How to Brighten a Dark Staircase

Mattie would like to welcome all of you to the staircase revamp. She is excited about it being brighter and easier for her mom to clean *wink*

Bringing “light” into my dark and semi-enclosed staircase has been on my project list since the hubby and I bought our house a little over three years ago. Yes, I have a project list that I am still working on from 2014….Most likely it won’t be completed until we decide to move again *wink* Now, this project wasn’t a difficult one. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being easy-peasy and 10 being so-hard-it-makes-you-physically-ill, it’s totally an easy-peasy 1. You might be wondering–if it were so easy-peasy, why did we wait so long to do this paint project? Seriously, I have no idea!

This is the first time I saw the staircase of our current house. I say “current” because the little family and I moved a lot during a relatively short period of time.

Flashback to Fall 2013. The little family and I were house hunting in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The hubby got a new job, and it required us leaving our beloved Birmingham area and moving to the mountains. It was a crazy and stressful time, but we made it through without completing losing our minds and religion. Long story short–I fell in love with an old home (which had recently been renovated) in Johnson City, Tennessee. I had to have it–the porch was perfect, the view from the upstairs was gorgeous, and the neighborhood was friendly and revitalizing. The hubby knew I would have a project list, but we agreed to tackle the list slowly because we were both tired of constant renovations.

The staircase is semi-enclosed and does not have its own light source. The lights in the hallways upstairs and downstairs provide a little light along with all the big windows in the parlor and dining room. Bad news is when the sun goes down, it is a black hole and tripping hazard!

A few weeks ago, the hubby was inspired to paint the stair risers. I use the word “inspired” loosely. Perhaps, he just wanted to cross off an item on the project list or impress the neighbors with his mad painting skills. No matter. The risers are painted, the staircase looks amazing, and the project list is now shorter by one item.

Before I get into Hathorn Hall’s stairway makeover, let us flashback to some past stair projects. It will help explain my love of stairs, and how a little paint can totally change the look of a stairway and entrance.

Upstairs railing of our former home in Trussville. The white contrasted with the stained wood is classic. Both pop against the soft yellow walls of the two-story foyer. It takes a lot of patience to paint spindles, but totally worth the time. If you are not in a hurry to finish (e.g., your mother-in-law isn’t coming to visit next week and/or you’re not hosting a dinner party in a few days), paint a set number of spindles each day. It won’t be nearly as overwhelming + you won’t get tired and grumpy wishing you would have never started!

Basement stairway makeover. For more about this project, click here (which will open up to a Sweet Sorghum Living blog post from the archives), and check out my post about the genesis of the basement revamp and how I thought it would go much faster than it did.

Okay, stairs, steps, staircases, stairways…no matter how you say it, they deserve some love and a little glam to make them feel as special as the rest of the home.

Don’t forget to add a little pizazz and character to the outside steps! The hubby built these planters for the steps leading up to the front porch of our Trussville home.

Now, enough about past projects! Let’s take a look at Hathorn Hall’s staircase + see the hot mess little projects make!

Totally against advice I gave earlier, make sure to pick a time that is really inconvenient–like preparing for a neighborhood yard sale. That way you can really have a hot mess and lose your religion *wink*

First things first. Sand the risers and leave your sander where the furbabies and the wife can trip on it.

Tape off the area around the risers and leave your paint bucket on the stairs, so the furbabies can knock it down the steps into the parlor. *Note: Thankfully, this did not happen to us. **Another Note: Do not leave paint container on stairs.**

View from above. First coat and it is already brighter! **Note: It is a miracle that the furbabies did not get into the paint or knock the bucket down the stairs.**

Pricing items for the yard sale while waiting on the first coat to dry.

We painted the risers in Bright White Gloss. Why? Ziva. Gloss is much easier to clean and really durable. It doesn’t take the best photos, but one wipe with a Mr. Clean sponge, and the furbaby dirt is gone!

This photo was taken late afternoon with no lights turned on–just natural light from nearby rooms. The bright white against the dark stain adds a bit of light to the space making it easier to see going up the stairs.

View up the stairs in late afternoon with only the upstairs hallway light on. The gloss paint reflects the light adding to the brightness.

Almost dark outside. No light on in the hallway and one light on in the parlor. The bright white gloss is shining like a beacon!

Almost dark outside. A few lights on in the surrounding rooms. The crispness of the white really makes the semi-enclosed staircase brighter.

View from upstairs. Love how the white risers stand out against the stained wood!

One more project checked off the list! Time for the next one *big smile*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about making over a dark and semi-enclosed staircase + looking back at other stair makeovers. It feels good to do a little revamping–just remember no matter how little or big the project, there will always be a hot mess *wink*

“Solitude Ride” by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) For more about my art, please visit my website Chasidy Hathorn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking to the Past for Inspiration

 

When I lived in Trussville (Alabama), I had an adorable little shop inside Trussville Antiques & Interiors. It was full to the brim with original art pieces by me--everything from painted canvases to bicycle rim sculptures.

When I lived in Trussville (Alabama), I had an adorable little shop inside Trussville Antiques & Interiors. It was full to the brim with original art pieces by the hubby and me–everything from painted canvases to bicycle rim sculptures.

Welcome back to the blog! Today on Sweet Sorghum Living we are throwing it back to Lolly Molly Art studios of the past. I have been looking at old photos of my studios and shops for inspiration for my new studio. One thing I know for sure is that I love my rolling “island”–it was a fabulous deal that I got several years ago, and we have been an inseparable art duo ever since *smile*

This was my studio when I lived in Louisville, Mississippi. We called our home HatRidge, and my studio had this fabulous wall of windows overlooking the backyard and pasture. As y'all can tell, I absolutely love windows!

