This year John and I decided that we would give carpet to each other for Christmas, not very romantic but needed. This morning while looking for a solution to our problem staircase I remembered a tiny picture from Colefax & Fowler ~ The Best In English Interior Decoration by Chester Jones. A note to this particular page in Jones charming book has languished in my decorating notebook ever since we moved into this house six years ago. This little picture has solved all my problems in regard to carpet placement and our problem stairs.
You can see the problem stairs here if you scroll down. My major dissatisfaction has been with the color of the trim. Golden oak does not go with our furniture at all. The C & F solution to the problem, paint it all white. The next problem is that the runner is not even centered on the stair and the existing carpet is inset between two pieces of the dreaded oak. There is particle board under the carpeted section of each step that is about a half inch lower than the oak making the carpet inset on the tread even off center. The C & F solution is to fill in the lower particle board area to make a level step then carpet the whole stair tread all the way across. Ta-da!
The next informative bit of information in the picture above is the placement of the guilloche border. See how the border is placed on the wall side of the stair only. I love that idea. I have seen stairways carpeted with the border on both sides and for some reason it just looked wrong and chopped up. This seems to give the decorative effect without cluttering up the look.
The color does not show up well in the picture here but it is a navy blue pattern on an ivory ground. The wall color is a beautiful mid-range true blue. Since our walls are a mid-range green I will be looking for a dark green pattern on an ivory background. Wish me luck. I know this will not be easy to find but, hey, it has taken me six years just to figure out how to correct this mess of a potentially beautiful stairway.