Whew! Now that we got the dramatic reveal over, here are the details! The stairwell started out pretty boring. The first pictures are before we did anything to the house so you can still see the dark wood trim in the family room. The stairs themselves as well as the banister and trim along the walls were very dark wood, and the hallway and stairwell were the same boring, icky cream as the family room and kitchen.
This picture is while I was still priming the wood where I wanted to paint it. The risers didn't have any finish on them at all, so they just soaked the stuff up. It was oil based-primer, the same that we used on the trim in the family room. I decided to leave the banisters themselves as well as the newell post and the treads wood-colored to make the white really pop.
I don't even want to admit how long the stairs stayed primed with no paint on them! I was pretty burned out after all that detail work and icky oil-based goop. Thankfully Brett's mom stepping in during her visit in April and saved the day! We painted the stair treads, dowels and trim Benjamin Moore's "Frostine," the prettiest, brightest, most reflective white I could find. (There is no source of light in the stairwell--something I am trying to remedy.)
Here is a picture of the stumbling block in all of this. I wanted a modern sandy mushroomy putty-like brown for the walls to tone down the green in the family room and the yellow in the kitchen. I ended up with Benjamin Moore's "Tuscon Tan." I got it on the wall and HATED IT. It looked like someone skinned an Oompa Loompa and put him on my wall. It was the weirdest thing because the color looked so pretty in chip form, and its even one of Pottery Barn's colors and looks good in the magazine. I ended up taking it back and having them add pigment to the gallon until I ended up very close to the color I wanted, which turned out to be "Palm Desert Tan."
In this photo you can see the bright yellow in the kitchen. I love it, but it definitely needs neutrals to even it out. Another bright color near that one would be like Ronald McDonald's Playland or something!
And finally, voila: the final product. I really like it and I think it makes the stairs more of a focal point and less of a black hole area that is a nowhere land of decorating.
Again, this hallway, which is connected to the stairwell, was just a nowhere land of decorating. It was that icky creamy color again that looked very boring. I continued the "Palm Desert Tan" up the stairs into the hallway and it looks SO GOOD! There is a LOT of the white trim with the numerous doorways in the hall that makes the color pop.So what do you guys think? Is it too dark? What kind of light fixture do you think I should go with for the stairs? I was considering sconces or pendants. I definitely don't have time at the moment to install wiring for sconces, as there is no outlet nearby to run the electricity from. I think it would look nice though. If I do pendants, I could repeat the same one in the upstairs hall for a nice cohesive look.