Do you like my dramatic blog post title? Yep, that’s me – all Wile E. Coyote treading air over a sudden drop while that darned roadrunner makes his escape once more.
I guess I should explain a little more. I’m no stranger to experiencing a “creative slump”. I know that creativity comes and goes in random and not-always-convenient bursts. However, that knowledge still doesn’t make the current slump any more fun or less frustrating.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “champagne taste on a beer budget”. I think it’s adorable. I love champagne and beer. Well, let’s just say that lately our beer budget has been greatly reduced (figuratively and literally). It is what it is. I’m not here to complain. I’m proud of the way we’ve been able to cut back on expenses, but my “champagne taste” is restricted to shopping off the dollar menu right now… Sorry, that’s a lot of metaphors. I think you get the idea.
What do you get when you combine a creative slump with a tiny budget? One stumped Brynne, wracking her brains (in vain) to concoct a plan that is both fabulous and frugal.
Finally, I settled upon redoing our staircase. The carpet has always bugged me – the way it folds over to the wall in the living room – it’s so…furry.
I’ve also always particularly disliked the funny-shaped top of the wooden post at the bottom and top of our railing (the black spindles are metal).
Now I’ve seen millions of staircase makeovers on Pinterest. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But it’s a downright trend to rip the carpet off your stairs, paint/stain the treads and risers, and viola! One gorgeous stairway, brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Gathered Home.
So a plan was formulated.
Carpet: Poof! Gone! Weird thingamabob on the wooden post: Poof! Gone! Railing: Painted matte black. Wall: Painted sage gray to match the living room. Stair treads: Painted black. Stair risers: Painted something awesome (a geometric pattern??!) or wallpapered (!!!). Entry light fixture: Replaced with something rad and blingy.
Expenses: Affordable. I only need to purchase some paint, maybe wallpaper.
Projected result: 1000% improvement.
What’s that faint whistling noise you hear? It’s getting louder…
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… SPLAT.
It’s an anvil. An anvil that just fell on my unsuspecting head out of a clear blue sky. An anvil that looks an awful lot like rough and crappy OSB treads and risers hiding beneath my stair carpet rather than the plain unfinished pine steps that I (rather naively) had counted on.
Why didn’t I pull up a corner to check what was underneath before I pinned all of my hopes and dreams on this project? Grr, I don’t know. Thankfully I didn’t start indiscriminately ripping up the carpet before I noticed!
Sure, I could put down new solid wood stair treads and risers, and perhaps I will one day, but that is just not in the budget right now. I’ll still be carrying on with my plain to paint the railing and wall and replace the entryway light fixture, but the carpet lives to fight another day.
I’ll leave you with my attempt at a photoshopped plan… Please envision some lovely framed artwork on the wall going up the stairs.
I’ll get right on it… As soon as I crawl out from under this anvil.