Monday, July 2, 2018

Before and After of our Lake House Stairs and Landing

We recently finished the final touches on the renovation of our lake house stairs, so I wanted to share with you the dramatic before and afters!!

For those who had not heard the back story of the Fixer Upper we bought - here is a photo and a link to the original post about our fixer upper.

As you can imagine, a house that was this ugly on the outside- wasn't too pretty on the inside! Here are some before photos of the stairs/landing area. It is pretty small, so I am not even sure if I can call it a foyer.
I was not kidding!  This house was kind of an early 70's disaster.
Don't ya just love the fire extinguisher as an accent to the green carpet?! And we never could figure out way the railing only went half way down the steps!! Plus the railing across the top along the hall way was so low - it only came up to my thigh.  So I figured anything we put in would be better than what was there.
One of the very first things we did was to rip off the carpet on these steps to see what we were dealing with underneath.  
Which ended up being - not much!  Just cheep wood steps that were not of the quality that you could finish them as nice hardwood steps. You can also see how dark it was in this little foyer/stair well.  There was a lot of dark wallpaper to go with that green carpet.
We found some funky colors and things under the wallpaper!  Some water damage to to the corner of the ceiling.  So many repairs had to be done before the new could go up.
We striped all the wood work and primed the stairs, wood work and the walls.
Then we painted the outside of each step blue - since we were putting down a runner - we figured there was no sense in painting the middle of the step!
Next was the exciting part - the new railing was going in!

We knew we wanted rope incorporated in the railing to give it a nautical look, but we wanted a strong secure hand railing. I, also, wanted some sleek metal connectors vs. knotting the rope at the ends because we have two dogs and a lot of dog hair!  I just imagined the dog hair clinging to some knots like it clings to the felt pads on the bottom of our chairs - and I did not want that! 
This was the least fuzzy jute rope I could find - again, looking for something that dog hair would not stick to.  These are the connectors we ended up going with.  At the top is just a hook and eye.
And what I thought was going to be a snap hook at the bottom, but when they came there were no actual snaps.  But it works fine - the ropes are taught enough that they won't come unhooked.
I am thrilled with how the railing came out!

We hung our new light fixture- it was one of the first things we bought just after we purchased the house - so it was nice to get that up after it had been in a box in the garage for at least a year and a half!  But then came the most time consuming part - the board and batten.
God Bless my husband!!!  This was not easy.  We had a lot of windows and doors to configure in this process.  Then of course - none of the walls were actually straight.
We did a lot of caulk, filling the gaps and a lot of sanding and several coats of paint.
Then the floor in the landing was laid- it matches the hardwood we laid on first level. 
We installed the carpet runner and it was all starting to come together! 
My girlfriend, Renee, was keeping a look out for an oar at garage sales for me - she found this one for $8 - it was perfect for the lower hand railing.
Lastly, we painted the inside of the two doors - one is our front door and the other leads to the garage.

All in all - this was a ton of work and we did it in steps over about 6 months time, but well worth it!
I love our end result.

Now it is on to another project!!

Thanks for stopping by,


Wall Color - Sherwin Williams Ovation - Snowbound
Stair Color - Sherwin Williams Showcase - Northern Pike
Door Color - Sherwin Williams Resilience - Take Five
Runner - Lowes - Mohawk Home Topaz Indigo/Blue
Rope - Pat Catans  (craft store) 
Hardware - Rope and Knot Supply

I am linking up to the following parties:
Inspire Me Monday @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Inspire Me Tuesday @A Stroll Thru Life
A Morning Cup of Joe @ The Cottage Market
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch 


Ann @ Corner of Plaid and Paisley
Ann @ Corner of Plaid and Paisley

In the past few years my interests have grown from fabric to paper and now to dishes too! I just love prints, polkadots, plaids and paisleys- hence the blog name.


  1. Ann, I love your new foyer. What a fabulous job. Love the rope railing and the silver hooks. The new blue door is awesome.

  2. Ann, You and your husband did a FANTASTIC job on your stairs and foyer walls! I love the nautical touch of the rope for your railing with the hook and eyes and your oar Your board and batten walls are beautiful and I love your chandelier too! You should post this project on Hometalk! Wishing you and family and friends a fabulous 4th at the lake. ♥

  3. Fantastic job on your staircase Ann! Love the board and batten and your stairway with the rope, just gorgeous.

  4. What a difference!! You and your hubby have definitely added a lot of value to your lake house and you've done it in such a beautiful way. The lake theme items like the rope and oar are perfect and the paint colours along with the board and batten tie everything together wonderfully. Great job!

  5. What a transformation! You and your husband did a fantastic job on the foyer. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment. I couldn't see how to reply so I came over to your blog...on is so wonderful. So many beautiful tablescapes. I need to come back and spend hours there. I subscribed to get emails on your posts now.

  6. Ann, you and your husband are go-getters. What an improvement to your entry. Love the rope on the railing; what a great job! Hard work certainly pays off.

  7. The stair makeover is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  8. Ann, what an amazing transformation. I love the rope as your railing and the oar is perfect. Happy Tuesday!

  9. Oh my gosh Ann- this is fantastic. I’m glad to know other people do projects that can take months to finish not days or weeks! I love the board and batten affect and how you did the stairway with the rope, carpet and paint. Dan isn’t comfortable doing this kind of work (he’s an electronic wizard) so we have to get it hired in. We lost our favorite contractor that left when Michigan was in such bad shape in 2008 etc. I need to look through your post about the home when you got it. Congratulations on getting this part done!

  10. Thanks for another good idea!

  11. How did you get the rope to make a 90° turn in the post at the top of the stairs? I am facing that problem. Thanks!

    1. We drilled the holes halfway into the post from the side and halfway from the front-until they met- then fed the rope through

  12. I've been looking for something nautical for my stairs, you nailed it! I absolutely love how you used both wood and rope to get the desired effect. I will be using your idea to do my stairs, thank you for your innovative creation! PS Your whole house is amazing!

  13. Love your staircase. We are doing the same thing at our lake house. I was wondering how tall did you make the railing?