Makeover - Fitting a Stair Runner

July 10, 2017

When we first viewed our house, we instantly fell in love with the sweeping staircase, an original feature - over a couple of hundred of years old - that we couldn't wait to bring up to date a little. The staircase itself luckily was still in good condition, it just needed a little makeover. You'll see the lovely green carpet in the photos below that we instantly ripped off, planning a classic stair runner with rods instead.

This house has good bones, but after forty years of the previous owners living here, we wanted to change a lot of the surface. That yellow patterned wallpaper and the heavy green carpets made it feel oppressive and old in here.

First of all we ripped out that green carpet and stripped a lot of wallpaper. You can see more of this on our progress in Week 6. And then painted the walls. We used Farrow & Ball Wimborne White on top and Cornforth White on the panelling for a contrast.

In this renovation update from last year here you'll see posts about transforming the original floor. Once the carpet was up from the stairs, we left them bare for about 8 months, knowing that we'd be starting the kitchen extension and not wanting to get dust all over the new carpet. You'll see in these Christmas photos that I decorated the bare stairs {everyone on Instagram said they actually loved the shabby chic paint effect but to us they looked too yellow!}. 

So then earlier this year, with the building work almost coming to an end, we had carpet fitters come round to measure the staircase for a carpet runner. In our old house, our stairs went straight up so we ordered a runner from eBay {here} which was pretty standard size. But in this house, because of the bends in the stairs, we had to get one made. Nearly all of the individual stair steps are a different size! It does cost more to get one made bespoke, the carpet itself isn't expensive but it's the way that it needs to be cut and then bound at the edges which adds up. 

We had the edges painted in White eggshell paint and then ordered these antique brass stair rods and had a local carpet fitters come to cut and measure the carpet. We had to decide how big we wanted the gaps at the edge and then the carpet fitters did the rest, measuring and cutting it all to size to check we were happy with the shape and the way that it flowed. 

There are then so many binding options for the edges. Some people have the edges with a different colour, we decided to go for a self bind so the makers choose a colour as similar to the carpet as they can. Choosing carpet itself is another minefield, we couldn't decide between a neutral colour or to go more grey to match the Cornforth White. But in the end decided that this would probably be a bit more classic. I'm afraid I don't know the name, or even the make of it, we chose it out of a book we bought back from the fitters and went for a mid range price bracket. Good enough to last but not too much that's unnecessary to pay. I would say to definitely bring samples home before choosing though.

Having it fitted has transformed the stairs. We had it covered in a carpet protector for the first few weeks whilst the house was still covered in dust but now it's all unveiled we love it. We've chosen the same carpet to then continue at the top of the stairs to the landing upstairs, we just need to get it fitted now {but that involves shifting a load of furniture that we haven't psyched ourselves up for yet!}

The stair rods then get cut to size and screwed into the stair carpet to keep it in place securely {and they look decorative too}. 

Countdown to the Christmas decs now that it's finished properly! At some point I might put up a big gallery wall all the way up that plain wall. But that's a job I really need to think about!

I hope that's answered all your stair questions? 

R <3 xx 

{top photo by Adam Crohill for Rock My Style. Rest by me}

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  1. That is an absolutely incredible staircase! The runner looks like it was worth every penny!


  2. Love the rods, think it all looks great. What stain did you use for banister, please!?

    1. Hello, we didn't use anything for it. It was like this when we bought the house x

  3. Did the carpet fitters use gripper rod on the stairs please Rebecca? Love your blog!


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