Staircase Update No. 374: Runner Me This

That number is completely made up.  But let’s jump right in!  Looky what I’m considering:

I know when I updated you last week, I mentioned using color for my stairs.  Lots of it.  And I think that sounds awesome.  But when I spotted these black and white curtain panels at Ikea last week, I fell in love with the pattern.  I can’t explain it, but I had to take them home to try them out.  In all honesty, it was probably the fact that for $12.99, I can cover more than half of my stairs with one panel, bringing the total cost of my stair runner to under thirty bucks.

I used some Frogtape to more closely hug the stairs and give myself a better visual idea of what it might look like when I’m finished.

And even if I add rubber kitchen lining underneath as additional slip guard (and a little bit of cushion), I’m still pretty sure the grand total would be somewhere around thirty bucks.  Maybe $35 if I buy the lining at Walmart instead of the dollar store.

Other factors I’m considering adding for durability: taping the ends with something that would look leathery and keep the woven pattern from unraveling (I noticed the display had a little of this going on in the store, so I would definitely want to keep that from happening with the dog walking around on top), and painting some kind of coating (maybe poly?) on top to protect the fibers from staining/fraying, similar to the technique people use to paint sisal rugs.

Point is, I think it’s worth a shot.  If it fails, I won’t have spent that much money on the experiment, and I haven’t found a pattern that I’ve been nearly as happy with yet.  I could even paint a colorful pattern on top to add a bit more personality to the stairs (for example, painting this ikat pattern has my heart all a-flutter at its unique pattern without being too over-the-top trendy).  Maybe a darker blue instead of gray, and gray instead of yellow?

Also in consideration: a painted drop cloth turned stair runner.  I know I’ve seen this on another blog somewhere, I just can’t seem to find it today.  But a simple stripe pattern like this would do very nicely (using maybe blue instead of the orange-y stripe).

So, what do you think?  Which would you choose?


  1. Laura says

    Personally I would choose the drop cloth runner over the IKea one. I had a light colored rug in my dining room before adopting two dogs, and no matter how clean their paws were when they came in from outside, all of that traffic turned the rug brown. So the Ikea runner would probably be way to light for such a heavily trafficked area.

  2. Paula says

    I would only be concerned about the durability – and with that you won’t know until you try. And as you mentioned, if it doesn’t hold up, you won’t be out much money. I love the pattern. I vote go for it!

  3. Mesha Kendrick says

    Those look AWESOME!!! Just as a quick FYI – I am in Washington State, but our Costco here is carrying the no slip rug and counter liners. I believe ours is $13 for a HUGE roll. (48″x150′ I believe). Just quick idea for you to check out too!!!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the stairs!!!

  4. Kim says

    Hmm, I think it’s a bit busy. Please don’t hate me! :( And I agree that it’s really light. I think my favorite is the black runner with white stripes you linked to a few weeks ago. It’ll cover dirty easily enough and would totally up the ante on your black and white painted stairs.

    Or just plain black, like this:

    I can just imagine trying to carpet clean those bad boys and what a pain in the ass it would be. Hope you find something that works for you! :)

  5. Sabina says

    Honestly? I think its two much with the stairs. A nice solid color would highlight the stairs better. Maybe use the curtains in another room ( as curtains) or as a table cloth/placemats.

  6. says

    While I like the look of it, I would also worry about durability. If the fabric stretches over time from ppl walking on it, it could look crappy and actually create a tripping hazard. Also I’d worry that the installation of this might cause some damage if ultimately you have to replace it.

    The stairs are so nice and took so much work!

  7. Sarah says

    Absolutely loving the different answers! I think I know what I’m going to do, but I love reading your opinions!

  8. says

    I like it, but at the same time I feel like it’s /really/ gray. I wish there was a subtle cream to it or something to help pull in the new wall color. If the walls were more white or more gray I would love it but I think while it goes with the stairs it doesn’t really go with the walls. Maybe a cream and black runner (although I know that isn’t the most dog friendly option… Also check out menards or other home stores because they often have rug remnants for super cheap that they can bind into any size you want. At least with a regular rug you’ll be able to steam clean the dog paws off it once a year.

