I smashed the old green ceramic tiles, pulled the stained carpet off the stairs, and painted what felt like miles and miles of honey oak trim. The front door got a coat of yellow paint and the walls got a pale gray. The brass chandelier was replaced with a special order orphan that I found at Lowes on clearance for $35. The hardest part was discovering that underneath the carpet on the stairs, the original treads were bull nosed particle board that couldn't be stained or covered, so they had to come out. All in all it was a long, difficult process (I broke my finger prying up the old treads), but I love the end result and saved hundreds of dollars by doing all the labor myself.
(Images: Katie Steuernagle)