Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A sisal stair runner story

When we moved into our home the main stairs in our home were a huge selling feature and a huge source of grief. I did NOT love the oak hand railing and the massive amounts of oak throughout the house. We have since banished the hand railings with lots and lots of white paint and hand cramps.  

The original stair runner was yucky. I realize that makes me sound like a second grader but it was so yucky like kooties. And they were not wiping off. We changed the runner to a cheapo striped style from Home Depot because it was a new house for us and we had bigger fish to fry at the time. The tails in our home, specifically Oliver and Sammy [the cats] love to use our staircase as the Nascar sprint qualifying. At approximately 9pm each night like clockwork for 45 minutes it sounds like it is thundering outside because they are hammering each other up and down the stairs. Needless to say, the cheapo striped runner did not exceed expectations.


I began the hunt for a new stair runner. I went to all the carpet and flooring places in our area, inquiring about a jute/sisal stair runner and had every MAN in those stores tell me I could not put jute or sisal on stairs.

Are you freaking kidding me?


Evidently, I do not live in the home decor conscious community. Has no one picked up a House & Home magazine, read a blog, heard of Pinterest? I even brought photos on my phone, only to have heads shake at me.

"We have some great looking traditional broadlooms or neutral floral designs"

I think I left a few of the stores without saying anything.
If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all, because once you get me going about how much I don't appreciate you for suggesting neutral florals to me.............  
Back to the drawing board.
I found a company Natural Area Rugs via Pinterest that made custom stair runners out of sisal, jute etc. to your specifications and bonus not too expensive so my cats will be able to eat for the month.


I ordered the studio sisal with neutral border and it was made and shipped in record time. I love how it looks installed and it has so far been awesome with cat and dog toenails. I purposely waited about a month in case it self-combusted before I said yeah it's great and then had to deal with rug hate mail.
The only thing I could say negative is the natural border is a little tan-ner in person than beige natural as I expected. In our home that is fine but, just in case you are going the same route and tan is not on your radar.
This concludes my rambling stair runner story and it is a happy ending so far.
I hope you have carpet stores in your area that make your dreams come true and in case they don't this may be a good option for you.
There is a man on American Pickers right not saying o'er yonder and it is making the rest of this night very happy.
I junk in person and on tv.
Have a great night,
Meg 


ps- This is not a sponsored post for Natural Area Rugs just an honest opinion of my crazy rug shopping experience.

Joining
Stone Gable
French Country Cottage
Liz Marie 

 

53 comments :

  1. It looks great, Meg! Glad you were able to find what you were looking for.

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  2. I found your post through Hometalk and posted there too. I have had the same experience here! We need to replace our runner and I want to do seagrass or another natural fiber rug. Every carpet store I have gone into has looked at me like I'm crazy and steered me towards "traditional" materials. I'll have to check out Natural Area Rugs. Thanks for posting! -Holly

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  3. your staircase looks gorgeous Meg....please come to Wa and re-do mine...lol

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  4. Came over from Stone Gable! This is a project on my 2013 list so your tip is super helpful!!! I was thinking I may have to just get a couple of runners and make them work but I'm going to check out your source. Thanks bunches!
    Robin
    All Things Heart and Home

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  5. Wow! Glad you finally found the sisal runner you were looking for. Our editor Suzanne Dimma recently did a short segment for our Online TV show on staircase runners, too http://houseandhome.com/tv/segment/suzanne-dimma-staircase-runners

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    1. thanks Seema, i actually watched the episode on my iphone this week at the gym.

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  6. I love the runner and it looks fabulous on the stairs. I am a new follower.
    xx, Sherry

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  7. Your natural runner looks fabulous on your stairs. Can you tell me what company you got the rug. I am looking for one for my main stairs too. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Yvonne! The rug came from naturalarearugs.com. I purchased the studio with natural border.

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  8. This is just what I have been looking for! I have wanted to rip the nasty crpet off of our basement stairs for months now, but hesitated becuase I wasn't able to find a runner I was happy with. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. This is beautiful! I love it. We just moved to this home in Oct. and for a month I debated whether or not to do a runner at all. I loved the look of the wood. But I finally did the runner with a KINDA shaggy carpet. I love it but I am afraid of how long it will last and look nice. I have runners in my hallways in sisal with black borders. I LOVE them but the only negative is that they are NOT soft and comfy in bare feet. I will save this for future reference. Thanks!!! XO, Pinky

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  10. Is there a pst about this entire space??? Would love to know some details on the chest, what is on it, the FAbulous PIECE ON THE STAIRWAY WALL ETC!!!

