before and after

Before & After: Grace and Julia’s New Stair Runner

by Grace Bonney

One of the funny things about spring redecorating is that all the new clean spaces really shine a light on the ones that need a little extra love. Every time we finish a new space, the older one next to it looks a little dingier, so we’ve added a few extra projects to our to-do list this spring. At the top of that list was redoing our stair runner. Max helped me put in our old one almost five years ago and, while I loved it, we wanted to go for a lighter look, a wider size, and a cushier overall feel. So we stuck with our tried-and-true Dash & Albert rugs and picked an ombre blue/grey pattern that meshed well with our bannister color (Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray, my favorite) and felt a little bit more lush. The process took about 3 hours from start to finish (Mainly because it took forever to rip out all the old staples. Be sure you use thick gloves!) and the end result is Turk-approved. And since he’s a pretty picky cat, I know that means we did a good job. Here’s to spring cleaning and giving high-traffic area spaces like these a little extra love every few years. xo, Grace

The runner before: we needed to rip out all the staples one by one (ugh!) and then we cleaned the stairs.


Next we laid out the new runner to see where we’d need to cut and attach the new pieces (we combined three runners).

Julia helped me hold things in place and tackle the staple gun!

And voila! the new view in the morning.

Turk wants to know what we’re going to do about the ceiling light above…maybe our next project?



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  • [sees pictures of cat] CAT! (The runner looks great! I just can’t help but yell CAT when I see a cat.)

  • i love that runner. i also took out my old runner, except i didn’t wear gloves. half-way through the job i ran to the local hardware store to see if there was an easier way to complete this task. the salesman explained that there was not an easier way and that, in fact, he was doing the same thing at his home and he had absolute faith that despite my cramped hands I would be able to finish the job. two weeks later i went back to the hardware store to find the salesman and proudly announce that i finished the stairs and they looked great. i then asked him how his stairs were proceeding and he said that he had lied, he wasn’t pulling carpet off his stairs. He explained that I had looked so sad and desperate that he had wanted to offer me some reassurance that i could do the job!

  • Hello Grace, Turk caught my attention as he is identical to our family cat Milk, colour pattern and placement. How old is Turk? How did Turk get his name? Milk is 17.5 years old and was given that name by my then 4 year old son (because her dark colour patterning was small and barely visible as a kitten). She has been a wonderful member of our family and has the closest bond with my son. I do not know how long we have with Milk, she has had some health issues since last September brought on by her age. She will leave a large void in our hearts when she passes.

  • This looks fantastic! Did you have to deal with any landing? My floors are about 110 years old and are so creaky. Did this help muffle the sound?

  • Grace and Julia,

    The stairs look great! And that last picture of Turk is the best – you should frame that and display it!