This was my studio when I lived in Louisville, Mississippi. We called our home HatRidge, and my studio had this fabulous wall of windows overlooking the backyard and pasture. As y’all can tell, I absolutely love windows!

I love color and being organized! I took color inspiration for my new studio from HatRidge because I wanted something bright and cheery. I have most of the organizational pieces, but I haven’t decided exactly how to organize or arrange my new space. It is still a work in progress, but it is coming along nicely *smile*

My HatRidge studio was a shared space--art + home office. The new studio is not a shared space! WHOO HOO!

My HatRidge studio was a shared space–art + home office. The new studio is not a shared space! WHOO HOO!

This is the studio space at Sloss Castle. The Lime Sorbet paint color really brightened the basement room. I am thinking that I will use this room as my color inspiration for my mudroom/utility room.

This is the studio space at Sloss Castle. The Lime Sorbet paint color really brightened the basement cave. I am thinking that I will use this room as my color inspiration for my mudroom/utility room.

I was still sharing with the home office at Sloss Castle--but no more sharing! The hubby snagged up this upcycled table for his office. I will tell y'all about it on another day.

I was still sharing with the hubby and home office at Sloss Castle–but no more sharing! I absolutely love this piece that the hubby built. Sadly, he called dibs on it for his new office–and he snagged up the sign/bicycle rim art piece! I will have to tell y’all that story on another day.

Another look at the Lolly Molly Art Studio inside Trussville Antiques & Interiors. I have to decide what to do now that I am in Johnson City. Open up a little shop of my own, rent space, travel to art fairs, sell on Etsy...it is up in the air for now *smile*

Another look at the Lolly Molly Art Studio inside Trussville Antiques & Interiors. I have to decide what to do now that I am in Johnson City. Open up a little shop of my own, rent space, travel to art fairs, sell on Etsy…it is up in the air for now *smile*

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we looked back at studios of the past. I am feeling really inspired now–so I think I will be off to go work on my new studio space. Stay tuned for an upcoming post that will reveal all of its fabulousness. Hopefully, I have inspired y’all to look at your rooms of the past for ideas on how to decorate, renovate, or rearrange your current spaces.

 

 

 

Shiny, Happy Basement

969954_10200162162881463_1258206502_nIt has been too long since we visited.  My goodness, there needs to be two of me…more on some days!

The home renovation is coming along…slowly, but surely.  If there were more time in the day, we would probably be finished in a month or so..but since we are limited by the 24-hour boundary…I guess we will do the best we can.

Glidden Duo in Granny Smith Apple in Semi-Gloss from the Home Depot

Glidden Duo in Granny Smith Apple in Semi-Gloss from Home Depot

The basement is in the final stage…decorating…which to me is always the most challenging.  It is easy to tear it up…toss it out…and even put it back together…but deciding what to bring into the room…that part always gets me.  Whew!  I am getting stressed thinking about it….

Now, grab a cup of coffee…or a tropical fruit smoothie…and sit a spell with me as we explore the colors in the shiny, happy basement.

On the concrete block walls, we used Glidden Duo in a semi-gloss finish because I wanted to bounce a little light around that dark space.  To liven it up even more, we chose a bright and fun Granny Smith Apple color–it went from drab to fab in no time!

Wall color--Glidden Duo in Lime Sorbet in a subtle eggshell finish

Wall color–Glidden Duo in Lime Sorbet in a subtle eggshell finish from Home Depot

On the sheetrock walls, we painted a shade lighter in a soft eggshell finish.  Do not even get me started on the condition of those walls!  Thank you, previous homeowners, for doing it yourself without instructions.

Personally, I love semi-gloss paint because of its durability and clean-ability.  Let’s face it–when you live in a house with three dogs, a hubby, and a teenage fashionista…things are going to get touched…bumped…and dirty!  Despite my love affair with semi-gloss, I had to go with eggshell on the “sheetrocked” walls because of all of the imperfections.  Eggshell, satin, and flat finishes are perfect for hiding all kinds of wall sins.

Risers are in Behr Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel in Japanese Kimono and the steps are in Behr Concrete and Garage Floor Paint 1-Part Epoxy in Pyramid

Risers are in Behr Premium Plus Interior Eggshell Enamel in Japanese Kimono and the steps are in Behr Concrete and Garage Floor Paint 1-Part Epoxy in Pyramid–both from Home Depot

Deciding on the color of the stairs was not an easy task.  Compromise and a wee bit of loud discussion between the mister and me helped make the final color selection.  I had visions of rainbow stairs…or shades of blue and green…each step and riser a different color…Stan envisioned more of one solid color…or khaki and white…

Finally, we played the “Go to Home Depot and Pick Out What Colors You Like” game.  Stan had cool shades of gray and blue…Abby had brighter shades of blue–yes, we sometimes let Abby play the home renovation games–I picked lime greens and corals.  Several hours later…we decided on lime greens and a deep coral (Japanese Kimono).  Was it a victory for me?  For the most part…but I still would have loved to have had rainbow stairs.

Floor color--Behr Concrete and Garage Paint 1-Part Epoxy in Pyramid

Floor color–Behr Concrete and Garage Paint 1-Part Epoxy in Pyramid

Stan did get his khaki wish.  With all the shiny, happy on the walls and risers, we decided to tone down the floor.  The Pyramid color was perfect!

Stan is happy–I am happy…the loud discussions about the basement are over.  We have even made a couple of upcycled projects for the room.  I will save those for another day…so stay tuned for a little upcycling fun!

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today.  Be sure to check out my latest article at This Is Real Media–“Basement: Plan B and Working On Plan C” at http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/06/14/sweet-sorghum-living-short-tales-basement-plan-b-and-working-on-plan-c/

Have a Blessed and Beautiful Day!

Chasidy