In the first phase of our renovation, it felt liked there was a lot connected. The dining room led us to tackle a balcony which led to new windows and doors and doorways which led to floors which led to addressing our stair railings–that were NOT my favorite. But the truth of the matter was, we were already MAXED out on our budget, and we couldn’t afford to add on all new railings.
We talked about postponing new flooring on the stairs and upper landing until we could save up some more money, but the more I looked at what we had, the more I could pinpoint what it was that I didn’t love.
But I realized, the shape of the newel post and railing wasn’t all that bad. Could we simply replace the spindles? We took the question to our contractor and were met with a little bit of a hesitation. “We’d have to wood fill every hole on the underside of the railing and sand that down. It would be easier just to get a new railing.” But once I expressed that I’d really love to save this railing (and our budget) and just paint it black, even if it meant filling holes–we got them on board. Here’s how it looks now!
It has made such a night and day difference and I am SO SO happy we were able to reuse parts of the railing–only getting new spindles–which still cost us about $1600 for the custom spindles, install and paint. I looked at SO much inspiration (and shared a bunch in this post) and narrowed it down to a simple wood tapered spindle. I wanted it to be fresh but classic, so we had it all painted the same color–Top Hat Black by Sherwin Williams in their Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel. Warning: It’s smelly! (We left the house for a day and a half while they were painting this.) But I love the high gloss, rock hard finish.
Below is the back staircase which has a much shorter railing that we also refreshed with new spindles and fresh paint.
Although our spindles were custom, I’ve searched “wood tapered spindles” online since and found a plethora of options at really good prices. We only wanted 2 spindles max per stair which required a very specific measurement to ensure that it still met code–so we had a local wood worker make the spindles to all the same height and then the installer actually trimmed from the bottom during install so the angle of the taper was consistent going up the stairs.
We nixed the individual trimmed out stairs for a slick white stringer (the molding going up the rise of the stairs). I really wanted the white risers to look like they were wrapping around seamlessly and I’m so happy with how it turned out and the combination of white, wood, glossy black and our beige baseboards. I’m dying to update the lighting in the stairwells and entry. We’ll be replacing all the wood doors in the coming months, too. I was just going to paint the ones we had but I have gotten so many inquiries about them, I’d rather sell them to someone who will LOVE them for what they are and get new ones–probably painted the same color as the trim.
This black (Top Hat Black by Sherwin Williams) is a wonderful true black. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a way to modernize your own stair railings. (Another bonus–we were able to pass on the balusters to another family that really wanted them!)
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
Over the weekend Brooke (our social media manager) and I went to the Parade of Homes in the Raleigh area and it was so fun to get a feel of how other people in our new area are living and living large! The purpose of the parade is so that home builders and designers can […]
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