I was doing my daily review of Facebook this morning and had to smile when I saw this post by Deborah Baldwin of This Old House on using “Paint to Create Upbeat Stair Risers”. The article shows how interior designer Erin Paige Pitts used this technique to add interest and whimsy to a home entryway. (Then check out how my stairs turned out when I couldn’t decide between gray and white.)
Raise your stairs’ profile with a five-color palette of related hues
A stairway naturally sets the tone inside the entry of a house. Open the front door at this waterside guest cottage and you glimpse painted stair risers that strike a note as zingy as the keys on a kids’ xylophone. Saturated blues, from deep marine to Caribbean turquoise, are interspersed with cool gray and set off by lots of clean white, giving them a sophisticated edge.
Photo: Geoffrey Hodgdon
(Tip: Scatter colors in a seemingly random pattern to add a little extra punch.)
During a cottage-inspired redo of the little house, which is a converted garage, interior designer Erin Paige Pitts painted the upstairs floor white and connected it to the foyer by painting the stairwell white too. She drew colors for the risers from adjacent rooms. “I like to start out with a palette and let it flow throughout the interior, but without repeating the colors exactly,” Pitts says. After playing with large-size color samples at her desk, she chose five shades that were “vibrant but not too bright” and carefully worked out a pattern. Something similar could be done with any color scheme, from warm autumnal tones to icy pastels.
What about scuff marks on all that latex semigloss? “Invest in Magic Erasers,” she says with a laugh, referring to those miraculous Mr. Clean sponges. “And tell the kids to leave their shoes by the door.”
Our home was built in 1743. When we put on a garage addition with finished room above, I could not decide what color to paint the risers. I primed them all white then decided I would go with gray to tie in the trim color of the eating area and kitchen below. I started with the bottom riser and then went to the top riser to make sure I had the right color for the different lighting under the window at the top. Anyone who knows me, knows I like classic styles with a little funk. When I saw the gray with the white, I just went with it. My indecision on whether to go gray or white turned into my ultimate decision, at least at the time… now I am thinking I could add a few more hues 🙂 (Don’t be afraid to try it yourself … it’s only paint and easily changed!!)
Jen McMorran, Realtor