I wish I had taken a before photo of our stairwell before we pulled up the sad green carpet. It was a sight, for sure, but, alas, I did not. All I have are these groddy post-carpet pull-up shots (ewww):
But since we discovered that the original treads were painted black with white risers, we decided to keep them as such and just spruce them up with a new coat of paint. The walls were already white, so we just had a fresh coat put on them, as well.
This alcove is just inside the door to the stairwell, to the right. The framed photos were a gift and feature images taken from the photo shoot that took place in our home just prior to us moving in. The small nightstand was something my parents and I picked up for a few bucks at a garage sale before we had even dreamed of this home, but that slick coat of glossy black paint (which it already had) makes it look like I painted it specifically for this spot. (Gotta love destiny.)
In keeping with the black and white theme, I decided to house my collection of b&w friend and family photos here (although it’s much pared down from the hall gallery I displayed in my last home).
I originally tried the photos at the top of the stairs, but they just didn’t really seem to work there. Instead, I knew the threshold was really screaming for a large graphic piece of artwork with a good representation of black and preferably some bold color pops in its place, but I was having no luck finding what I was envisioning. And then…
I took a side trip with my coworkers to New Orleans on the way to a training session in Louisiana. While walking off our beignets around Jackson Square, I spotted it – that piece of artwork that I had been yearning for. We stopped and spoke with the artist, Rick Fox, and his personal story, along with his explanation for how he paints on wood and found objects that he collected after Hurricane Katrina only sweetened the deal. The piece that caught my eye was actually quite different than all of the other paintings that he had represented that day; it was an abstract, while the rest of his work seemed to feature more traditional images of florals and fleur-de-lis. I was scared to inquire about his asking price, for fear that it would be out of my range, but to my surprise, he was willing to part with it for a steal and less than a week before Labor Day weekend, when he’d be sure to get many more eager buyers. It was still more than I had any business spending at the time, but I knew that I would seriously regret it if I didn’t act on it, and I couldn’t help but feel that it was just meant to be so.
Rick was just about the nicest and most interesting guy you could meet. If you’re ever in New Orleans, be sure to check out his work. He sets up at the Southern corner of the Square, at the corner of St. Peter and Decatur.
And now the before and after comparison: