Our TN Colonial Staircase Transformation

I will share the story of our move to TN soon, for now just know it was a quick move. We bought the house sight unseen, I flew out to inspect it, saw the potential, and three weeks later we were moving in. A whirlwind to say the least! Then, one week after being in TN, trying to get settled into our new home, Wade had to head out of town to take care of some items at the Creamery. I was running solo with the kiddos, in a new area, didn’t know anyone, and in a house that did not feel like ours (yet).

Home is vital to me – when my living space is beautiful, I feel so much better and all is well in my world. Being without Wade was difficult – we’ve been together nearly 16 years and of those 16 years we’ve rarely been apart, and what made it a bit more difficult was the new house felt dark (not the most feel good vibes!). The lack of natural light and brightness affected me more than I thought it could!

The previous owners liked lots of color and liked it dark (the before photos don’t correctly show how dark the house was). Dark floors, dark lighting (like, I’m not sure how they could see with the dark yellow lightbulbs they had!), many (tropical) colors of paint…essentially the opposite of how I love my home look and feel. Hellloooo white! When Wade returned we started on mission ‘let there be light‘. Outside we started with removing trees to allow natural light into the house, and inside we began with the floors. The dark oak floors (they weren’t the pretty kind of dark oak!) were sanded to their original, natural, light oak beauty. I knew we were going to paint the stairs so the floor company did not sand down the treads; the mismatch of the stairs and the now light oak flooring was the motivator to get the stair project done ASAP. I’m glad we did.

Here is the before + after!


By painting the stairs white, and adding a stair runner, the space is completely transformed. It’s light and bright. Hallelujah!

What we did: painted the stairs and spindles white; I used Benjamin Moore White Dove. Benjamin Moore has a paint that, when dry, is almost enamel like, with a semi gloss finish. It is THIS paint. This finish makes for easy cleaning/vacuuming and reflects just the right amount of light. The handrail was painted black – I used the Rustoleum brand (it needs to be very durable!) latex paint in black semi gloss (found at Home Depot); the black and white contrast is classic. Plus the black hides alllllll the hand prints (win) and the semi gloss makes for easy cleaning (win win)!

We also added a stair runner; we did this for comfort (we try for no shoes in this house, rugs feel nice underfoot!), esthetic (runners are traditional and beautiful), and safety (not slipping down the stairs in the middle of the night). I love love love the look of natural fiber rugs; they are neutral, add great texture to a space, and are timeless. Unfortunately, neither jute or sisal are ideal for rugs stapled to the floor because these materials stain so easily. If someone walked up the stairs with muddy shoes, it would stain, and there’s no simple way to clean sisal or jute stains – most times cleaning will result in major discoloration (looks like bleach spilled, I know from experience). If there was a muddy stain or spill, I’d have to live with it because the runners are stapled to the stairs and Wade ain’t ripping it out and putting down another stair runner – ha! I didn’t want to give up on the look of the natural runner, so I found an indoor/outdoor rug that looks just like sisal and is extremely durable! It’s easily cleaned and will hold up well. Linked HERE. Google “All Modern Neo Sand Runner” – this way you’ll find the best deal. For our stairs (we have 12+ 2 corner stairs) we used a total of four runners.

This is the first project that is 100% complete in our TN Colonial! Some imagination and a little paint completely transformed the entryway. If you have any questions about the project I’m happy to answer them – leave a comment or ask via IG. Now onto the next project. Thanks for being here!

Lover of Lightness,


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