dirt, but I have a feeling there's a fine line between it looking good and really awful, which makes me nervous, considering that we'll have just spent a whack of money having the stairs re-done. And yet, the more I see it, the more I love the look.

Pinterest via Domino Mag

What kind of stairs do you have in your house? Would you try a painted runner? Anyone with white steps (or floors) want to dish on the upkeep?


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