Finished Staircase & First Floor Home Tour

by | Feb 25, 2019 | All Things Home | 75 comments

Our staircase is finished and it’s one of my favorite makeovers to date!  Well, it’s hard to say that because we’ve done so many things to this house that have customized it to our liking, but this staircase is a central feature in the home and it’s nice to have it looking so timeless and beautiful.

Originally, I thought the foyer would be one of the last projects we would tackle.  I mean, it’s not a “real room”, so why spend the time and money on it?  But as we lived in the house, I realized how important that space was.  It connects all of the other spaces on the first and even second floor and having it undone made the house feel a little disjointed.  So, we bumped it up the priority list.  The plan was to hire out the painting (since I don’t do tall ladders), hire out the demo and laying of the tile (since that was a pretty big job with a lot of unknowns) and redo the stairs ourselves.  We were hoping they could simply be painted and we would add a runner to finish them off.

Once we started ripping up the carpet, though, we realized it wouldn’t be that simple.  In short, a patchwork of particle board and exposed solid wood (under the spindles) meant that we were in over our DIY heads.  We either needed to have carpet reinstalled or have the staircase rebuilt professionally in hardwood.  We didn’t want to spend money on something we wouldn’t like and would end up likely redoing a few years down the road, so we lived with particle board steps for a while, saved up, and invested in doing it right the first time.

And I’m so glad we did!  It looks amazing!

We also had the slate floors installed and they completely changed the look of the foyer.

The way the foyer looked wasn’t bad, but it was just very cream and beige without much personality.  This beautiful space and unique staircase weren’t making the kind of statement they had the potential to make.

Of course, we continued the wood down the “back stairs” as well.  Here is how they look now…

…and how they looked before…


Here are a bunch of after & before pictures of the foyer and stairs, so you can see how much they have changed!  As you can see, the bones remained the same, but we made cosmetic changes that completed transformed the look and feel of the space…



I know a couple of those pictures are crooked and some of you are going to want to reach through the screen and fix them.  I assure you that they are straight now and I will be putting some sticky-back velcro under some of them now that all of the work is done.


Such a difference, right?  I walk through our foyer and up and down those stairs multiple times a day and I’m glad that we put time, energy, and money into giving them a classic, timeless look.

Since we’ve made a lot of progress on the first floor of our house, I decided it was a good time to film a video tour, so you can see how the rooms flow together.  It was fun for me to see our home on film and recognize how much work we’ve done so far and how it’s all coming together!

It also made me realize even more how thankful I am that we live in such a beautiful home.  It wasn’t the 100-year-old farmhouse that my heart was set on when we first started house-hunting, but it’s the absolute perfect home for us right now and I fall more in love with it with each customization.

Enjoy the tour (and Sebastian, the welcome wagon)…


  1. Heidi

    Dogs make the best photo
    Bombers! I had forgotten about your sweet utility room ( laundrey). I guess that was you playing guitar! I’m amazed at how much you have achieved. Congratulations’. I have been inspired in so many ways over the years I have been following your blog and now I think I may take up the acoustic guitar. It’s an empty nest here and I find I have some time.

  2. judy

    Absolutely beautiful!! It just keeps getting better and better.

  3. Patti

    Beautiful! Love the video!

    • Rebecca Neustel

      I love everything—especially Sebastian!! So, is the living room the only room left to have hardwood flooring put down? It is all so beautiful and something you can be proud of!

  4. Betsy

    I can’t get the video to work but your stairway looks lovely.

    • Betsy

      i finally got the video to work! Oh my, your home is just lovely and as you do the walk through I can see all the projects you’ve tackled. Thank you.

  5. Lisa

    EVERY little detail is beautiful! All of the rooms flow so nicely.

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! That was the goal. This isn’t a completely open floor plan, but the rooms on the first floor definitely flow into one another, so I’ve kept that in mind as I’ve made color/pattern/texture decisions.

  6. amy joanne mogish

    wow! So many small ‘projects’ making a big statement…the overall feel and ‘look’ is so welcoming and warm and beautiful! Thank you for inspiring each step of the way, love the tour!

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! I’m so pleased with how it’s all coming together.

  7. Jeanna

    Wow! Your pictures are always knock your socks off, BUT your home tour is beautiful and your entire home is so welcoming. You truly have taken the House you bought and turned it into your home.

    • Marian Parsons

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I thought that video would bring the house to life more than pictures could.

  8. Sheila Lewis

    All your hard work has made such a beautiful impact. Absolutely love everything you’ve done. I am inspired by you and will continue to follow along as you add your magic touch to future projects!

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you! I’m enjoying the process and glad I still have a lot of rooms left to work on and a lot more finishing details to add to these rooms.

