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I think I have finally found my stair runner.
You may remember this project from the spring, right? Kit from DIY Diva and I squared off in a competition we called “Dueling DIY”. The goal was that each of us would work on our staircase – and more importantly, actually finish a project for a change (since both of us are compulsive project starters, but finishing? Meh). We also invited you guys to play along and work on your own stairs (since for me, a bunch of like-minded tool addicts on the internet is somehow extremely motivating when I start thinking that Netflix sounds like a better way to spend an evening).
We got most of our respective staircases finished before we both ran out of steam (and a few of you guys actually finished, so at least someone benefited, even if it wasn’t the original two schemers behind the whole thing). I then promptly began six other big tasks (like the kitchen and laundry room) before finding a stair runner. In fairness, it was the last step of the project; I’d finished everything up until that point. I called it good and assumed that the runner might take a while to find (especially since my first few attempts fell flat and I couldn’t seem to find anything – rug or no rug – that I liked).
For a long time, I’d been searching for something patterned. Something with stripes, maybe. But every time I’ve put stripes or a pattern on these stairs, they’ve felt too busy. I was obsessed with patterned stair photos on Pinterest, like this one (from here):
But the more I tried patterns, the more I realized that my house may not be quite as stripe-friendly. By painting my stairs a stark black and white contrast in a small space (like my tiny house) and in the middle of my entryway, I already had plenty going on. Adding another pattern might be a toe over the line for me. And so, I began hunting for something more simplified (from here).
It took a few more months (I was distracted with other house projects, after all). But after this most recent trip to Ikea, I think I may have finally found it:
Gray, textured, and well within my price range. I picked up two long runners ($80 for the pair) and probably need a third, but I won’t be able to get back to the stair project until after the holidays. Which bugs me endlessly, since I now have what I’ve been looking for (does this happen to you too?). So to satisfy my curiosity for a little while, I turned to my friend Photoshop. The color is probably going to be a little lighter than this in person, but you get the idea:
I even tried putting one of the rugs on the stairs, but since the rug is nice and stiff (but soft, and seems like it will hold up to high traffic), it wasn’t very cooperative and I had to use nearby props to hold it along the stairs (like a container of Osmocote fertilizer and a case of drill bits – you know, stuff that lies around an unkempt house full of unfinished projects).
Yep, I think we have it. Durable (aka pup-proof), simple (which will let other things stand out more, like the surrounding decor and art), and a good deal better than any of the other things I found (too thin, wrong material, too expensive, too wide, too beige, etc. etc).
(P.S. Next spring, I’ll be looking to do another Dueling DIY project. I’m thinking maybe the dining room, since it’s been so long since I actually started it. If you’re about to start a dining room renovation project of your own, feel free to send me an email and let me know – I’m looking for another co-host to keep things interesting. Must be willing to talk a little smack and post weekly about your progress. Ha!)