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Friday Favorite: the New Stairway

September 7th, 2012

Mr Chiots and I were talking about all the work we’ve been doing around the house and which part was our favorite. Oddly enough, with two new bedrooms and a new bathroom, my favorite part is the old stairway that just got a bit of a redo. They were covered in beige carpet, the only remnant of the original house. They were plain pine stairs, just like the ones that went to the basement. We debated on covering them with wood that matched our hardwood floors, but the way they are installed would make it very difficult and it would have been very expensive.

I decided to paint the risers and trim white and stain the stairs dark. The results were nothing less than remarkable. Instead of spending almost a thousand dollars on wood and the headache of trying to figure out how to install it, I spent only about $30 on supplies (paint, stain and some moulding) and a few days painting and staining. (I used a mix of half Mahogany half Walnut Minwax Polyshades)



The area needed a bit of flair, so I printed out a bunch of old Grow Your Own posters and hung them. This stair area, which used to be the only eyesore left in our home, is now a real focal point. It’s my favorite part of the house redo.


When it comes to stairs there’s nothing I dislike more than carpet. I find them very difficult and tedious to keep clean. The wood, on the other hand, cleans up in a snap! This stairway is my current favorite thing about our little house.

When it comes to stairs do you like with or without carpet?

The Basement Stairway

February 20th, 2012

Our basement stairway is like most, utilitarian and boring. Now that we’re going to be putting the house on the market we’re trying to clean up some of those dreary areas of the house and the basement stairway was on the list. I pinned this idea a long time ago and decided it would be perfect for this area.



The best part is that it was FREE. A few extra bits of paints from various areas of the house and a few hours and I was in business. I used caulk to fill in all the cracks around the stairs to clean it up a bit. It’s not quite as bright green as it looks in the photos, it’s a lithe more muted in person.
This is what I started with:

And ended up with this. Isn’t it amazing how it makes the stairs look wider?


Basements are a wonderful thing, we use our for storage. My main pantry is down there and it’s filled with jars of home canned goodness, the deep freezer and my seed starting area. Since our basement is unheated it also works fairly well for storing potatoes and onions. A proper root cellar would be better, but since this is all I have I make it work. Growing up we had a proper root cellar in the basement and my bedroom was down there too.

I still need to give them a good sweep, wipe them down and put a coat of Polycrylic on them. This will make them so much easier to clean and they will stand up better to all the foot traffic they get. The moulding around the door and the hand railing need stained before going back up. With those two tasks the basement stairway went from drab to fab! I’ll definitely be keeping this in mind in the future.

Are you lucky enough to have a basement? What do you use it for?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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