  9. Teresa

    Beautiful Marian… Installing hardwoods on your staircase really transformed the area. You have done so many upgrades and really personalized your new home in the time you have been there. I really never thought I would embrace this house like I did your former PA home but it has really started to win me over!

    Btw….I wanted to let you know that I ordered plantation shutters for our bathroom through Select Blinds that you featured recently and cant tell you how wonderful and helpful they were to work with. They overnighted me samples of the shutters before I completed my order which made the process go quicker. Because plantation shutters can be somewhat pricey, I will take one room at a time which I believe is what you said your Mom did.

    • Marian Parsons

      Thank you and this house is winning me over, too. I miss some of the quirky, old things about our last house, but this is a perfect fit for my family and business at this stage of life and I often think of how much I love this house. 🙂

      Also, so glad to hear about your experience with Select Blinds. They are great to work with and the shutters are beautiful. I am now going to put them in our entire house, but in a few select windows (the ones in the front of the house and in the basement.) I just ordered one more for my office and one for the guest room, so I’m taking the same approach. One or two at a time until they are done.

  10. Carmen

    Ahhh. Dreamy, beautiful, polished, cozy home.

  11. Jody K

    So much work you have finished. Such perfection! It may just be me, but I felt like I was on a Roomba in the video tour, lol!

  12. Anita

    very beautiful. I am in awe of your talent and wonderful oil paintings! Thanks for sharing! Blessings to you and your family.

  13. Linda

    Beautiful, cohesive and warm home you have created for your family.

  14. Eileen

    Beautiful tour, Marian. Thanks for all the inspiration. Loved it

  15. Rinda

    Thanks for doing the video. I could never quite figure out the layout. This was a great way to show how it all is laid out and connected. Absolutely beautiful home.

  16. Judy

    Very beautiful! And so inspiring! I love your style and you make it look so easy! 🙂

  17. Kathy Hatfield

    Thanks for all the work you put into you home not just for your joy, but for ours as well. You motivate me to keep going!

  18. Addie

    Your home is beautiful. All your hard work has paid off.
    I used to live in a 1905 home and loved all the quirks. It was a beauty and being only the third owner it was original. I had to move and ended up in a more updated one. It is real quick you get used to an attached garage ( esp. with rain and snow season), lots of electrical outlets, AND strorage/closet space!!!! Sometimes I think back to those old house days….with fond memories but life is good now in a newer home. Making it yours, proves, home is REALLY where the heart is.
    Your home works really well for raising a family and business.

  19. Rhonda

    Loved the video to see how it all flows together! A warm and
    gorgeous home!!!

  20. Taylor

    STUNNING!! Would you mind sharing what species/type of wood that is for your stairs? Just beautiful!! We have stairs very similar to yours that the previous owners painted. We’ve stripped them down to the bare wood, but wondering what it would be like, cost wise, just to have new treads installed. I am in love with what you did!

  21. Gwen

    I love the progress you’ve made. Especially removing the carpet. But a quick question. How do I determine where to hang pictures on the stairwell? I would think yours are hip level if you are walking up the stairs???

  22. Faerie

    Just beautiful, Marian, and so welcoming it makes us all feel like we could just sit down and share a cup of tea with you! What a great example of making home beautiful and comfortable, too. Success!!! And your tour guide is the best!

  23. Betty Bashaw

    LOVE! I love the floor tiles … such a difference!

  24. Debra Lloyd

    Oh Marian. The stairs and entry look amazing ! I’m going to forward this arrticle to my son and daughter-in-law. They are struggling with the same problem you had. In fact, your “before” pix looks just like their stairs do now. Lol. I think this will be the push they need. Thanks for sharing, as usual.

  25. Caroline

    It’s beautiful and also a real HOME.

    Can you give an idea on cost and time needed to have your stairs redone? That would be so helpful for all of us with the carpeted-over-particle-board stairs.

  26. Susan McCall

    your home is beautiful and unique! may i ask how many square feet the house is.

  27. Amy Luckett

    WOW – stunning! I’m not only super impressed with your amazing ideas but your energy level to transform this house in such a short amount of time! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your wonderful creativity with the rest of us.

  28. Lora Bloomquist

    You’ve really brought your personal style to that builder-grade home. It had good bones & you’ve covered it with beautiful garments! You got a lot accomplished in a short amount of time! Loved the video:)

  29. JC at the uncommon pearl

    Your home is charming and homey in every way! Thanks for inviting us in!

  30. Kathy

    It’s beautiful! With the walking tour, we could see the layout of the rooms and how traffic flows. The thing I dislike about newer homes is how beige and lacking in personality they are. You certainly fixed that. Great job!

  31. Connie

    I have followed you for a while now, but have never commented. I feel compelled to do so now as this video of your home was done so well! I never appreciated how your rooms flowed and now I do. Your home is very beautiful! And I loved the musical accompaniment.