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  11. You should just let the professionals do their job, because they are the people who really know how to install a runner on stairs.
    thanks
    http://www.maplecarpetcare.com/

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    1. And you should learn to say nothing if you have nothing nice to say as the comment header stated.
      Thank you

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  12. This looks fabulous!! Did you install yourself? If so, how difficult was it? This is exactly what I am looking for!!

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  13. How did you measure the stairs to know the exact size of your custom runner? Also did you install it or have professionals? Love it!

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    1. hi melissa. i measured it the only way i knew with a flexible tape measure (like the sewing kind) down each riser and across the bull nose. i matched the previous width. we installed it ourselves with an air stapler. you may end up with a little excess at the bottom of your stairs but we never notice the extra 1/2 inch at the bottom especially with the savings we had. thanks for visiting.

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  14. Hi Meg!
    I have a sisal runner up my stairs and I absolutely love it --- but even more, my two dogs -- a lab and a Golden appreciate it even more, giving them just the right traction to get up and down without issue. I too had the carpet store questioning me... you mean you WANT us to GLUE it to your floor?? Because that's the only way they could install it -- and I said INDEED.

    It never shows dirt. It is such a warm neutral and aside from the initial stinky rubber backing smell that soon fades ---- I LOVE it and will do it all again, if the need should ever arise!

    Love your post and your sense of humor~!

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  15. Hi Meg,
    I am about to order the same runner from Natural Area Rugs (but with a black border) and I stumbled upon your blog. I was wondering if you can comment about the wear and tear on the runner now that it has been in your house for a while. Also, I read in one blog that sisal runners can be slippery on stairs, have you found that? Thank you so much!

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    1. hi caley
      i would have totally done the black border now that i have had it and thought about it more lol. the wear and tear has been great. there is no wear and tear. even with our cats running up and down, dog running.
      this runner has a rubber backing on it so no slippery either. good luck

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    2. Thanks for the fast reply! I have two cats and a dog so this seems like the best budget friendly, attractive, DIY option!

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  16. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!! We bought a new to us farmhouse, and I have been searching for 18 months for a non-hideous, natural fiber stair runner and have been so frustrated at the lack of options. After slipping and falling down the stairs while holding the dog (who will not go down stairs that are not carpeted), I was about to give up and spend $1000+ on one I could tolerate. I did one more last ditch web search and stumbled across your blog. I promptly measured and ordered and can't wait to get my new runner! Gorgeous house BTW.

    Question - did you order and install the padding that is optional?

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    1. hi michelle, no we just installed as received. the rubber backing was sufficient and the rug itself is already thick.

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  17. Looks fabulous! I'm nervous about installing myself, but yours looks so good I think I'll give it a try. I'm also wondering about the optional padding they ask about. Did you use that at all? Does the rubber backing automatically come with the rug? Thanks for sharing your saga... it really helps :)

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    1. hi shannon
      as long as you measure as you go on either side of the stair riser, this is an easy project. you just don't want to get to the bottom and "think" it was straight and realize your eyes deceived you. the rubber backing was already on the roll, i did not have to ask for it. good luck.

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  18. Hi Meg, Never thought Sisal could look so beautiful! I'm also wondering about a pad and I'm also wondering about just binding the edges as opposed to using the tape?Have not seen any rugs in person so can't really form an opinion yet.
    When I called the carpet place they suggested the pad and the binding and interestingly, they recommended a tight weave if you're trying to minimize the chance of a pull from an animals nails or from something sharp. Thought that was helpful.
    As for DIY, kudos to you.! I'll have to find an installer. Thanks, pam

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    1. hi pam
      i would have loved to have found a runner without the tape edge and just the sisal, will have to look into for my basement. tight weave is definitely a good bet with pets. ours is tight and no pulls yet and my pets are not easy on the steps. good luck

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  19. I love this! I am not impressed with the samples of stair runner that I see all over the place. I'm hoping we can do something like this on our stairs. But we have a landing... so I'm not sure we can order it online. We're heading to some local stores in the next week to see what they come up with.

