Though I barely dared to hope, it looks like my little stained stair runner dream may come true after all! Thanks to Ez for all his hard work and de-leading efforts, the stairs are looking surprisingly not terrible. So I'm doing a major happy dance while trying not to fall to my death since there's no railing up here.

There are a few spots of paint still left that will need to be scraped, then all the stairs need sanding since the PEEL-Away lead paint remover raised the wood grain in several spots. This is probably the ugliest corner of the house right now. I am really excited to think about it looking decent at some point, which, if I'm thinking from your perspective, might be hard to imagine.

However, actually finishing the stairs may be some distance down the pike. (I know. Talk about anticlimactic... Nothing like Daniel's awesome kitchen that he finished in 10 weeks!) We're at a point now where refinancing is finally within sight. We want to get out of our 30-year loan and into a 15-year while the rates are still decently low. While (alas) you don't need an aesthetically pleasing painted stair runner in order to refi, you do need drywall, bathroom floor tile, railings and gutters. Essentials before details! (How many times have I repeated that to myself in the past 5 years?)

Our goal is to get this all done by October. Of this year. 

Ambitious, yes. Are we crazy? Certainly. Is it doable? We're sure gonna try. 

We plan to hire help for the bigger jobs, but in the meantime Ez is knocking out a list of smaller (and less "exciting") projects to get everything ready for these bigger jobs. You can help by praying that everything goes smoothly, quickly and affordably. (And also with minimal dust, but... hahaha.) 

Of course, I'll keep you posted along the way. 

And, just because I don't want to leave you with a post full of raw wood and ugliness, here are some pretty things that caught my eye lately:

Love this black, white and wood kitchen. Via

I'm naturally always curious about log cabin kitchens, and this one has
unexpected teal (my favorite color) cabinets. Via photographer Helen Norman

The minimalist in me is getting the warm fuzzies from this kitchen.
But only enough to be absolutely necessary. Via


  1. Oh, that last kitchen is just plain dreamy. I want to be a minimalist, or at least play one on the blog.

    So exciting about those stairs! Stairs are painful to strip, but the impact is amazing. Can't wait to see how they turn out!

    1. Minimalism would definitely be a change of pace for you, Ms. "More is More"!

  2. I love the images you pinned. So excited to see what you end up with!

    As for refinancing...email me when you're ready, I'll put you in touch with a lender I use and have my program discounts applied. Saves you thousands on closing costs.

    1. Ooo -- intriguing for sure! I will definitely email you when the time comes. Thanks!!!!!!


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