Well, I'm doing it again. I have big plans in store for the staircase next year -- I've been wanting to do go dramatic with the wall treatment and with the paint color for some time now. I know I've said it a million times but I'm obsessed with contrast. I love light and bright spaces but the contrast between dark blue, gray or black and white trim makes me swoon.
So I've had this idea in mind for the stairs for some time and I decided to test it out with a smaller wall first -- our photo wall. The only reason I haven't done this yet is because I didn't think I'd be able to reach all the way up on the wall to paint -- it goes way up there (there are more frames you can't even see from this angle):
Well I just said screw it and went for it. It took some interesting methods but by painting from the top and the bottom I got it done!
These stairs have undergone quite a few projects but one thing has stayed throughout -- those frames. :) They are floating frames from Michael's. The photo sits in the middle and lets the wall color come through as the "mat" -- I've filled them with pictures of the kids and our grand baby (my stepdaughter's son) through the years. It is my FAVORITE wall in our house and I love that it's a focal point when you walk in.
But I was craving a bit-o drama, so paint it I did. I tackled this late one night so used paint we already had -- it's a very dark gray called Graphite (Benjamin Moore that I have mixed in Sherwin Williams) that I use on our interior doors. I was nervous, not gonna lie. But I knew after the first coat I was going to LOVE it:
JUST what I was hoping for! I planned to spray the frames white and put them back up but I got lazy and just tried them out in their original black and loved them, so for now those will stay as is.
I grabbed a wood mirror from the guest room to add some warmth (wood tones and dark colors are a favorite of mine too) and it turned out even better than I had hoped!:
Dark accents like this aren't for everyone, but if you love contrast as much as I do I encourage you to go for it!
This wall will be even more cohesive when I finish the walls in the staircase, but it already ties in so well with the black doors in our house:
I get a little ahead of myself sometimes -- sometimes I do that just to get motivated to keep going. I did that again by removing the wood squares I've had on the wall:
In the meantime I'll patch and paint over where the wood was so at least it will look decent.
I've always felt like they were busy with the photo wall anyway, so I was glad to see them go. It was a little bittersweet though -- these squares were one of my very first DIY projects in our house. I think they've been up for 11 years now! If you got up close they were NOT good, but I left them up over the years because they were symbolic to me in a way. :)
Here's what they looked like before:
I always dress our stairs for the holidays and the IKEA lanterns add the perfect pop of color:
Does anyone know if they still carry these? I need one more and of course I was just there a couple weeks ago. I don't remember seeing them but I wasn't looking.
They are so sweet -- the little stars etched into the sides throw the design on the wall, and the star cut outs on the top do the same at night:
I don't follow any decorating rules but there is one tip I say works beautifully -- add some black to your rooms. Especially in really light rooms, black grounds the space and makes for a nice focal point. It can be as simple as a black legs on a chair or something bigger like a wall. I find every time I do it I love it.
Have you gone dramatic on a wall? I did it in our bedroom as well and still love it. We get good natural light in this room so it works -- keep that in mind if you try this out in your house. I love contrast but a dark wall can feel heavy in an already dim room.
To see how much these stairs have changed over the years, check out these posts. Ripping the carpet off of them was one of my best decisions ever!