Stairway to Heaven

While my post title may hint at some sublime -- nay, ecstatic -- state of being, I am most assuredly located squarely in the seventh level of hell, a level reserved for poor souls unfortunate enough to buy and sell a home at the same time. Our bank account is hemmorrhaging faster than a hemophiliac at an acupuncturist, and coping with little sleep and loads of msg laden takeout for the last few weeks has left me with a (hopefully impermanent) visage that can only be labeled as cryptkeeper chic.

Let's talk about stairs.

painted balusters

So, fresh paint is up at New House and it's looking jazzy, but the decorating dominoes have begun their inexorable tumble towards complete and total overhaul. Now, please. Ok, not everything can happen now, but the glossy barf oak stairs are particularly offensive, and that must be dealt with. Paint is the solution to every crisis, yes?

This is my dreamboat banister. White balusters, black rails and black... end thingy. I know it has a name? Bueller? Bueller?

Look how much better things can be! I think the mocha stain looks rich with the light floors.

No way am I covering up my fancy new treads with a runner (sorry future baby's knees), but I like everything else about this.

Painting everything black would probably make my life easier, right?

Ok, so my question for you is: how hard is this going to be on a scale of 1 to mf nightmare? Pretty close to the bad side, right? Do I have to sand all that crap?????

Should I paint the balusters white and the rail and end post black? Stain rail and endpost dark? Paint everything charcoal?

Lock myself into a hidey hole and never come out?

[Living Etc, House Beautiful, Centsational Girl, Lonny, Richard Powers]

A Good Staircase

Hello, I'm alek from From the Right Bank to the Left Coast and I'll do my best to entertain you today. I was flipping through my inspiration files, trying to decide on a topic worthy of Design Crisis and I noted that I had a lot of pictures of stairs. Stairs don't get most people excited but I apparently have a thing for them. Have a look at these beauties:

These definitely prove that something functional doesn't have to be boring. And in my case, the staircase in our current house is one of the things that sold us on it. Considering where our house is, that's what you call a good staircase. Remember Karly's post about living on the wrong side of the tracks? That would be me.

Allow me to elaborate. We live in Seattle and a couple of blocks away from our house, there's one of those Neighborhood Crime Watch signs. That's all well and good but this one specifically says, "We report all suspicious activity and prostitution." Yeah, didn't see that before we moved in. I think our realtor drove us around the long way so we wouldn't before we signed the papers.

It also didn't help that we had moved here from a very tony part of Paris; this just accentuated the "Sanford and Son" thing going on at my neighbor's place. The theme song used to go through my head every time I pulled into our driveway. And that's never a good sign.

But we love our house and here's one reason. These are our stairs:

It's made entirely of recycled materials and this is what you see as you go up:

I don't know if these photos do it justice but we think the whole thing is pretty darn cool.

I'm thankful that the stairs did help sell the house because to be totally honest, my hood has actually turned out to be a pretty nice place to live. I haven't seen a single hooker. And even the Sanford and Son neighbors have cleaned up a little. Though I still like to hum the theme song to myself every now and then.

Thanks so much for having me, Karly and Erin. And congratulations, Erin! He's already a total looker and a charmer.

(Photos: 1.Maynard Architects 2.Studio Ilse 3.CDG Arquitectos 4.Toonpool 5.Starpulse 6&7.alek)