Brightened Up Basement Stairway Reveal

Happy Monday, y’all! As I told you guys the other day, I am taking the week off to enjoy a little time with family, knock out those last nagging projects on our bathroom makeover, and take a relaxing breather. Be sure to follow all of my bathroom progress on Instagram to get a few sneak peeks!
I’m so excited to have four amazing ladies sharing their projects with you this week! And I’m kicking it all off with my blogging bestie, Heather. Her makeovers will leave you speechless as she has been published in This Old House and USA Today Home Magazine, and her humor will leave you rolling in the floor with laughter. I hope you love her makeover reveal today as much as I do.
Painted Stripe Stairway Runner | Brightened Up Basement Stairway Makeover

I am thrilled to be hanging out with you all at Bless’er House today. I often call Lauren my blogging BFF. She’s one of those people in this big blogging world that you meet, and right off the bat, you know she’s the real deal. Genuine, talented, and sweet as Georgia tea on a summer’s day.

I’m Heather. My husband Dave and I’s site is The Heathered Nest. We’re new to the blog scene, but old-timers when it comes to DIY and home renovation. Last year, we moved out of our urban comfort zone, and moved into, I’d have to say, a bit of a country twilight zone. We bought a home on a little land…a place where the kids could run, frolic, and enjoy the wonders of the great-out-of-doors. Problem was that the in-of-doors was a tad of an ugly-80’s nightmare.

This was kinda ok, because I do love me some 80’s. If I had to have picked a theme song for our pad it was probably that Golden Earring song…you know, “Help, I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone…” Or possibly Guns n Roses’ mega hit “Welcome to the jungle”…

You don’t get more classic 80’s hair metal than that one, right?! To prove this home’s 80s-ness, check out this totally gnarly, gag-me-to-the-max bathroom we had. Seriously. And if you’re still not convinced of this time warp we were dealing with…check out the shower curtain we inherited when we bought “The Twilight Home”.


DO YOU SEE THAT??? Our inherited bathroom curtain MATCHES Axl Rose’s outfit!!! I moved into the 1980’s…drop the mic.

Here was our 1980’s smurf-er-ific stairwell that led into the 1980’s basement (side note: that smurfy blue color follows us everywhere…check out THIS room we remodeled!).

I know…

In the words of that aforementioned 80’s icon Axl Rose, this place was gonna bring us to our “sha na na na na na knees, knees”

So, we got to work. Oh, that’s us…in our normal weekend leisure garb. Wish I was kidding.

Our first thought for the stairwell was that we would stain it to match the hardwoods in the rest of the house. The treads on these steps are pine. Pine isn’t the easiest to stain. We gave it the ol’ college try…you can see the result on a couple stairs in the picture above. Not good. Our buddy Axl Rose probably would have said “All we need is just a little patience”. Well, he’s a very sage and wise fellow. And I wish that we were better with the whole “patience” skill. But we’re not. So we moved on to plan B.
Plan B was paint. Paint and utility grade unfinished oak hardwood flooring for the landing (which costs $1/sq ft..AMAZING, right?!?!). Above is our work crew. And yes, that’s their weekend garb. Pajamas. Listen, there’s a reason I don’t write a fashion and/or a parenting blog.
Painted Stripe Stairway Runner | Brightened Up Basement Stairway Makeover

Painting this stripe design was a bit time consuming, and we learned a couple tricks along the way. More about that soon on the blog.

Painted Stripe Stairway Runner | Brightened Up Basement Stairway Makeover
To save costs and time, we kept the existing handrails and updated them. We spray-painted the hardware, and painted the banisters to match the stair treads. SOOO much cheaper and easier than buying, staining, and installing new ones.
Painted Stripe Stairway Runner | Brightened Up Basement Stairway Makeover

And voila, no more 80’s-ugly! We removed an old builder-grade vanity mirror from that bathroom in the first picture, cut it, and framed it out in some barnboard. We love barnboard here at the Heathered Nest. If you click those links, you’ll see some examples of what we’ve done with it.

And that light fixture? Guess how much that cost…ZERO! It used to be one of those old builder-grade-boob-lights (yes, that’s a real term, didn’t make it up). Here’s a pic of the light before…

Painted Stripe Stairway Runner | Brightened Up Basement Stairway Makeover

We just spruced it up with some capiz shells and again, the almighty spray paint. Now, I think she’s a “total babe” as they said circa 1988.

Painted Stripe Stairway Runner | Brightened Up Basement Stairway Makeover

To me, the white handrail with gold hardware feels clean and bright, which are helpful in a darker basement.

Painted Stripe Stairway Runner | Brightened Up Basement Stairway Makeover

Once upon a time, there were walls flanking both sides of this stairwell, floor to ceiling. We knocked one side down to open up the space and make it feel less like entering a dungeon.

Painted Stripe Stairway Runner | Brightened Up Basement Stairway Makeover

We’ve done a lot of stairwells in our time. Funny thing is, this is one of the cheapest we’ve ever done, and despite the low price tag, the finished product is easily one of my favorites.

Hope you like the results! And so glad to have “met” you all over here at Bless’er House. Anytime you’re in my neck of the web, feel free to stop on in and say “hi”. We love visitors out here in the country. And if you, too, love the 1980’s you’ll be coming to the right place. It’s just now, we keep our 80’s blastin’ on the ol’ boom-box rather than staring at it all over our walls. The 80’s is definitely a decade that is much better heard, but NOT seen.
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