A few weeks ago I shared the current state of my stairway/entryway with you guys as well as my pans for giving the area a little update. When I found out that I couldn’t simply pull up the carpet on the stairs like I had planned, I decided to paint and hang a new light fixture and see how I felt about it.
It’s not a huge difference, but I’m really loving the more sleek and modern result:
It’s a huge improvement from where we started, two years ago this month!
First, I cut off that funny-shaped finial on the railing post that I always disliked:.
I sanded down the tops of the posts. Then I used wood filler on the semi-rough posts at the top and bottom of the stairs to fill in any holes and dents. After it dried, I sanded once more. I also wiped down the handrail with warm soapy water followed by TSP substitute to help remove oils from hands over the years
Then I primed and used two coats of matte black paint to match the black iron spindles.
In between waiting for coats to dry, I painted the back wall to match the rest of the living room. In order to reach up to the ceiling on the top half of the stairway, I needed to use a multi-position ladder (the one Tina broke). We tied a board to the top of the ladder to make sure the legs wouldn’t punch through the drywall.
This picture also reveals that yes, I had left the ceiling in a sad state when I scraped the popcorn months and months ago, so I needed to finally spackle, sand, prime and paint the ceiling while I was at it.
So let’s talk about that light fixture!
Remember how I originally planned to use my Ikea-hack “Hicks” pendant light in the entryway but I wasn’t able to hang it as high as I needed to clear the door? My poor ceiling suffered quite a bit and I was seriously bummed because my budget was completely blown.
I hopped back on the IKEA site looking for something simple and cheap and landed on the Östanå light fixture. It’s plain, modern, and at $19.99 I could squeeze it into my tiny, bleeding budget. Plus, I had an idea for a little hack…
I used the exact same steps I took for the pendant light and I think it turned out pretty cute! The Östanå fixture was much easier to install and provides a decent amount of light in our otherwise-light-fixture-less living room. It’s definitely not large or blingy, but it’s really perfect for the space since I only had 16” between the ceiling and the top of the door to work with. (For some reason, it always looks like more in photos.)
I’m still working on a plan for some art on the back wall but I always seem to move the slowest when it comes to finishing touches like that! I photoshopped two options using art I already have on hand, but I’m not sure I like either one.
The first is the gold-leaf artwork I completed just about exactly one year ago.
The second is a really neat print I found at the thrift store featuring a collage of woodland animals. It’s super detailed and I love it! It’s also super large and I would need to find or DIY a frame for it (a little bit of an intimidating proposition). I photoshopped a slim black frame on it, but I’ve also considered attempting a floating acrylic frame…
Update: Here’s an option you guys suggested in all it’s photoshopped glory. Keep sending me your ideas & I’ll try to keep up with posting them here!
Update 2: My long term goal is to remove the carpet and replace the stair treads and risers. The stair treads will be black and the risers will be white, echoing the front door. Sleek, glam, and no more fuzzy caterpillars climbing up the living room wall 😉
I also have a few other ideas, so we’ll just have to see! What would you do? Any new ideas for me?