Staircase renewal

So have I told you why I bought this house? It was the land – a beautiful patch of 3ish acres in a wicked private setting with tons and tons of gardens. Bliss! But the house – eh. It was cute, but there were problems with it. The previous owners took it a LONG way from what it was (I promise to tell you that story later) but I had wild ambitious plans for the house – after all, you can fix the house, but you can’t fix the location, right?

Ha! How young and naive I was.

That should be: if you have a million dollars and a saint for a husband you can fix the house. I have neither (sorry honey).

One of the things I HATED THE MOST was the staircase. It was boxed in, ugly and felt like a laundry chute.  Here’s a little look at what it was like:

stairs before renovation cape cod style house

Do you not LOVE that handrail?  Eeewwww.

You are too kind…

For a while I lived with it.  I even used the stair wall behind that lovely handrail to create a funky bookcase display in the dining room -turned entry room:

old staircase hall with mill store bookcase wall before renovation

But that was like putting lipstick on a pig.  So this year I decided that we’d bite the bullet and fix it.

So I took down the shelves and got started.  Here’s the wall without the shelves – this is looking thru the dining room from the kitchen doorway:

old stair wall before renovation from kitchen

And we decided to get hacking:

staircase hallway renovation

And after finding out how to do a sort-of board and batten technique at Centsational Girl (have I told you how much I love her?)  we got to this:

board and batten hallway wainscoting trim transformation

So here it is before:

old stair wall before renovation from kitchen

Aaaand here it is after:

board and batten hallway wainscoting trim transformation

Tell me that doesn’t rock.

And you see that little wall on the left?  That wasn’t there before.  We put up that wall and turned the dining room-turned entry room into a mudroom and created a hallway.   The fun never ends.

So today I’m loving my newly renovated stair.  I’m just showing you one side of it – the most dramaaaatic side.  I also opened up a wee bit of the other side of the stair and took down a wall at the top of the stair and added a railing.

So let’s wrap this up… here’s the hideous funhouse staircase before:

stairs before renovation cape cod style house

And here it is after:

Renovated Staircase by

renovated staircase

Cool, huh?  I’m loving it.

See the crazy stair paint?  That is because we’re running a Dash and Albert runner up those stairs next month…  And because everyone in my life is a comedian, the color scheme has us calling this the s’mores stair.  See?

smores stairs s'mores stairs staircase renovation

So one more time for the big dramatic BEFORE and AFTER.  Here’s the icky before looking into the hall from the living room:

before after stair hall renovation from living room to old dining room

And here is the same shot AFTER! Yay!

cottage entry hall staircase transformation - view to new mudroom - brown handrail open stair newel post

Now it is the big hall and the mudroom.  Promise to let you in on that fun later…

Pardon the Trader Joe’s bag and the socks on the floor.  That’s just the way my house looks aaalll the time.

So now the house is coming along and the gardens are full of weeds.  Can’t have everything, right?  But I’m happy with the way this is coming along.  Don’t ask about the family room.  That’s still unfinished after five years.  But that’s a story for another time…

Linking to:

TDC Before and After


  1. Oooh, this is SO SO much better! I can’t wait to see the final results! Smore’s stairs, ha! Now I’m craving smore’s.

  2. I love this! You have great vision, this transformation is amazing!

  3. Shannon Macklam says:

    What color paint did you use? It looks great!

  4. Amazing transofmration! I am inspired!!
    How did you determine whether the stair wall was load bearing or non-loading? I have a stariwell exactly like this, and would love to do something similiar. Just would be nervous about accidently causing part of my house to cave in…

    • Thanks! I have a Cape and there usually aren’t load bearing stair walls in this type of house. I can try to help you figure out what you have going on if you want to send me a private email. I worked as an architect before the industry fell apart, so I SORT OF know what I am talking about (but not too much, mind you…. 🙂 )

  5. I like your snarkiness and your style. Looks great!

  6. What a wonderful difference, completely changes the entire look and feel of the house.Great job!!

  7. It is beautiful, I can’t wait to see what you finish next!!!! Good Luck on your blog.

    • well, Lisa, if you are looking forward to the next project you’ve inspired me to keep blogging! I have a lot of before-and-after projects but the photos usually have my cat walking through them. Keep checking back! Thanks!

