The Foyer – Before and After (and Deciding on Paint Color)

During our recent kitchen renovation, we extended the wood floors into most of the downstairs including the foyer.  We couldn’t just leave the stairs the same light oak color so we stained them the same color as the new floors – (Minwax-Provincial).  We also painted the risers white and replaced the spindles with new white ones.  And after 16 years, 2 kids and a dog, the runner needed to be ripped out in the process!

Foyer Stairs Before (and After)

 Goodbye yellowed oak and dingy runner…

Foyer Stairs After - Stained with painted risers and spindles

Hello dream staircase!

I cannot even express to you how much I love these stairs now!  I haven’t decided on a new runner yet – but I am in no rush because I adore the way the stairs look now.  Unfortunately, it’s more practical for our family to install a runner so I will be shopping for that soon.

In the meantime, I really need to decide on a new paint color.  With all the renovation mess and years of kids touching the walls, these babies need to be repainted!

The problem is, I just don’t know which direction to go in here.  Currently, the walls are Benjamin Moore Bone White.

The kitchen, family room and back hall are Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan.  The living room will stay Bone White for now at least, and the dining room will be painted something different.  Don’t ask me what it will be painted because I can’t go that far yet.  All I know is that I will be changing the dark red I have had in there for the past 12 years or so.  I feel like I need a change.

Stairs in foyer


I love the warmer feel in here.

Here is the view of the foyer from above before we changed the floors…


Foyer Before with tile floor

The tile was very practical for a high traffic area but felt a bit cold.

And here is what the foyer looks like after with the new wood floors…


Foyer After with Hardwood Floors and new staircase

I am not sure if it’s the difference in lighting or the fact that the floor color has changed the look of the walls.  All I know is that the walls seem more yellow now.

Like I said, the walls in the foyer are Benjamin Moore Bone White.  My office and living room are painted Bone White and it works fine for me, especially since all those rooms are northwest facing.  But I kind of think I need to change the foyer.  After all, what fun is having a room painted if you don’t pick a new color?!!

New Staircase with hardwood floors

But I can’t decide!  Do I stay with something similar or do I go in a more gray-griege direction…

Hardwood Floors in Foyer

Since I haven’t decided on the runner yet, I can be flexible.  The rug in front of the door will probably stay for now.  It has dark red, tan/gold and green in it.  It also doesn’t show any dirt or dog hair so I am hesitant to change it for something else at this point.

So what do you think about color?  I don’t want to go too dark, yet I want the white spindles to show up.  Any suggestions would be helpful!  We are sticking with Benjamin Moore so any suggestions in their colors would be helpful.

But for now, let’s take one last look at the staircase transformation:

Foyer Staircase Before and After

What neutral color would you suggest?

As always, thanks for your help!


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  1. Your stairs look wonderful. You painted your spindles too, didn't you? OH, I need to do that! Your new floors look great too! You've got lots going on!Be a sweetie,Shelia 😉

  2. Shelley your stairs and floor look amazing!! I love white painted risers and spindles and the stain you chose for your floors is so pretty – the perfect medium brown I think! I do a lot of color consults, and so here are a few suggestions from the BM fan deck. Grant Beige (HC-83), a warm greige, is in the same family as Manchester Tan, I used it all over a first floor for a client and it is really easy on the eyes. If you put a swatch on the wall it might feel a lot darker than Bone White but as a whole it is actually a very neutral color. If you want to really light, Winds Breath (OC-24) is a very light-almost white greige that leans more grey but has a tinge of warmth and plays well with Manchester Tan. Either one of those would still let your white trim pop a bit and would be a nice cool (but not too cool) balance to the warmth of the wood floors.

  3. That is a beautiful foyer! Love the steps! I dont know about colors…… I usually go for the darks/jewel tones or outright brights…..not good on advising on neutrals! LOL It does look beautiful in light colors!

  4. Your stairs and new flooring are beautiful, Shelley! I agree with Lisa, above, that one of the warm grays would look perfect. I would suggest picking out 2 or 3 that you like, and then get those Sample jars of paint in those colors. That's what we did when we were choosing paint for our kitchen cabinets. Use the samples in a spot that gets a lot of light changes during the day so you can really get a feel for how it will work in your space. After painting all the cabinets in our entire home, we are truly sold on BM paint. Good luck making your choice.

  5. The stairs look gorgeous and the foyer is a Wow space. You should change up the color a bit… maybe a greige. Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. I'm drooling! Thank you for the inspiration! We have a similar staircase and would love to do a similar transformation!

  7. Wow, the reno looks awesome! Makes such a difference in the feel of the space! :)

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