    I do have a question about your stairs. We have had the same carpet and stairs as you had for 20 years now and have always wanted to rip it up, but I was afraid of the noise the wood stairs could possibly make. Do you find your home noisier now that the carpet is gone? Just curious.

    I also have an original slate entry which I ironically have always wanted to tear up to put down something lighter. We don’t get much light in the entry, but yours looks gorgeous! It’s funny how different homes look different with the same finishes.

  32. Cynthia Johnson

    Thanks Marian!

    What fun for you to be able to show off your thoughtful changes. It’s amazing for me to know how so many things happened and the thought you put in to your home. I love that I was thinking throughout the video, “Oh I remember that, and oh I remember this, and oh , I remember this cart and that chair etc in you Pennsylvania home, and oh, that fabric, that horse, your new front porch as you thought through it all with us~ As always you inspire me beyond words, and you have made an incredibly lovely and most of all loving home for you family..and Sebastian, of course. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

    It’s sunny and 50′ in Colorado today.. not to worry Minnesota doesn’t always have the winter you’ve had. I’ve heard from many friends and I’m hoping for an early, very slow….melt, to avoid flooding, for all of you!

    Keep doing exactly what you’re doing!
    Take Care, Cynthia

  33. Carole Prisk

    I think you meant Sebation ” the welcome wagging”. He makes a great greeter, and the house is beautiful.

  34. Carole Prisk

    Ah…missed the s in Sebastion!

  35. patti

    It’s all so pretty! I loved watching the video to see how it all comes together – it made a huge difference!!

  36. mal

    Perfect, perfect, perfect! I want to come live there! (The highest compliment!)

  37. mary m

    Loved it all……….especially the arched doorway into the dining area.
    I have the same high chair and have a spider plant in the seat spilling over
    in abundance. Have something underneath to protect the surface.
    Thank you.

  38. Marilyn shannon

    You have come so far in making your home so pretty and welcoming. I absolutely love your room where you do your painting. The natural light in there is amazing…you are one lucky girl!
    Have you thought about adding a pretty little chest or table in the entry hall where you have the bench? I know you have two boys and have to be practical in what you put where (after all you Do live there) but that would be so nice there instead of the bench. I guess you do need a spot to sit and put on your snow boots but wondered if that could be in the utility room instead? Just a thought.

  39. Jill Miglin

    You definitely have a lovely, inviting home. Thanks so much for sharing all of your ideas. Love the natural light in your studio room. And Sebastian is a wonderful tour guide.

  40. Patty

    I love love what you have done. I don’t think I saw a tv?

    • Elizabeth St.

      It’s downstairs at garden level, in family room.

  41. Francean Gospodarek

    Your home looks very homey and welcoming!

  42. Jill


    Everything is beautiful!!! I really want to paint my tile floor…..I’m a MMS retailer and use the excuse with my hubby, “my love, I really need to test this project…how can I sell my paint and not try the project?” It works most of the time. Did you do anything special to prep them?

    Thank you for your inspiration!!


  43. Marlene Stephenson

    Thanks Marian, it looks really pretty and what a cute greeter you have! I know it feels wonderful to finally get your home the way you have imagined it could be.

  44. Debbie Nisson

    Love! Love! Love! the tour and all the changes. There looks like there is a lot of floor space in front of the desk in the studio. I think you should put a comfy chair there!! Scenario–you sit behind the desk and someone–client? hubby? sits in the comfy chair and talks to you. OR you sit there and read and think about your next great thing!

  45. Katie Mansfield

    I love how the stairs turned out. Great video. It’s a beautiful house. You have done so much in a short amount of time. The laundry room is so darling.

  46. Linda

    You’ve done the perfect job of “Marian-izing” your home. Comfy, cozy and stunning!

  47. Mary

    Wow! Truly beautiful.

  48. Carol

    Marian you have taken a lovely traditional home and turned it into a beautiful farmhouse. I love everything you have done and all the little touches that just pop. It has a great flow and is so welcoming.

  49. Pat Mays

    Thank for the home tour, and it is truly a home. I wish I had brought a house warming coffee cake! So lovely you shared with us. I always think when you move or par down, curbside acquire, or splurge, you see your things with new enjoyment.
    May your home be blessed.


  50. Cindy

    Wow! That was beautiful…and so helpful…now I see exactly how the first floor is laid out! I wasn’t exactly sure before. What a beautiful job you all have done…thank you so much for sharing. BTW…welcome to MN winters. I live in northern MN. I’m glad you already had one winter in your new house before we got this horrible one…you might have run away back to PA.