  9. Erin says

    Ok, I hate to tell you think, but I think your proposed runner is ugly and that you will regret it. First, it looks like you are putting window blinds on the stairway. Second, once your dog runs up it with muddy paws, how likely are you to be able to get it completely clean?

  10. says

    I vote for the painted dropcloth. Chances are you’ve got one or two hanging around anyway right? Dropcloth is so much easier to paint than regular fabric! And I think it would be much more durable than the curtain panel.

  11. says

    Hi! I’ve never commented before, but had to today. LOVE IT! Do it, do it. This is so beautiful. I think I would get sick of a bright color day after day. This looks classy and simple, and shows off the beautiful stairs without taking them over. I also like the dropcloth idea.

  12. Donna says

    I would use carpet tile cut to size. I just did my stairs with them cut the to size and it looks great. I recommend they have great close-outs patterens & color. Just a thought :)

  13. Kathie M says

    I’ve never commented before, but if you’re looking for something to make a fabric no slip you might want to consider a non skid fabric coating. There’s one called Super Grip that i’ve used on footie pajamas for my kid.

  14. anna says

    I agree with Kim. The Black/White strip is my choice also. If you do choose something relatively flimsy you need to attach it to a flexible dropcloth for strength. Then I would coat it like the blogger who turns tablecloths into floor coverings does.

  15. says

    Hmm…. Im a little dubious about this holding up over the long haul. Although like you said it won’t cost much so if it doesn’t you’re not really losing out too much. Good Luck!

    Nikki Kelly

  16. says

    I like this one. Like the colours and patterns (better then the beige one). Whether the material will hold up … Seems like a small cost to try. I also love the last option.

  17. Emily says

    Black and white? But your dog is brown. And dirt is brown. Argh! It’s pretty, but I disagree that it’s a good idea.

  18. says

    I like the look but too much grey going on. I like the last pic–that could be fun–or not…have to see it waving up and down the stairs. May be a little much on the eyes. I know money is a concern but sometimes you just have to “rub a little money on it”. Get one that is durable and what you LOVE!

  19. Rachel says

    I think I’d have liked to see something a little warmer, to pick up the subtle warmth in the creamy walls. I think the white/black/gray is a little too dull. I’m loving that last one with the stripes – but leave it orange!

    When it comes down to it though, it’s YOUR house – do what you want :) We can’t see your “vision”!

  20. says

    I like the painted drop cloth idea, I think that would be more durable than curtain fabric. With black and white stairs, a fun pop color like teal, yellow, or navy with thin brightly colored stripes would be fab. (The last one would probably be ideal for hiding paw-prints and shedding fur.) I know a bright color probably wouldn’t have played too well with your old paint color, but it could go really well with your new greige paint!

  21. says

    I like them both, but I LOVE the one with the orange stripe. But…I’m nuts about orange. You just go with the one that makes you happy.

  22. Jess says

    I forgot to mention – Dash & Albert also snaps a pic of each of their rugs….with a dog on it! hahah–RDA283 -> cause it’s just awesome–RDA225 -> ditto–RDB187 -> goes with B&W theme–RDB100#pch_gallery_10279

    Anyway, they’re all of course way more expensive than Ikea, but pretty darn awesome.–RDB170 -> feel like this would be very paw-resistant

  23. says

    i actually really like the grey. it goes well with the grey/beige walls.

    depending on how crafty/sew-y you are/feel, you could sew a black bias tape onto the edges. blanket binding is the wider stuff, and would do well on a stairwell.

    also, putting a no-slip pad under is a good idea.
    you’ll also need to staple the fabric to the steps (i’m sure you know that).
    doing so in the grey of the field will help hide the staples.

    an idea about where the panels overlap :: position the seam either under the stair nose or overlap the last tread on top of the start of the new panel, so you can staple into the “crack” and secure both at once. secure and also attractive.

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