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Monday, January 3, 2011

Stairway to...heaven? NOT!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year celebration!
Up the stairs...
I thought I would start the new year off with the part of my house that is NEW to you...the second level of the hut...

This charming and and..uhhh...vintage... the Master Bedroom..this is what it looked like the day I got the house....the water damage was extensive..BUT!  to my utter glee...that rain had literally washed off a lot of the BLUE PAPER! YAAAAY!  We all....from previous rants....know exactly how Lisa feels about all of the blue paper in this house...stuck on with something akin to hide glue...that scrapes off..but only scrapes off in little, bitty pieces....but then becomes attached to whatever it falls on...including your hair....and the bottom of your shoe...and you find it in everything...even your soup...and you find it days later too....even when you double checked to make sure you got it all...even when you went over the walls and the floor with Super Clean and a scraper... was worse...and you all  know that this was a very traumatic experience for was worse than picking white paint....that BLUE PAPER almost cost me hundreds of dollars in therapy...

Door from Master bedroom into 2nd bedroom

And this? is the other bedroom...I looks like something out of a Scary Potter Movie....and it was...along with the bedding, clothes, garbage and other debris? There were six...yep...six....full to the top...overflowing...petrified...duh...duh...DUM!   Cat boxes...
of all the things I cleaned in this house, these rooms made me the most sad...their were children in here...with all that filth...their toys and clothes and crayons were everywhere...anyways...the beds up here were so soaked with urine and cat feces we dressed in plastic rain gear to get them down the stairs...
I can soooo hear the collective...EWWWWWW! Coming from all of you...hee hee!

I put this pic in here so you could see how dark it was up there

old linoleum

and how light it was after curtain removal

yes, those are cat turds...


This second bedroom...was my treasure room for a long time...I spent an entire weekend reading the walls in this room...underneath all the wall paper...perfectly preserved... were hundreds and hundreds of newspaper articles from 1919...they were incredible and lot's of them were in Finnish and Norwegian...there were also 1950's newspapers under the, I hear a lot of expressions relating to the "good ole days"...well, I don't think the papers today? can come close to the grisly, murderous, daily goings on of the year 1919 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan... from what I could tell...people were beating the tar outta each other, their wives, children and neighbors...daily! but the agricultural news held vast information about what a large farming community this was and after reading for awhile... I completely understand where Michigan's right to farm laws came from and why they are so perfectly preserved and stringent today! and I am so very pleased that they are! 
After yanking down the curtains and washing the walls and floors of these rooms, we installed a bed in the treasure room...the weekend we were supposed to "camp" here...(and I refused to leave, a bed...a toilet? what else do you need? lol!) there was so much light as the Master bedroom window faces East and the little bedroom window faces West...the morning sun streams thru both rooms and then again in the afternoon, it is all lit up...It is one of my most favorite features of this house! It was built to capture every spec of available light from every direction...well, as long as you don't have a kook covering up every inch of glass with sheets, towels and ugly curtains! oh...and should prolly wash the grime off too...;)

One day I was rearranging treasures and I started seriously looking around at these two rooms...hmmmm....they would make an incredible Master Suite with a little rearranging...and since I do not plan on moving for a very long time...and there is only the two of us...why not make one large room? and the closets? wow...they ran the entire length of the house with little, tiny doors to access them...the one at the top of the stairs was the worst! you had to bend over at the top of the stairs to actually get in the Honey is 6ft 4inches tall...a chiropractor would seriously be in his future...the closets were lined with mildewed cardboard that kept the blown in insulation in tact...they were nasty! and I was NOT sticking anything I owned in them anyways! 

Top of the stairs where the closet used to be...

I went and got a hammer and crow bar and started prying the boards off...I finally got  all the boards off...ripped off that nasty cardboard and stuffed every inch of that insulation down into the living room wall with a broom...called my Muffin and asked him to pick up a large roll of insulation and re insulated the wall...I cleaned out 9 bees nests and 50,000 came the wall at the top of the stairs that separated the staircase from the little bedroom...

