We have decided on the stair carpet. This is a big investment as the stairs and landing are 9.8m long so we need 10m x 4m of carpet. It goes up the stairs over the half landing up the second stairs and up along the landing. The existing carpet is actually made up of two very similar carpets that we inherited with the house. They are cheap felt backed carpets with no underlay in a coffee cream colour with brown spots, they are also cut into strips to be as economical with the carpet as possible, and these strips are all fraying. They were new when we moved in and they matched the magnolia walls, so we asked them to leave them behind. (Notice as well that the banister is painted white rather than stripped back as it is now.)
THIS IS THE OLD BEIGE CARPET! (The photos of the new carpet are right at the end 🙂 )
But now it is time to banish the cream. It is time for a change, though we will have to wait until we have stopped painting, stripping and repairing the upstairs.
* spot the tiny strip of carpet in the doorway
Choosing the carpet
We did consider a 100% polyprop carpet but although they are easy to clean for food stains they are not as good for resisting dirt. Also regardless of the claims I think they still have a strange shine to them and loads of people complain that they quickly lose their pile. We got samples and thought long and hard but eventually agreed that we really did want wool. This brought us to the wool twists. There are a lot of beige and heather colours in a twist but we wanted something stronger. In the last house we had a charcoal twist carpet which still looked amazing after 10 years. So we began the hunt again. Ryalux V&A twist have some beautiful colours. I love the Ryalux V&A serpentine twist carpet which is a fantastic turquoise – is it blue is it green?
One of the things that is confusing with this house is all the stained glass, and the red yellow and black tiled floor. The stairs have a massive window which is edged with peacock coloured glass. It is East facing which means bright sunlight in the morning and darker in the afternoon. The light that floods in is also is a cool light.
We then decided on the Carbon Crystal Ryalux V&A carpet, it just seemed a safer choice.
Before we ordered it from the floorstore Leeds, I checked to see if they had anything better quality in a similar colour as a remnant – they often buy whole rolls for contract jobs (hotels, housing developments) so if you are in luck with colour choice you can get a bargain. We were in luck, we were able to get a Jacaranda Natural Weave which is normally £79.99pm in Ebony for only £30pm. Add high quality underlay and fitting and the total price was £1400 slightly cheaper than the Ryalux yet of a much higher quality. It has a guarantee and they swear to me that unlike other loops it will not go fuzzy after a year or two. We did consider having the edges taped to create a more beautiful carpet (see image below) but the cost was just too high, and we would have had to paint and prepare all the stairs!
Often, when we are looking for carpet or rugs , I check out Designer Carpet Remnants .If you know what you are looking for and it is expensive (Crucial Trading for example) you can often get it here at at least 50% reduction.
Strip all the woodchip and paint the passageway, hardboard the floor, get the radiator removed, get lights put in, fix broken floorboards and finally throw away all the old carpet. I think we will be busy…
We have removed all the woodchip, sanded the woodwork, filled all deep holes with lime plaster, filled smaller bumps and nail holes with OneTime (this is such a great product) and got through four large tubes of caulk. The caulk is used to give a neat finish between all joins, so ceiling to wall, round door frames, wall to skirting board. The finish is still not perfect but it is amazing considering it is original plaster. It has been painted in Drystonewall by Hicks and Weatherburn which is what we have used throughout the vestibule, hallway, and stairs.
We have picked out below the dado rail in a 4x strength of Drystone Wall to give us a darker warmer grey, the woodwork is then picked out in a 1/4 strength Drystone Wall in eggshell.
We then got some hardboard and cut it to size to create a smooth surface to lay the carpet on. Here is a warning story. When we laid the hardboard, we carefully nailed it down but there was still a bit of bounce, so a few more nails were put in all over and the boards felt very solid. Downstairs water started pouring through the ceiling, we had managed to put two nails through the central heating pipe. We had to drain the central heating system down(at least we know how to do this now), take up the hardboard, lift the floorboards and mend the pipe, before refilling the system and balancing all the radiators. An all to easy but irritating mistake to make.
roll on carpet fitting day.
Three men, a lot of huffing and puffing about how heavy the carpet was, and that they wouldn’t be able to fit it all in one long piece, the taking off of three doors because they need to be shortened to fit over the carpet but finally the carpet was laid. It is lovely very calm and quiet, and hopefully will serve us well for 20yrs!
Firstly a detailed shot – so you can see the texture.
Now the view from the landing…
Looking down the stairs…
The view to the hallway… (#photobombed)
And finally from the hallway back up the stairs
*the light you can see in the hall is a 1970’s murano glass light and ebay find (read more here)
*the brass light you can see is one we made ourselves from an Ikea bowl (read the post to see how to make)