The Black & White Abode Part 7: The Entry

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Design Ops

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Published on April 19, 2017

The entry is someone’s first impression of your home, and while it often isn’t the most spacious for displaying furniture and decor, it does hold major impact, so being thoughtful on each choice in the space is key. The entry is typically a place that needs to be both highly functional and a beautiful peek into the rest of your home. It should be welcoming yet in tune with the needs of both guests and homeowners.

When we first toured our home, I was initially turned off by the entry. It was narrow and tight with a chunky white stair railing like nothing I’ve ever seen before set atop thick, dark gray carpeted stairs and a basic yellow-white square tile. That being said, growing up, I lived in a single-story home, and the one thing I envied about all of my friends’ homes was that they had an “upstairs.” Having a flight of stairs in your home that led to a whole other floor seemed like the ultimate dream, however silly that sounds now. The very fact that we could have a house with staircase, albeit a chunky, dated, dusty carpeted one, seemed unbelievable.

After tearing up the tile and carpeting (and about a million carpet staples) we were left with old wood stair treads that were a bit warped and cracked, but still sturdy. With the state of the wood, we knew we needed to cover a good chunk of the treads, however we definitely weren’t going back down the carpeting route. We decided some sanding, a few thick coats of white paint, and a wide stair runner would modernize the stairs while covering their imperfections. And of course, this provided me the opportunity to pick out a bold runner pattern!

As always, I started with some inspiration from some of my favorite design bloggers and sites. I loved the idea of a super bold runner, but also worried I might get sick of a trendy pattern in the long-run.

Image via Elements of Style

Love this unique antelope print! If only it were black…

Image via Sally Wheat Interiors

I was (of course), drawn to the idea of a simple but bold black and white pattern.

Image via Studio McGee

Of course, Kelly Wearstler knows how to make an entrance with this crazy bold mix of patterns.

Image via MyDomaine

After researching runner installation methods and costs, we decided to go with a set of runners from Dash & Albert, which allows for easy DIY installation. I’ve been in love with their tattersall pattern for a while, and figured our stairs might be the perfect opportunity to showcase it!  Since it’s black and ecru (more off-white than white), we knew it would hide dirt and stains better over time, and, much like the rest of the home, the plaid pattern seemed like the perfect balance of bold modern punch and classic elegance.

While getting a custom fit/installed runner is not cheap, their DIY runner installation instructions are simple and clear, and we were able to bite off this project in a day.

Beyond the runner, we decided to hang some art, and use a very narrow console (not much else would fit) in the entry hall, where we could throw keys, sunglasses, and mail. We are still debating whether to do a gallery wall, or at least a few pieces of art along the stairway as well. While I love the look of art climbing up the wall alongside a staircase, the stairs are narrow, and I don’t love the idea of bumping into things as we come down them. There’s also something to be said for the simplicity of a stark white wall alongside a busy patterned floor, so for now, we’re leaving that wall blank.

Here’s how it turned out!


I’m really loving the runner so far and our little console table is the perfect spot to drop our sunglasses and keys. With it’s open base, we also tuck bags and shoes underneath it so they are out of the way but easy accessible.

Stay tuned for more room reveals coming soon!