The Stair Runner is a Doner

The stairs from our first floor to the second floor are very narrow.

Our narrow stairs.
Our narrow stairs.

I couldn’t find a long runner narrow enough to use on the steps so I bought 10 small rugs from Ikea. I’ve been working on this project for about 2 years.

The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.
The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.

I cut the fringe off by cutting at right angles to the stripes.  Look ahead of the scissors’ blades and make long cuts.

Then I sewed them together with a flat-felled seam. My plan was to use my grandmother’s sewing machine but ended up using my own.  I couldn’t adjust the tension correctly on the older machine.

Traditional 5/8" seam to start.
Traditional 5/8″ seam to start.

To flat-fell a seam you sew a traditional seam right side together.

Cut away one seam allowance.
Cut away one seam allowance.

Then trim the one of the seam allowances to about 1/4 inch.

The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so think.
The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so thick.

Pull the seam flat and topstitch catching the short allowance inside the longer one. If you choose, you can topstitch again about 1/4-inch from the first topstitching.

The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.
The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.

Finally, with my new pneumatic stapler I started at top of the steps and just put staples in the middle all the way down the staircase.

The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.
The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.

After I was sure one of the seams didn’t land in the middle of a tread I added more staples on all the steps in the black area of the runner.

Tacked all the way up.
Tacked all the way up.

I’m hoping this wears well.

Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.
Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.

I might have to add a few more staples from time to time.

Check off #5 of my 101 in 1001.

Have you sewn something together recently?

Offsite – Day 6 and the Finale

Our offsite project (Day 2 is here, Days 3, 4, 5 are here.) is finally finished.

Before
Before
Painted, carpeted, and furnished.
Painted, carpeted, and furnished.

There will be a postlude but for now we are finished.

Even the door got a new coat of paint.
Even the door got a new coat of paint.
Charlie sealed the seams with caulk.
Charlie sealed the seams with caulk.

We painted the walls and woodwork.

The room's occupant preferred wall-to-wall carpet.
The room’s occupant preferred wall-to-wall carpet.

We changed out the old carpet.

We rearranged some of the furniture -- this chair used to be across the room.
We rearranged some of the furniture — this chair used to be across the room.

We pared down the contents of the living room including removing a lot of chains.

Chains
Chains
More chains
More chains

There were chains holding a hanging lamp, chains holding a glass globe filled with fake flowers, and chains connecting some wall decoration.

The rattan chair was brought in from the porch.
The rattan chair was brought in from the porch.

We’ve been set free from the chains.

The vintage sofa
The vintage sofa
The new pale blue Ektorp sofa from Ikea
The new pale blue Ektorp sofa from Ikea

We replaced the vintage sofa with a new pale blue one from Ikea.  The old sofa had a matching chair which we had hauled away with the old sofa.

Before the renovation.
Before the renovation.
The wall behind the sofa needs some art work but I think the resident might return the mirror to this space.
The wall behind the sofa needs some art work but I think the resident might return the mirror to this space.

The work team is happy that the room has been lightened and simplified.  The resident is delighted with her newly freshened living room.

The new double curtains rods have been ordered from Home Depot.
The new double curtains rods have been ordered from Home Depot.

The only items remaining on the to-do list are rehanging the curtains on new rods and returning the artwork to the walls which we will do when the resident has all the pieces together and gives us a call.

Is there a piece of furniture in your house you would like to get rid of but can’t bring yourself to do so?

Offsite – Days 3, 4, and 5

Our offsite project (Day 2 is here) is in full swing but the resident of the room decided my choices were not her choices.

Tentative plan.
A review of my suggestions.

On Day 3 Charlie and my friend pulled up the remaining wall-to-wall carpet and tack strips in the living room.

The edges of the floor were is very good shape with stains the area that would have been covered by an area rug.
The edges of the floor were is very good shape. The stained area would have been covered by an area rug.