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    1. i wasn't impressed with my carpet stores either that is why i turned to this company. with a landing you may have to do a bit more research as cuts are involved or find an installer, show him what you are ordering and he can tell you how much? good luck

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  20. I had a similar experience (some stores/individuals not getting why my husband and I wanted sisal and suggesting undesirable patterns and materials) despite what we were seeing in magazines! Finally we found a store with a salesperson who got it. We were going to go DIY, but we have a staircase with two turns and then an L-shaped hallway. Ours looks exactly like the one here but we went for black border against our black painted staircase (rubber backing, no pad needed). Dealing with carpet people and installers is challenging so DIY if you can and hold out for what you want, and it's worth it! We love it and so does our beagle.

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  22. I admired your helpful words. Top class contribution. I really hope you’ll write more. I'll continue looking for.
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  26. Meg, last question , what was the length of your, they are telling me that it cannot be longer than 98" ...did you do it in 2 pieces?

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  27. Meg,

    Thank you! Do you have seams in the runner under the nose of your steps or is it one piece all the way up?

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  28. An enormous round of applause, continue the great work. check over here

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  29. Thanks for compiling such nicest information in your blogs. Articles are very informative and hope again I’ll find more like that.

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  30. Meg,
    Was there binding tape on the top and bottom of your rug? How did you start and end it on the risers if there was tape?
    Thank you!

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    1. hi yvonne
      yes there is binding at the top and bottom. we started at the top and worked our way to the bottom knowing that if we were a bit short or long, no one really notices the bottom but walking up the stairs i would notice the top every day. we ended with about a 1.4" too much at the bottom and just left it as is and honestly never notice the little lip at the bottom of excess. good luck

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  31. Waooow!! Nice blog, this will be greatly helpful. credit repair

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  32. Totally unique stuff is here really amazing!!! book a room medina

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  33. Meg, I stumbled across your blog looking for custom sisal runners, which I want to install in my kitchen area to cover the many broken tiles which won't stay put no matter how many times we have them fixed. I just ordered 4 runners from them for this application and can hardly wait until they arrive. Thanks ever so much for posting their site on here. This looks like these will do the job really nicely.

    I just wanted to add that it's worth looking online for coupon codes for this place. I just saved $67.00 with a 15% coupon code. Yay!

    Thanks again. I gotta say, I just love your stairs and what I can see of your area around them.

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  34. Curious to know how the sisal is wearing? Considering it for 3 flights in our townhouse. Thanks!!


    (Apologies if this is posting several times. I'm technologically challenged.)

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  35. I just found your blog post today -a year and a half after your posted. How has the runner held up? We have been wanting to do this as well, and all the carpet places we have been too have said its a terrible idea... we don't have any pets just two girls... please let me know when you can! marlasmith99@gmail.com

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  36. I just found your blog. I love the look of the sisal runner! My only concern is how rough it would feel on bare feet? I would greatly appreciate it if you could advise on how rough or soft it feels underfoot? Thank you! cole4478@hotmail.com

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  37. Meg- very much appreciate your blog! I have very similar issue with runner for wood stairs. Found a great one at Ballard Designs, but discovered it was so thick that I couldn't wrap it around steps and my every staple showed horribly. Called a pro to take over but he said he couldn't install b/c foam backing wouldn't be enough to hold staples and he's have to staple canvas side trim (which is BLACK!) Ugh. Might try your place. Did you use a regular stapler w traditional size staples or a carpet stapler with the much narrower staples? Can you see your staples? Much appreciated:)
    Jen

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  38. I'm been looking at ideas for DIY stair runners for two weeks straight. We had old dindgy carpeting and I made the mistake ( kind of mistake) of looking under the carpet and when I saw nice wood stairs... I yanked the carpeting up. My husband was shocked, but I'm a professional artist and went to an art school-- he shouldn't be surprised with the home projects I tackle! Anyway, we have a Saint Bernard and two little boys who are giving me a heart attack over the newly un-carpeted stairs. Our staircase has a landing and looks so nice with the wood that a runner would solve so many issues. I too went to a professional carpet installer and he quickly point me to annoying carpeting! I'm wondering if anyone has used this style of stairway runner with kids and giant dogs and if so how do they hold up... and yes, are they slippery? I almost broke down and paid for the expensive wool herringbone designs from the carpet store, but I found this thread and I'm having a glimmer of hope! Meg, any advice for sisal of carpet runners for our stairs please let me know! Sam... "PainterSam.com"

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  39. I could have written this (my) story! lol....great story enjoyed reading it!

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  40. Have you noticed this to be slippery at all? I've also been told that these rugs are slippery for little kid feet OR you can NEVER put them on stairs. Looking to do something similar to what you have at my beach house.

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