  8. This is so wonderful and thanks for sharing there is so much potential in all homes it just takes a lot of elbow grease and a detailed plan. – Monica

    • I think that every house can be transformed without adding big additions or spending billions of dollars. And detailed plans are my LOVE! When I worked as an architect my favorite thing to do was help people realize their dreams of transforming their homes.

  9. WOW. Totally rocks and I want to copy cat so bad on this one.

  10. I absolutely love the staircase redo! I think it looks so much better! The board and batten looks amazing too! Definitely gives me inspiration!

  11. That is one awesome makeover! Love it – everything about it! What color are you getting your dash and albert runner in? I came over from the party at The Ironstone Nest!

  12. What a huge difference the new staircase makes. It looks amazing. I would love for you to link this up to my Fall into Fall party going on right now. Hope to see you there.

  13. Wow!! What an amazing transformation! I wish I could do this to my staircase going down to the basement but no room.. Bummer. Cme link up to Centerpiece Wednesday and share your transformation! Karin

  14. OMGoodness! That is an amazing transformation! You did a great job!! Thank you for sharing. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  15. You will be one of the features tomorrow at Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Pop on in and grab a feature button for your blog. Can’t wait to see what you bring to the bash tomorrow. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  16. This looks fantastic! I am so impressed you took down that stair wall and built a entirely new one!

  17. I had to come take a peak, I must of missed it when you posted the first time. It is gorgeous!!!
    THanks for linking up your top 4.

  18. what an amazing fix! totally opens up the space and looks so light and bright. love the board and batten, and oh yes, that sweet kitty!

  19. Wow! What a transformation! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Stopping by from Dedicated House!

  20. This is absolutely amazing. I love how open everything looks with the two walls taken down. Great job. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me Tuesday party that is ongoing. – - Hugs, Marty

  21. Amazing change. I had a similar stair issue in my former home. It makes me wish we were still there so I could create something like yours.

  22. OH MY GOLLY!!!!

    To say that is rockin FABULOUS is an understatement!

    WOW, it is knock-our-socks-off amazing.

    Oh, and are you then painting your stair steps to match your handrail? Hope so, love it that deep dark delicious color – you two did a great job. Can’t wait to see more!

  23. Wow! You did an incredible job on those stairs, and the board and batten too! Fantastic! You have vision, something a lot of people don’t have, and can’t understand. I was trying to explain what I wanted in my kitchen remodel and my dh looked at me like I had a second head on my shoulders~~he couldn’t ‘see’ it. Now that it’s done, he understands what I could see in my mind’s eye. Or maybe I just don’t communicate well~~~hehe

    • Maggie Green says:

      Thanks Denise! I’m glad you like it. Gotta say having a hubs who trusts what you can see and he doesn’t is a great thing!

  24. Can I just say I LOVE your stairway transformation! and the board and batten. Seriously, you (and your husband) did a great job. I really love the change, it really brightens the place up. Love it.

  25. Oh.My.Wow! That is seriously Beautiful! Come do something totally awesome in my home 🙂 You Rock, Sista!

  26. lorijohnston836656258 says:

    All I can say is, “WOW!!!” Your stair and wall transformation looks absolutely fantastic. I don’t know what the rest of your house looks like but so far this is my favorite area! We live in an old house, too, and you’ve inspired me that we can make major changes and brighten and open up closed in dark spaces. Thanks tons and tons. Would you be willing to share this post and any of your other great ones at our Making Monday link party? We would love it and think our readers will, too. Thanks. Have a fantastic week.

    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life

    • Maggie Green says:

      Thanks! I haven’t blogged in a while but have been thinking about getting started again. I’m such a blabber and I have so many things to share! When I get myself organized and back in the groove I will try the Making Monday party!


  1. […] I use a a brown porch and floor paint from Behr called Bitter Chocolate on my handrails, stairs and (temporarily) on the plywood floor of my new great room!  You can see how great the color looks on the handrails in this post about our staircase make-over. […]

  2. […] have an odd love for Home Depot’s floor paint in Bitter Chocolate.  I’ve used it on my stair hall transformation project (you can see more shots of the stair hall in my mudroom transformation project post, too), […]

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