The original plan was to clean, wax, and buff the entire floor then to lay an area rug. Unfortunately the room resident had her heart set on wall-to-wall carpet. (I write that with a scowl on my face.)

The selected color, "Oyster," is the uppermost swatch on the right.
The selected color, “Oyster,” is the uppermost swatch on the right.

Instead, on Day 4, my friend and I along with the room’s resident met with a representative from Empire Today who presented us with wall-to-wall carpet selections. The first choice mentioned by the resident was “mauve” which apparently is no longer in anyone’s color palette.

"Oyster"
“Oyster”

After choosing the color “Oyster” from the “Making Waves” collection we asked for installation the next day. The carpet was laid wall-to-wall in the living room, up the stairs to the second floor, and in the second floor hall.

Before
Before
After -- Much simpler now.
After — Much simpler now.

When my friend and I arrived late in the day the carpet was finished and gave the room a calming look in contrast to the original variegated, sculpted carpet.

The stairs to the second floor -- BEFORE.
The stairs to the second floor — BEFORE.
The stairs are safer now that the carpet is fitted.
The stairs are safer now that the carpet is fitted.

Stay tuned for Day 6 and the Finale.

Do you decorate with your favorite color?

Project Completions from 2016

I always have lists of projects both written and stored in my brain. (101 in 1001, Clean Sweep, Master List.)

The Cottage interior last June.
The Cottage interior last June.

Every so often we actually finish something. Sometimes it’s something we didn’t even hope to accomplish.

The brown sewing machine in the foreground belongs to me and will eventually come back in my house.
The Cottage sees regular improvements now.

The biggest change last year was The Cottage.  It went from a storage bin to permanent living quarters. We had hoped to sort it out but never expected to make such progress.

The shower glass provides a lot of reflection in the master bathroom.
The shower glass provides a lot of reflection in the master bathroom.

Early in the year we had shower glass installed in both the master bathroom and the conservatory bathroom.

Shower glass in the conservatory bathroom.
Shower glass in the conservatory bathroom.

Both showers are curbless.

We upgraded our mailbox.
We upgraded our mailbox.

We also switched out our rural mailbox with a totally upgraded version that was a gift from my sister.

All the floors are installed.
All the floors are installed.

While we were on a trip to the Grand Canyon, our son oversaw the installation of red oak floors in the last two unfloored sections of the house: the master suite hallway and the conservatory.

The rustic vanity.
The rustic vanity.

Charlie and I actually worked together to finish the rustic vanity in the conservatory bathroom.

We also made shelves in the conservatory bathroom.
We also made shelves in the conservatory bathroom.

We even built rustic shelves to cover an access alcove behind the shower. We were on a roll.

The conservatory bathroom door was painted "Secret" by Benjamin Moore.
The conservatory bathroom door was painted “Secret” by Benjamin Moore.

My last project of the year was to paint the interior doors grey. (Door 1, Door 2, Doors 3 and 4.) I painted them solo and am very happy with the change.

What’s your number one project planned for 2017?

When in Doubt, Paint It white

One of the pieces of necessary-for-storage furniture in the Cottage is a 2-drawer file cabinet.

The little brown file cabinet no longer goes with the Cottage décor.
The little brown file cabinet no longer goes with the Cottage décor.

I showed my friend my transformation of a similar one that I had refinished.

New paint and new pulls.
New paint and new pulls.

And she transformed hers.

Are you planning any furniture transformations?

Mini Kitchen in the Cottage

The mini-kitchen in Glade Cottage is totally functional.

The Cottage kitchen set-up is behind the living room.
The Cottage kitchen set-up is behind the living room.

My friend and new tenant moved in on October 29th just in time for Halloween.

The Cottage corner that became the Cottage kitchen.
The Cottage corner that became the Cottage kitchen.

We started with open wall space on the back side of the bathroom wall. A drainage pipe had been previously installed a dozen years ago (behind the blue chair above).

