Open Up a Staircase and Create a Fabulous Mudroom

Welcome to the 201st Metamorphosis Monday!  Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Recently, I was chatting via email with  Maggie from the blog, Crunchy Diva.  Maggie’s been hard at work renovating her home and you’re going to love her amazing staircase makeover and mudroom addition!   Here’s Maggie to take you through this beautiful “Before and After.”

Hi folks! I’m Maggie from Crunchy Diva and I’m here to hang out with you today while Susan wraps up her holiday weekend. I’ve been blogging for a bit over two months and am thrilled that Susan suggested that I write a guest post about my staircase makeover!

We’ve been renovating our house for a long time and are finally in the very last stages now but boy it has been a LONG haul. Each project had its own joys and traumas, but every step has given us the opportunity to make our home a little more lovely, a little more homey and a little more us.

We bought the house because it sits on the best little spot of land with fantastic gardens and lots of privacy. The house was fine and functional, but lacked umph and ahh. We wanted umph and ahh. There was only one part of the house that truly drove me nuts: the staircase.

Here’s what it looked like:

1 Staircase Before Renovation

Din-gee! And that handrail – are you kidding me? That isn’t style – that is just sad.

I wanted a staircase that I could wrap in greens at Christmas. I wanted stairs that were open enough for my cats to reach out and grab me as I walked by. I wanted to be able to lean over the handrail and yell for my kids to come to dinner. I wanted a romantic staircase.

But what I had was a glorified laundry chute.

For a while I lived with it. I even used the stair wall behind that lovely handrail to create a funky bookcase display in the dining room -turned entry room:

Bookcase in Dining Room
That worked for a while – I’d walk past my pretty things but then I’d turn the corner and BANG! There was that nasty old staircase again. When I worked in architecture I created beautiful spaces for other people all the time – now it was my turn. So we decided that we’d fix the stairs during the “Let’s-turn-the-dining room-into-a-mudroom-and-bathroom” phase and boy are we glad we did.

The night before demo started I took down the shelves. Here’s the wall without the shelves – this is looking thru the dining room from the kitchen doorway:

And the next morning the hacking began:


I love a good day of demo.
By the way, if you were to look to the left in this picture, you’d see the new mudroom progress:

I had to fuss with a lot of drawings to get the handrails right and how to modify stock newel posts to get the look I wanted but it all worked out just fine. And the icing on the cake was doing the faux board-and-batten look that I learned how to do at Centsational Girl.

Board and Batten Wall Treatment

Doesn’t that look snappy?

Here’s the before – just to remind you of how un-fantastic it was:

And remember the shameful handrail shot?

And here is what it looks like now:

Staircase Renovation

And here’s the look through to the mudroom:

Here’s what that same view looked like before:
(See those cats?  They just can’t wait for their new attack-stair!)

We ended up painting the stairs and handrails with Behr’s Porch and Floor paint in Bitter Chocolate. We only painted the edges of the treads because we planned to install a nice Dash and Albert runner. The guy who was helping us paint was a real joker and left us this message after a day of painting fun. (Chuckle, chuckle)

Here’s the runner we used. I’ll be posting in December about the ups and downs of having cotton rug runners with three dogs, three cats and two teenagers. (Sorry for the blurry picture – I was taking it with my iPad and trying to snap a pet-free image before the dogs and cats got into the frame.)


And here are the plans I drew to keep us on the right track.

Here is the before:

And here it is after:

I hope you enjoyed that peek into my fun project – I’d love to have you all come over to help me wrap the banister in greens, call my kids down for supper and dodge the cats secret attacks from between the railings! I’m delighted with the outcome.

Now it is off to other parts of the house. The fun never ends! We just finished off the NEW dining room – more details on that coming soon to Crunchy Diva.  Stop by and we’ll chat some more!

Thanks for stopping in to say hello and thanks to Susan for inviting me as a guest into her beautiful blog space.

Maggie, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful Before and After!  I would so love to knock down the wall on the other side of my staircase.  Definitely saving your pics as inspiration.  Just beautiful!

Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday you will need to link up the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other party participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from YOUR readers.

Please only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, DIY related.
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Welcome! Thanks for coming to the party!

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  1. What a great makeover! Thanks so much for hosting! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  2. That truly is a fantastic renovation! I love everything Maggie has done! The new staircase is beautiful! Thanks for hosting Susan!

  3. Thanks for hosting…the staircase is AMAZING! XO, Aimee

  4. Big Wow! That is fabulous! I love the stair makeover and the wall trim. That was quite a vision and you pulled it off beautifully!

  5. Your new stairway is just gorgeous, I love it! Thank you for hosting and have a wonderful week! Hugs, Penny

  6. Thank you so much for hosting Susan!

  7. What a beautiful transformation!! Thanks so much for hosting Susan!

  8. Thanks for welcoming me as your guest blogger today. I had fun writing the piece and am so honored to be featured on Between Naps on the Porch! xo – Maggie

  9. Amazing make-over! Thanks for sharing and for hosting!…hugs…Debbie

  10. Thanks so much for hosting! I love the transformation. What a great use of the space as dining rooms don’t usually get used that often in my world. Have a great week.

  11. Debbie refreshrestyle says

    I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
    Thanks for hosting,

  12. What a beautiful transformation!!! Thanks so much for hosting again this week, Laura

  13. Oh boy, it’s so exciting to see all the Christmas posts! Can’t wait to go visiting. Thanks so much for hosting, Susan.

  14. Great renovation – thanks for sharing it with us.
    Susan – Thanks for hosting again this week – You are appreciated.
    Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

  15. So glad I am joining your fun party Susan after being away for months! Bringing some past Christmas inspiration today as I am getting the house ready for this Christmas as I type and hopefully will get some new inspiration ideas out there soon.

    Love your friend’s stairway transformation- the mudroom idea is such a great one and one that I would love to somehow love to figure out how to incorporate in my home with Colorado snowy winters (though not so much this year yet!)

    bee blessed

  16. Fantastic reno – love the runner!

  17. Beautiful transformation!…Christine

  18. Hi…I love the redo!!! Was wondering what paint color is above the wainscoting? THANKS…

  19. What an amazing staircase and a beautiful runner, too! Thanks, as always, for hosting!

  20. I am definitely going to check out this blog. Great use of the space. My house is set up much the same way, and the DR is too small to be very useful.

  21. Maggie, you did a fantastic job! The demo is my favorite part because then I know the project is finally going to happen! What a wonderful staircase for hanging your Christmas garland. Enjoy!

  22. What a fantastic renovation. I love it. I also love renovating, but that is past for us now. The board and batten looks stunning. Maggie, I see you left space for the most important room in the house..”the china closet”!! 🙂 The runner finishes everything off nicely.
    One of the things I miss at Christmas from my previous house, was the two flight open staircase. I had such fun decorating it and I know you will enjoy doing the same.
    Susan, thank you for today’s makeover.

  23. wow! great renovation. It really changed the feel

  24. Hi Susan: Wow, what a transformation to that entryway and mudroom–beautiful. And the cats add to the gorgeousness as well:) Thank you for hosting today, and I hope that your upcoming week is filled with fun and unexpected delights.

  25. wowser,now that’s a great makeover

  26. I just added my Drop Cloth curtains to the “correct” party. I mistaking linked it on your Tabletop party. Can I blame it on old age?

  27. Oops, I forgot to say thanks for hosting such a great party – can I blame it on age twice?

  28. merle turner says

    Great improvement.

  29. Why did they ever build stairs the old way anyway? You did a fabulous job!!!

  30. Thanks for hosting! Wishing you a beautiful week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  31. Thank you for hosting a wonderful party Susan! And, sharing Maggie reno, amazing 🙂

    xoxo, Tanya

  32. Beautiful and well excuted transformation Maggie! Am contemplating renovations myself that consist of hardwood flooring throughout the main level. As it is a split I have two adjacent five foot ‘wide’ staircases that would be too costly to change so was thinking about painting them out and adding a runner; similar to what you did. My reno-man is telling me it won’t work but after seeing yours I am more convinced it will. So thank you! -Brenda-
    P.S: Love your wide-plank hardwood flooring and the faux board ‘n batten architectural element.

  33. Wow! What a difference. It’s beautiful. Funnily enough, your ‘after’ staircase resembles my main staircase. You did a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure you’re enjoying it!

  34. Tiara Ders says

    Hi there! Wow what a transformation!! Was either part of your stair wall that you removed structural? We’re trying to do the same thing but unfortunately half of it is a structural wall.

  35. Andover Property says

    Old thread but still helpful. Currently the wheels are spinning trying to figure out how to open our staircase. It has one wall and the other side is open. I have seen people open the one side and do a closed railing but I want to match the other side which is open railing. A little more difficult.

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