My Stairway Got Hit With The Ugly Stick!

My house has two sets of stairs. One is quite nice looking and is in the front entry. The stair treads are wood and there’s a chandelier, and blah, blah, blah.

The only picture I could find was a Christmas one. Sorry!

You can even see my old white blinds in the family room in the picture above. Anyway, I don’t use the front stairs very often. And that’s because we share our house with two giant, furry beasts. And I don’t want their big paws with sharp nails going up and down those wood stairs. This guy in particular can be a real problem:

Mr. Darcy likes to be wherever the action is.

He pretty much follows me around all day. And even though I don’t use those stairs, he has started to at least once a day. Whenever I talk to him about it, I imagine him thinking, Whatever lady! I’m older than you! I can do what I want!

I use this stairway, off of the kitchen:

The window and one of the light fixtures in the back stairway. A definite case of the uglies!

We have been looking at those ugly window treatments and those ick light fixtures for a year and a half. This weekend we finally did something about it! Here is an in progress photo:

New light fixture up, old window treatments down, old holes filled and painted!

Here’s another photo, so you can see how brave the husband was to change a light fixture in a stairwell:

The husband was less than enthused about this chore. 🙂

If you would like to know just annoyed the husband was about changing the lights out, read this.

Here is the after:

Done! This makes me so happy!

And here’s what it looks like with the blind down:

We did get the privacy liner - blocks 40% of light

So that was our mini-facelift of the stairway. You can see that window on the landing from the kitchen. So, that’s probably one of the reasons it bothered me so much. Here is the cost breakdown of our project:

quart of paint: $9.26
foam brush: $.57
new cordless drill: $49.97
2 light fixtures @ $19.97 ea.: $39.94
woven wood blind w/ privacy liner: $196.95
Total: $296.69

I need to point out here, that because of generous gift cards from my father (Christmas & birthday), we were only out of pocket $42.00. Thanks Dad! And if we had forgone the privacy liner, we would not have been out of pocket at all. This project could of course be done even cheaper by using the woven wood blinds you find at discount and home improvement stores. I chose to order mine from because I knew they had a color which closely matched the cabinets in my kitchen. There is cabinetry in the same sight line as the blind from the kitchen. Also, I chose to order one big blind to cover two windows and to cheat it up towards the ceiling to make it look bigger. That is the one characteristic of the old window treatments that I did like.

I know it’s not the most glamorous change, but I really hated those valances and brass lights. This is so much better. And I appreciate not having my senses assaulted 20 times a day as I go up and down the stairs!

It’s Monday! That means I’m linking this post to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch. Check it out!

18 responses to this post.

  1. Looks great! It would definitely put a smile on my face to walk past those new blinds.


  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Although it’s probably the same amount of light, your transformation seems brighter. Maybe it was the removal of the circa 1992 valance?


    • I think you are right. It definitely seems brighter. The really sad part is that according to our info. the house was built in 1995. How sad is it that she had it custom decorated like it was years earlier? Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Nichole, this looks great! Congratulations. You are SO lucky to have a husband who’s handy (albeit complainy). So much money saved! Thanks for your comment today – I love hearing from you.


  4. What a nice change!


  5. What a wonderful difference! It turned out great.


  6. That new shade looks really nice. Congratulations to you and your brave, death-deifying husband. 🙂
    I like those large pictures that you have hung near both your stairs. Are they photos that you took?


    • I wish! My photog skills are sadly lacking. The painting in the front entry is by a Nebraska artist names Anne Burkholder. You can see more of her work here: We are both from Lincoln and wanted to have pictures of the prairie. Anne is a really neat person and she runs a Studio / Gallery space in the historic haymarket district in Lincoln, NE. It houses studio and display space for all kinds of artists including photographers and potters. It’s called The Burkholder Project. The picture at the top of the stairs is an Albert Bierstadt print. I wish it were an original, but I think that’s about as possible as world peace. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. I hope the house showing is going well.


  7. I’m a big fan of the match-stick blinds – great change!
    Thanks for dropping by DesignTies and commenting on my yard transformation. We’re definitely proud of the work we’ve done!! Your Mr. Darcy is very much like my Simon was – they looked similar AND Simon follow us where ever we went. He filled our lives with 12 good well-loved (his love for us & our love for him) years… we miss him a whole lot!!


  8. Thanks for visiting my place and for pointing me to the blue ceiling of Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva . Wow.

    Our designer friend insists on art in stairways. He’s right.


  9. I think the right window treatment can make a big difference, as yours has. Enjoy it! And thanks for stopping by. Jane F.


  10. I think it looks great, and the budget ain’t so bad either!


  11. Posted by thedomesticfringe on May 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Looks great! I really love those wood blinds. Thanks for visiting The Domestic Fringe today…hope you come back soon!


  12. Ooh, I love the new blinds! And I’m impressed with your husband, I doubt I’d have been brave enough to change the light fixture on those stairs.


  13. Nichole,

    The transformation is fantastic. Thank you for sharing such great photos with your readers. Woven wood shades like the one you chose is very much in style; it will look great for years to come. Nicely done!

    Best regards,
    Esther Steinfeld
    PR Manager,


  14. Just dropping by to invite you over to DesignTies because we’re having a Mother’s Day Giveaway!!


  15. Nicely done! It’s amazing the impact a small change can have. Especially if it’s something you have to look at every day.


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