The Stair Project: Starting Point

The central stair hall / vestibule of our house is pretty unique for a Philly row house. The door is centered in the front facade and you immediately have three choices when entering the front door: turn left to the living room, go straight up the stairs, turn right into the dining room. Fourth option is of course turn around and down the stoop to the garden.

It’s not a spacious front hall by any means, but it does mean we have a gracious steep and wide stair which is always on display to guests and tempting small children to climb.

As mentioned before, we started test- stripping some paint and had paint samples on the wall and the risers. For 6-7 years.

It was easy to overlook this area as we wrapped up other projects. Leaving the hall to last also meant that we could bring our building materials in/out without stressing about dinging anything. The push button was installed with the rest of the electrical work in 2009.

We did replace the fixture (and yes those are more paint samples on the ceiling!)

The layout is original to the 1870s but many details are from the early 1900 renovation including trim style. The amazing wall tile is also from the 1900 Reno:

We knew we wanted to expose some of the original wood instead of continuing to paint over it. We also wanted to continue the blue upper walls paired with lighter lower walls, as we did in the 2nd Floor hall.

With the gorgeous oak handrails, newel posts, risers and trim hidden under layers of lead paint, we also knew we’d have to have the kids out of the house for most of the first step: stripping!

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