it’s going down (and up)

Over two years ago I wrote about my purple stairs and now, I am happy to say the day has finally come, phase two is complete – we have a stair runner!

Henry, our dear Golden is turning 11 this week so safer, gripier stairs have been on my mind as he has cataracts and has become a little slower and more nervous going downstairs in the mornings. I spent some time researching options online but in the end, I could not consider anything other than Dash & Albert. I’ve heard so many great reviews and the colours and patterns were hard to match (plus a company that puts dogs front and centre has my approval).

Luckly I discoverd the Halifax store Bellissimo is a supplier and I was able to see samples in person and even take some home to see how they’d look over our stairs. And, after a lengthy debate, my heart was set on Stone Soup. stairrunner_1Once we knew which one we wanted, the tricky part was figuring out how much we needed to order. Our stairs have two landings and since we were installing it ourselves, we were not going to get too fancy with diagonal cuts and turns on the landings.

Here are our measurements:

  • 11 treads (at 10.5″ each) : 10.5 x 11 = 115.5″
  • 14 risers (at 8.5″ each) : 8.5 x 14 = 119″
  • two landings (3′ x 3′ each) = 36″ x 2 = 72″stairrunner_2

I emailed Dash & Albert and they replied with this helpful formula for quantity:

((Rise + Run) x Number of Stairs) + ((Rise + Run of Additional Landings) x Number of Landings) = A

A ÷ 12 = number of feet needed

Which meant, we’d need one 12 foot and two 8 foot runners for our stairs! stairrunner_3

So our rugs arrived months ago and have sat in our basement waiting for the big reveal but summer came and interior home reno projects got pushed aside until last week when I hinted to Mike that we needed to get back into finishing a bunch of things that were half done. The list is long friends.

Obviously he took my words seriously because when I got home from a saturday morning run, everything was out and ready to go! DIY game time:stairrunner_4Turns out, it was actually not that hard – we didn’t loose it on each other and had the project was done in less than 5 hours. We laid a grip under the two landings and applied two strips of carpet tape on each tread and one strip on each riser. We used a staple gun to secure everything, which pinch in the lip of each tread nicely:stairrunner_5 stairrunner_6 stairrunner_7The rug was trimmed and folded under at two points but it’s hard to noticestairrunner_8 stairrunner_9Hello colours! David always asks why I choose to paint almost our whole house white and this is why… you get to have purple stairs and striped runners y’all! stairrunner_10 stairrunner_11 Oh, and the birthday boy is happy too.stairrunner_12

psst. I am not thinking of painting our bathroom door Purple to match the stairs since most of the purple is now covered. 

Here are some great step by step posts about installing a Dash & Albert Runner:

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the many magnificent miles of Chicago

When you start checking real estate online it’s a true sign you love a city… if only Chicago didn’t have winter.

As promised, here is a recap of our week in the windy city (and I will barely mention the marathon)! I did not take a ton of pictures with our Nikon but my iPhone came out a lot.

Wednesday: We arrived mid-afternoon and rode the blue line 29 stops to Austin station. We decided to stay in Oak Park, which is a 30 minute subway ride outside of the city, in an airbnb. It was a much more affordable option for 5 people X 7 nights and the place was great. My mom (who drove down and hiked Mount Washington!) greeted us with supper.

IMG_3615We’re off… never pack your running shoes when you fly to a race

Thursday: I had an 8 km run in the morning so I made a route on mapmyrun.com and marked off all of the Frank Lloyd Wright homes. I am a big fan and he has 8 homes on one street. (I also ran by Ernest Hemingway’s birth home because it was only a few blocks over.) We spent the day riding a hop-on hop-off bus around the city and had lunch at Navy Pier and at the end of the day we went way up to Skydeck on the top 103rd floor of the (Willis) Sears Tower. Mom and I left the boys at made our way to West Elm for a book signing by Young House Love. Fan girl. My mom was very confused to learn that some bloggers have actual fans. Ha!

IMG_3630Running tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Oak Park

IMG_3643 IMG_3634DSC_0457 IMG_3637 IMG_3661Riding around on the hop-on hop-off bus with a lunch stop at Navy Pier

IMG_3659 DSC_0461On top of the city – views from the Skydeck

IMG_3665As luck would have it … when I was at the front of the line, Nicole from Making It Lovely popped in to say hi to John at Sherry of Young House Love. Double score!

Friday: Mom and I went the race expo and the boys spent the whole day at the Shedd Aquarium, which they loved. That evening we went back to Oak Park for Friday night pizza (including the famous deep dish) at Giordano’s.

DSC_0469 Shedd AquariumIMG_3667 IMG_3674Agora: a group of 106 headless and armless iron sculptures at the south end of Grant Park + mom
IMG_3678Deep dish. Obviously

Saturday: We drove (I was trying to stay off my feet) to the Lincoln Park Zoo where we saw lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Plus giraffe, rhinos, monkeys, gorillas, zebras and kangaroos… etc. It was free and fun. Afterwards we made a pitstop in Wrigleyville to see the Wrigley Stadium and buy some souvenirs. Saturday night, we relaxed at home – mom made a lovely pasta dinner.

IMG_3703 IMG_3707Lincoln Park Zoo
IMG_3714Wrigley Field – Home of the Cubs

Sunday: Marathon (see here). As soon as the race was over we walked to Cloud Gate. Apparently everyone else who ran the marathon had the same great idea. Because the Art Institute of Chicago was next door, we decided to spend the afternoon there… what’s a few more steps? I changed and cleaned up in the bathroom and shuffled around the museum. Totally worth it.

IMG_3734Cloud Gate
IMG_5479DSC_0450The Art Institute of Chicago

Monday: We headed into town early for a 10:30 am Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. This was my favourite part of the trip (besides the run) – the buildings and urban planning in Chicago are out of this world and I loved every bit of information she threw at us. I also loved sipping my mimosa on the deck of the First Lady. Afterwards we went to the Field Museum of Natural History.

DSC_0510 IMG_3759DSC_0509 DSC_0511 DSC_0512 DSC_0513 DSC_0514 DSC_0515 IMG_3742 IMG_3743 IMG_3750 IMG_3760The Chicago Architecture Fundation River Cruise on the First Lady

IMG_3762Rodents of Unusual Size (ROUS!!!) at the Field Museum
IMG_3763Field Museum of Natural History

Tuesday: We went to the Museum of Science and Industry. This is a must do if you are in Chicago! They have the legit German U-505 Submarine that you can tour plus many other fun things to do and see. Afterwards went finished the vacation off at a sports bar eating burgers and beer and watching the Cubs win.

IMG_3765 IMG_3767 IMG_3768 IMG_3769

Wednesday: My parent left in the car and headed towards my sister’s house in New York state and we made our way to the Airport.

As I’ve said many times, there hasn’t been a city in the states I haven’t loved and Chicago kept true to my word. We spent most of our time in museums but the neighbourhoods were lovely (I ran through 29 of them) and was overwhelmed throughout the whole week by how friendly the people were and how much they respect their city!

I may be an east coaster who thinks she’s a California girl but Chicago got to me.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg