I wish I had a before picture, but I don't. But this picture of the living room will give you an idea.
The stairs were covered with the same horrible, blue carpet that the living room floor had, and the entry walls were covered with the same, horrible, reflective contact paper (if you missed the post on the living room redo, catch it here).
I strongly dislike carpeted stairs. Especially when you have a dog who sheds so much it looks like at least 3 dogs and a wookie live here. And for some reason, the air flow is such that the dog hair seems to congregate on the stairs. It's almost like the carpet has a carpet. And those stairs have to be vacuumed. Who likes to vacuum stairs? It's one of the most miserable jobs ever. And my kids weren't old enough to do it themselves yet, so that left it up to me. No, thank you!
However, laminate has a tendency to be slippery. And it's expensive to get the extra pieces you need to laminate a flight of stairs. However, we came up with a better solution. First, we ripped up the carpet. What's underneath the carpet? Wood. Real wood. Hard wood. So we stained it. I LOVE the rustic look, and the stairs look gorgeous! And it was CHEAP! Just a few dollars for a can of stain! We didn't even bother polyurethaning it. Again, that would make the stairs slick (not good with a bunch of little kids going up and down). This way, we just brush on another coat of stain really quickly when it needs it. Takes about 5 minutes!
And cleaning up all of that dog hair? Takes just a minute with a broom! WOO HOO!!
We also redid the landing. Before, it had a fake parquet linoleum. Really ugly and gouged up. We put down a new linoleum that looks like stone tile. All the beauty of tile, no cleaning of grout! And, of course, that contact paper was ripped down.
Oh, and that chandelier you see in the original picture up above? It was coated with nearly 30 years of grime. At first I couldn't wait to pull that thing down. But then we washed all of the glass and dusted off all of the brass. Now it's sparkly and shiny and beautiful!
Here are the stairs now:
Much, much better, no? Stairs are one of those features that are must-haves in many houses, but you can only do so much with them. What unique ideas have you come up with for your stairs?