Before and After: An Under-$120, One-Week Redo Cheers Up This Gloomy 1890s Entryway

published Sep 10, 2022
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Before: Gray carpeted staircase in entryway

Radiators in older homes are a necessary evil but not a necessary ugly. For proof, see these 15 stylish radiator cover ideas, and then add a 16th to your list, Meg Brackpool’s pop of pink.

Meg (@littlebristolterrace) decided to redo the entryway in her 1890s Bristol home because it “was dark and felt quite one-dimensional,” she says. “The walls and staircase carpet were gray, and everything just looked dull.”

Meg wanted something a little more lively and inviting for greeting guests in her home. “With a lack of natural light, we had to be clever about color choice, but we were able to work with the high ceilings and plaster moldings,” she says.

Meg took a week off of work, and in a seven-day project, she removed the old carpeting and “hundreds of staples” from the stairs, filled in holes and cracks, sanded the staircase, caulked the joints, and finally, wielded her paintbrush.

“I always forget how much time and work is involved in prepping for a project like this,” she says. “The actual painting only took a couple of hours.” Meg went with a coral color for the faux stair runner and new radiator cover (Lick’s Red 03) and a refreshing white (Lick’s White 06) for the stair sides and walls. Then, for the trim and spindles on the staircase, she went one shade darker with Greige 02 “to add a bit of depth.”

“I’m head-over-heels in love with the colors we used,” Meg says. “To this day, I’ve not seen another pink staircase, and I think it perfectly adds our personality to a house already bursting with character. Painting the walls an off-white shade has also done wonders in brightening up the space. The limited light filtering through our hallway now bounces off the walls and high ceilings, which really opens up the space.”

Meg is glad she took the risk with such a bold color — and with lifting up the carpet on the stairs in the first place, which led to a total transformation for under £100, or about $116.

“I didn’t truly know what lay underneath the stairway carpet until I lifted it, she says. “Thankfully, the original wooden staircase only required minimal TLC and no major repair … It gave me a real boost, and I now have so much more confidence when starting new projects.”