This is how many nails were in those boards...
the only place I couldn't reach that danged paper! I did end up screwing a 2x4 to the wall in the stairway and laying  a plank from the floor to the 2x4 to use as Honey was not happy about my doing this..he was convinced that I would succumb to death... by stairwell....but hey! not everyone has the advantage of having legs as long as a giraffe! AND I got ALL the paper! When this wall came down the light down the stairs and into the kitchen was amazing!
This looks alot like my upstairs!
There were quite a few treasures amassed from up here...the closets were stuffed full of hunting gear, old dishes, antique snow shoes...a tiger eye maple dresser with the mirror and the keys to the drawers!

When I get to paint the upstairs I am going to paint it the same color as the kitchen and living dilemma is this: What do I do with the stairs? I tried to get the paint off but is so thick and stuck in the grain...I am afraid I will have to sand off half the tread to get it off...soooooo...

What do you think of these?
I just loved the painted stair sweet school teacher friend has thousands of stencils I could use...and the paint would tie my kitchen in with the stairs...Any suggestions?


  1. I'm so happy. Now I can finally see what's up those stairs! I really am partial to your example picture with the blue walls. I think painting the stairs will really look good. The picture with the numbers on the stairs reminds me of having toddlers. I still, to this day, count stairs as I am going up.
    I look at the old pictures and marvel how you could see any promise behind the filth. You make me feel lazy.....well I am sorta lazy.
    I can't wait to read what the others suggest for the stairs

  2. Hi Lisa,
    I too am amazed at how you can see beyond all the yuck and cat turds and envision such beauty. (I'm never going to whine about cleaning my cat's box again.)
    I vote for the stairs with the red treads and the white risers. It just looks "happy".
    Hope Santa brought you that palm sander and your new years celebration was spent getting some rest.
    Stay warm,

  3. OH YOU GIRLS! YOU just make me so happy! Donna? just you wait til I show everyone your house! YOU could never be lazy! I love that blue walled picture because it looks so like my upstairs but with color!
    Vanessa! that is the one I would pick too! I don't want to go overboard with the red but red just makes me feel good and you are soooo right! it does look happy!
    Santa did bring me a sander! lol! now I can finish the cabinet too! and put in that toile paper on the back! I will take more pictures of what it is now...I just have to get the rest of the wall over the's only been like that for six months now...and you feel lazy Donna? Hee hee!

  4. I love the idea of a painted runner. My stairs have dark stained treads with white risers, but I wanted to do something to them... so I stenciled nautical stars on the risers to break them up a little bit.

    I actually sort of wanted to put a real carpet runner on my stairs because we've both slipped down at least once since moving in, but now I can't bear to cover my stars. :)

    I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  5. I am soo glad you posted about stairs. I am in a dilema with mine, too. And I see that we have been on alot of the same websites. I vote for the painted red runner with the black strip down both sides.(pic 1) I would love to do that to mine, but I need something with padding as my youngest must have her weekly "I'm in a hurry...fall down the stairs moment." I am amazed at your foresight and industriousness. I am not that talented as to imagine the possibilities of a space like that. I cannot wait to see the master bedroom suite when you are done. And I must admit that I am a little jealous of all your treasure hunting in your own home!! Keep us posted!!

  6. I just watched an episode of "Sarah's House" on HGTV. She's renovating an old farmhouse & featured a stairway off the kitchen.

    The final effect is that of a rug runner, only it's all done with paint.

    She painted about a foot wide pathway all the way up the stairs, including the tread & kick-area (I know, I'm getting the vernacular wrong)so that it appears to be a ochre runner. Out from that, she taped off another 2" or so & painted that white, then another inch that she painted a deep coral hue, then the remaining part of the step, et all, white.

    So the pattern of the 'painted rug' reads approx. 4" White, 1"coral, 1.5" white, 12" wide ochre,1.5" white, 1" coral, 4" white

    She then put funky numbers on the face of the steps, each one being different. I'm not crazy about that part but the painted effect is stunning! Looks just like a rug but won't need to be dry-cleaned or washed. If it gets scuffed, just repaint that area.

    I may copy the idea on my stairway to the attic.

  7. Hi Ellen! I tried to look up that episode! I will have to wait to view it cuz its so new I guess but will definitely look it up, cant wait to see it!


I love your comments and insights!