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stair runner

Emily Oster

My mind is going a hundred different ways with projects but one that is at the forefront is a stair runner. We pulled out the old carpet and discovered that the original pine stairs have been painted more than a few times and are also pretty banged up. Our flooring guy informed us that it would be near impossible to sand off all the paint and then refinish the wood. Also being that the stairs are pine - a rather soft wood - they would be easily damaged with heavy traffic i.e. a 70 pound labrador running up and down the stairs would not be a good thing. All this made it rather easy to figure out what to do with the stairs - paint the treads black, the risers white and get a stair runner.  I had sort of anticipated this would be the case but decisions become easier when there is an obvious direction to go in. For our runner, I have a few concerns/desires.

1. Durability and Functionality - the stairs are going to be very high use so I want something that will hold up to lots of traffic, be easy to clean and not be in the least bit slippery (for both the dog and my somewhat clumsy self).
2. Aesthetics - the stairs are the first thing you see when you walk in the front door and will thus play a big part in the look of not just the entry but the house overall. I want the carpet we select to be something classic (so I don't get sick of it) and versatile since we are unsure about a lot of design decisions (paint colors, furniture, art etc.)
3. Budget - we are just getting into our long list of projects with lots of unknown costs ahead of us so while the stairs are a big statement and important element of our home I want to be careful about how much we spend on one given project.
4. Pattern - I am almost positive that I want to do some sort of pattern as I think the look tends to be more updated than a solid. However, I want it still to be classic so I am leaning towards a simple stripe - although, our stairs are not exactly straight so I am a little concerned about the potential for wavy stripes...

I am still considering a do it yourself approach uses store bought runners but I am concerned that a flat weave carpet will not match up with our desires for durability and function. That being said I am heading out tomorrow to shop around and get actual pricing so I might change my mind... Below is a selection of inspiration images I have been mulling over. 

from top left - Kathmandu runner by Blenheim Carpets - Dash & Albert runner via Charming Doodle - herringbone runner via Cute Decor - bordered runner by Roughan Interior Design - geometric runner via Zhush - striped runner via source unknown - Dash & Albert runner via Home DIY Concepts

from top left - Kathmandu runner by Blenheim Carpets - Dash & Albert runner via Charming Doodle - herringbone runner via Cute Decor - bordered runner by Roughan Interior Design - geometric runner via Zhush - striped runner via source unknown - Dash & Albert runner via Home DIY Concepts