How To Improve Rental Stairway?

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Q: I just moved into a rented house and the stairs to the upstairs bedroom are kind of a disaster. Not only do the walls have tons of scuffs on them, but the carpet is in bad shape as well. There are a good number of stains, and the edges that meet the wall are fraying. Because this is a rental, I can't rip up the carpet (I really wish I could) and my budget is pretty tight. I know I need to paint the walls and clean the carpet, but is there any kind of edging that I can easily do inexpensively?
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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and son in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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