The sink and counter in place.
The sink and counter in place.

I already had a mini-fridge for the kitchen.

One cabinet supports the countertop. and sink both from Ikea.
One cabinet supports the countertop. and sink both from Ikea.

First we added an Ikea counter and sink.

some
A microwave and toaster oven are perfect for one-cook-one-diner eating.

Then my friend brought her kitchen cart with a new microwave/convection oven she had been gifted by her sister-in-law.

Upper cabinets over the sink and counter.
Upper cabinets over the sink and counter.

We added upper cabinets.

Base cabinets were custom made from the old cabinet doors from our now demolished kitchen in the house.
Base cabinets were custom made from the old cabinet doors from our now demolished kitchen in the house.

Base cabinets.

Left to right: Dryer, washer, refrigerator, water heater closet.
Left to right: Dryer, washer, refrigerator, water heater closet.

And a larger refrigerator/freezer back in the laundry area.

We tinted the lower cabinet paint at home to coordinate with the upper cabinets.
We tinted the lower cabinet paint at home to coordinate with the upper cabinets.

The tenant carefully primed and painted the lower cabinets.

The small coffee pot is set on a timer to brew early in the morning.
The small coffee pot is set on a timer to brew early in the morning.

After painting the base cabinets, a white enamel towel bar (also from Ikea) is hanging on the side of those cabinets. I also provided a small stainless steel shelf from Ikea that I had hoped to use somewhere.  It’s now a coffee station (over the toaster oven).

A kitchen where there wasn't one.
The final improvement is stainless steel knobs and handles for the cabinet doors.

Notice the induction heater burner near the window.  It works well as a cooktop.

The kitchen is in a space behind the sofa.
The kitchen is in a space behind the sofa.

I’m sure there will be a couple more improvements upcoming. Can you guess?

What’s your “must have” in the kitchen?

Old Knob Spray Paint Project

I have been waiting for a warmish day (above 50 degrees) to spray paint an old doorknob.

The powder room door is also going grey.
The powder room door can be seen from the mudroom.

The end of December and the temperature is 63 degrees — spray paint time.

The old brass knob for the bathroom door is worn beyond repair and not in a charming way.
The old brass knob for the bathroom door is worn beyond repair and not in a charming way.

I stuck the knobs balanced on long screws through cardboard so they would stand up.

I gave the knobs and backplates 2 quick coats of spray paint.
I gave the knobs and backplates 2 quick coats of spray paint.

I took two partial cans of paint outside with me and started spraying. I meant to use “metallic charcoal” but accidentally started with “hammered” paint.

Charcoal Metallic Spray Paint is my favorite go-to color.
Charcoal Metallic Spray Paint is my favorite go-to color.

As soon as I noticed I switched to the metallic charcoal.

The lock on the powder room door is old fashioned and takes both a plate and knob on both sides to complete the latch.
The lock on the powder room door is old fashioned and takes both a plate and knob on both sides to complete the latch.

The powder room door had recently been painted grey (Secret).

The paint almost looks like enamel.
The paint almost looks like enamel.

The hammered texture of the first coat is just visible on the finished knob.

The closet has been removed to allow direct access from the front to the back of the house.
This part of the house has had major changes in the past 3 years the least of which is painting the door.

The charcoal knob looks good with the grey paint.

The powder room, AKA bibliotheque, door is also going grey.
The powder room, AKA bibliotheque, door before the renovation which removed the louvered-door closet and opened a doorway to the back of the house.
This part of the house has had major changes in the past 3 years the least of which is painting the door.
The closet has been removed to allow direct access from the front to the back of the house.

The top photo is the dead-end hallway before the renovation.  The shallow closet is now removed and an opening allows access directly to the mudroom, side door, and kitchen. (See the first photo in this post.)

Early sun gives the knob a burnished appearance.
Early sun gives the knob a burnished appearance.

The newly painted knob in the morning sun.

Do you enjoy looking back over changes?