191) Painted Stairs – A Birch Forest

by Gail on January 31, 2013

Like much of our construction at This Green House, building stairs is not very sexy. There are lots of guts but minimal glamour.before & after basement stairs

This basement staircase we’ve been building looks a bit zen from the top of the stairs – a calm and sophisticated coastal white with a navy stripe going down each edge. My last post detailed how I reclaimed old fir stair treads. We installed six drawers at the bottom for storing outdoor gear and shoes.fitting drawers into staircase

Because this job may well be our last chance to see inside the skeleton of our house, I decided we needed to place a time capsule in the cavity under the stairs before I covered it. It’s a time capsule that has no “to be opened date.” Rather, I hope it might be discovered in about 100 years, when future owners will be renovating or (God forbid) demolishing the house. Inside the plastic time capsule (in case water somehow gets into the space) I’ve placed the front section of a current newspaper and some flyers from local stores so the treasure-hunter can see how much food and other stuff costs, and what sort of current mass technology is on offer.contents of time capsule

There are a five dollar bill and our current coins, including the penny, which the Canadian Mint ceases production of today(!)canadian money 2012

A card with a small sample of my stitched art. I produced a booklet with a brief history of building This Green House, complete with a few pictures and details about us (birth dates, etc.)time capsule contents1

And, finally, I placed our original plasticized house plans beside the capsule.time capsule in its nook

Will all the inks survive? Will bugs breach the plastic bin?time capsule collage

I would adore discovering such pieces of history during a renovation. I could have just included a memory stick with all the information on it, but I doubt the technology could decipher it in 100 years.

Back to the stairs themselves:

It took me a solid day to cut and cajol plywood risers so they’d all fit.riser measurements

I was able (just barely!) to salvage 3 old risers that came with the old treads for the drawer fronts.reclaimed drawer fronts

Then, I took them all into my studio to give them a little facelift.riser paints

I installed the drawer fronts with screws, and the risers with glue and finishing nails:glue&nail risers

Used some old bakelite drawer pulls from D’s parents’ house – another reminder in our home of loved ones we have lost.

bakelite drawer pull

Now, when we approach the staircase from the bottom, we round the corner near the end of a hallway, and, pow! there is a surprise in store:painted risers2

drawers in stairs

birch-painted stairs

A slice of birch forest rises up the staircase. At its base: the thirteen floral symbols of the 10 Canadian provinces and 3 territories. (A much easier task than the US state flowers!)canadian flowers

At the location where the water main enters the house, a tiny faucet on the tree trunk marks the spot. There’s a nest with eggs. A little bit of whimsy, but mostly what I hope will be an uplifting scene for all those who will climb these stairs! And, if we ever get tired of Gail’s birch forest, we can paint it all over!

stairs above & below Collage

I was so excited to do this project – much more fun than stripping.

(Treads, I mean.)

What would you put into a time capsule?

before&after stair risers

Sharing my excitement with these fun link parties:

Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday, Funky Junk Interiors’ Saturday Nite Special, A Little Knick Knack’s EBTKS, Rose Chintz Cottage, My Romantic Home’s Show & Tell Friday, The Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday (FEATURED!), Rooted in Thyme’s Simple & Sweet Fridays, Maiden D’Shade, Fox Hollow Cottage’s Power of Pinterest (FEATURED!), The Self-Sufficient HomeAcre’s Blog Hop, Mockingbird Hill Cottage’s A Favorite Thing, Twigg Studios’ Showcase Sunday, Little Red House’s Mosaic Monday, Creating My Way to Success’s A Round Tuit, Stylish Once Again’s Restyled Sundays (FEATURED!), Boogieboard Cottage’s Masterpiece Monday (FEATURED!), Under the Table and Dreaming’s Sunday Showcase Party, Mod Vintage Monday, Cozy Little House’s Tweak-It-Tuesday (FEATURED!), Creative Cain Cabin’s Budget Decorating Party, Savvy Southern Style‘s Wow Us Wednesday, Timewashed’s Blissful Whites, Coastal Charm’s Nifty Thrifty TuesdayElizabeth & Co, DIY by Design’s Winter Blues WednesdayGreen Eggs and Goats (FEATURED!), The Brambleberry Cottage’s Time Travel Thursday, Savvy Southern Style, The Dedicated House






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