After reviewing a lot of your feedback on Monday’s post and thinking about it a bit more, I am pretty sure I know the direction I’m going to go with painting the trim in the basement family room. Again, the good news is there is no rush and I can take it one step at a time, changing my mind as I go. Thank you for all of your feedback, though. It was all helpful!
Speaking of changing my mind, I actually returned the checked curtains I bought from Target. THESE are the curtains I got…
I don’t have any complaints about them. They are great curtains for the price, the fabric looked good in the room, the size was right, etc. I just wasn’t feeling them. They seemed a little too light for the look I was going for. I have some blue linen that I have draped from the banister right now to see how that feels. While I like the color, I think I want something that’s patterned. To give it that traditional library/card room sort of look, I envision a toile or some kind of traditional print. It would be great to find one that has a little bit of the blue from the wall, some beige from the rug, gray from the sofa, and a rich brown that hints at the built-ins. Or at least something that speaks to all of those colors nicely. Which is not easy to find!
I ended up browsing around for fabric online for a while and I ordered a bunch of samples to see if anything works. I am also not ruling out designing something on my own and printing it on Spoonflower. Making some of my existing and new fabric designs available on Spoonflower has been languishing on my to-do list for a while and this might just be the push I need to get it done. Anyway, I’ll share more about the fabrics when the samples come.
Today, let’s talk about the stairs.
I cleaned up just for you! Clearly, not really. So, vacuuming these steps is the job that no one in the house wants to do. We’ll take turns taking out the trash, folding laundry, and doing the dishes, but vacuuming these steps is a pain! Not only is it cumbersome and awkward, but it’s very unrewarding because they never really look clean. And, since they are basically velcro, they look like this after just a day or two.
The carpet is nice underfoot and it’s better for cushioning a potential fall, but it is very hard to keep clean. I had hoped that the treads might be wood since this basement used to be unfinished, but I pulled up a corner to check and, sadly, they are particleboard. I sort of knew that they would be, but I was hoping!
This brought back memories of when we ripped the carpet off the stairs running from the first to the second floor. I was met with the same thing although it was even worse. After a DIY attempt, we decided to hire this one out to the pros. With the landing, the railings, the curved steps at the bottom, it was just too much for us to take on, especially since we no longer have a full woodworking shop in our basement (as we did in our PA house.)
On top of that, the stairs were a beast to remove. It took Jeff over an hour just to get one tread off. The particleboard was glued down and it just crumbled into bits as he tried to pry it up.
staircase reveal & first floor home tour (This was before the risers were painted.)
The stairs are beautiful and we agreed it was a good investment, but the basement steps are just not worth that kind of money. As I was sharing this on Instagram, Victoria from The French Made Home sent me a picture of her particle board stair makeover and it gave me hope for my basement stairs! Look at how great these turned out…
(If you can’t see the Instagram post I’m referring to, HERE is a link.)
View this post on Instagram
It involved a lot of patching and sanding, but the stairs look so good now and you’d never guess they weren’t wood.
So, I’m considering pulling up the carpet, patching the particleboard, sanding it all smooth, priming, and painting the stairs. It will be a lot of work, but it’ll certainly make the stairs easier to keep clean and they’ll look nicer.
There are also stair tread covers that would be easy to install here, but at about $50/each, it would make this close to a $1,000 project and I don’t know if that’s really worth it for basement steps. When I’m working on projects, I do try to look at the big picture of the investment. Some things are really worth the time and money depending on how much we’ll enjoy them as well as how much value they can add to the house. Basement steps, in my mind, aren’t going to add a lot of joy or value. It’ll just be easier to clean and I don’t think that’s worth $1,000. Maybe a few days of patching, sanding, and painting, though.
As with other decisions in this makeover, I don’t have to make this one right now. I’ll keep thinking it over and then one day, I’ll either decide 100% to keep the carpet or I’ll start ripping it up. I’m guessing I’ll choose the latter…