  51. Mary S

    WOW! Kudos to you both on such a lovely home. As a reader I didn’t realize what a large home it is. All the projects that run together and it is a cohesive and lovely space from the front to the back. The stairs are fantastic. I stripped carpet from my stairs to add wood treads, and while they are slick, they look so nice. You’ll enjoy them!! Just be careful so you don’t fall!! Thanks for the tour!!

  52. Emily

    getting ready to redo ours in our 1890s farmhouse! We have wood now but it’s just crappy wood that we painted to get by …. 8 years later, we are having them rebuilt and all new wood treads and risers. I have to paint the balusters white as they are wood stain now. Your colors are exactly like what we are doing, but not painting our newell posts I don’t think! I’m dreaming of a Dash & Albert runner in near future! Beautiful! I love what you did!

  53. Sue Anderson

    Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous!

  54. Hannah

    What a wonderful house you have , Marian! I love the pops of green—from your kitchen island, your plants, the shelving in the laundry room, your butler’s pantry, your mural—everything flows so nicely. It must feel good to have it all come together!

  55. Kathy Clark

    Your home and your decorating style are both such an inspiration to me! I must tell you that from day one blue and green have been my favorite colors! My mom used to scold when I was little saying those two colors do not go well together. But I see the sky and the grass and say why not? My wedding incorporated blue and green and my home is slowly morphing away from burgundy, navy and Hunter green into shades of blue and green!! In fact I introduced the same shade of green with an accent chair in my home I believe before you did. When I saw that shade emerge in your home I was so excited! Thank you for your daily sparks of inspiration!!

  56. Christina

    Hi Marian,
    I hope your shoulder is doing better. I really love how your hallway and steps turned out. They are so beautiful and inviting.

  57. Chris

    I love the way you have made the house “yours” in such a relatively brief time.

    How did you tie in the wood steps at the top with the material in the upstairs hall? If there is carpet up there, is the top step carpet or wood? I would like to change my stairway to wood with a runner for safety. but upstairs must remain carped for cost reasons.

    • Marian Parsons

      We left the carpet in the hall. The top step is wood and for $50 we had a “carpet guy” come and make the transition look nice.

  58. Mary

    Your home is classy yet not pretentious, cozy yet not kitchy! Next video…go slower so we can see all the wonderful details more clearly😉. Love your style…thanks for sharing

  59. Jan Fusco

    Marion it looks wonderful! Loved the video and of course Sebastian’s contributions to it. You are so talented and I love keeping up with your posts.

  60. Lynne

    Marion, what an accomplishment! Your home is full of beautiful detail created by an artist who loves her home and her family! It is amazing how quickly your talent has grown and how quickly you created this lovely space. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. What an adventure it is to follow you!

  61. Krista

    Everything is just so pretty, bright and clean-looking! You’ve accomplished so much in such a short time! Beautiful!

  62. Jill

    Lovely, as always! And Sebastian is adorable! Seeing your home is a window to my youth – I grew up in the Twin Cities!

  63. Darlene

    Wow, opeaning the door to a stunning first impression like this was worth the wait and perfect choice. Details and workmanship create bold and beautiful results…you nailed it girl!

  64. Cathy Conard

    On a snowy afternoon in WV, I’m enjoying the article “Bright and Beautiful” in the issue of The Cottage Journal- Country Cottage/Inspiration & Style at Home. I decided to check out Miss Mustard Seed home interiors blog- I must say it’s the 1st blog I’ve ever read! (To say I’m “Old School” is an understatement) But, thoroughly enjoyed my new discovery, especially the video of your latest project – your staircase! Beautiful!! Love the slate flooring as well!
    I would love to know the name of the paint you used – the article said it was white, but in the video it seemed to be a light gray – similar to Sherwin Williams Repose Gray.
    Thank you for opening your home for a “visit”,
    Cathy Conard
    Huntington, WV

  65. Cathy Conard

    Upon closer observation of the video, I am noticing some major differences missing as noted in the article; namely, the “enchanting cow paintings” by Cindy Austin, the end chairs upholstered in monogrammed grain sacks, the missing chalkboard paint in the kitchen, etc.
    Cathy Conard
    Huntington, WV

  66. omia

    “just by living it”… I LOVE that! I’m an over-planner sometimes. But I also do appreciate space to just BE. Trying not so hard sometimes is a very OK thing. ;o) wow, a triathalon… VERY impressive of Tom! LOVELY hibiscus–great color! You garden center trip sounds so good. I’m hoping to hit one yet for end-of season sale–need mulch. Hope the storm won’t be too bad… be safe there! Happy Weekend ((HUGS)) P.S. MANY heartfelt thanks for all the wonderful comments you left my place, Chel. You leave the best ones! :o) I’ve not been feeling too tail end of the week, so slow to visit.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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