Let’s talk steps!  So I’m thinking, how hard can a staircase makeover be, right?  I don’t have a photo of the steps before, but I do have my work in progress photos to show you.  I began by painting a fresh coat of white paint on the staircase to brighten it up.  I didn’t put a second coat of paint down the middle because the carpet would be covering that area.

I always work on a frugal budget and this was no exception.   I’d thought about using stair treads but I wanted more of a finished “warm” feeling to the basement stairs.   See my hand held staple gun?  Yeah…NO.  That won’t keep your carpet in place! (more of that to come)

I ended up purchasing an inexpensive stair runner, “by the foot” and began the process of attaching it to the staircase.  Since the walls and stairs were white, I wanted a darker runner.   I started at the bottom where I wanted the runner to end because it has a nice bound end on it and I took it right up to the basement flooring for a nice finished edge. So far, it looks pretty darn good right?  At this point, I’m thinking, I got this!  I carried on, attaching the carpet runner with hundreds of long staples, all the way up to the top.  Ugh…if I’d only knew then what I know now!

Not to bad, nice and straight…at this point, I’m pretty happy with my carpet runner skills.   A few days later, after many trips up and down the steps, the staples began loosening up and the runner started coming apart.  If I had used the proper method of attaching the runner to the wood treads, I’m sure the job would have been a success, but live and learn, right?  So I tore the runner up and spend the day removing all the little staples.

During the torture of digging out the two hundred staples and removing the runner, I decided that this was something I may need to call the experts in to complete.  I have some super great floor guys that worked on the rest of the floors in my home, so I thought, why not just give them a call and see if they had time to do the job for me!  Being frugal like I am, I asked if he had any scrap carpet laying around that he could throw down on these steps for me.  He replied, it just so happens that I have some AMAZING wool leopard print carpet left over from a job that is a very expensive carpet.  At first I was like..leopard print?  Then I thought, you know what, what the hell, let’s do it!  He made me a great deal on the carpet and install.


This probably wouldn’t have been the design I would have picked out in a  carpet shop but it is very beautiful and I am SO happy with how it turned out.  Its wool, thick, and will last a long time!  It has that little “wow” factor when you go around the corner down to the basement, and I love that about it.

I hope you are inspired!

Jeanne Marie – The Practical Fanatic