Happy Treads, to You!

Before we moved to Brazil, we lived in a lovely old, two-story home in North Carolina. Despite needing to sell it, I miss it very much, and still dream about projects that could have been...One of the things that had been on my save-up-for list was a stair runner.
Although I can certainly appreciate a beautiful, clean tread and riser, I just get the warm fuzzies when I see a great runner. Call me a Traditionalist if you will, but some of the best carpets I've seen put down in stairwells recently are far from dowdy.

I'm crazy, crazy, about this bound sisal with the brass stair rods - natural, but classic. I think, given the chance, I would've done something like this in my home. (click on pics for links)...But, then again, this cool gray stripe with nickel hardware is fairly swoon-worthy...

I'll hold that thought...for the beach house I pretend I'll have one day!

Wait! Be still, heart! Is that a runner made from vintage french grain sack? Why, yes it is!
Three words: Oh. My. Goodness. Clever, divine, beyond-cool - whatever you wanna call it. Can someone pleeeasse just get one of these so I can love it? Found a roll of the fabric on Ebay you could use for it - go here if you're interested.

As I mentioned...runners today are a far cry from the "granny" looks you may envision. Here's a more contemporary interpretation...
botanical runner - House Beautiful
Unfortunately, custom ordering is often the norm for these lovelies, and yes, that translates to ka-ching...
So, wasn't I tickled at someone's a) Creativity and b) Ninja sewing skills when I saw how they put together end-on-end an inexpensive Ikea rug to create their own unique (and so happy!) runner.
from designage
I'm not sure Ikea still carries that particular rug, but a similar look could be accomplished with either the cabana stripes of the Sveje...
Or the more subtle look of the Signe
For $2.99 a piece, you can probably afford to mess up one or two in the learning process!

Ofcourse, the most economical route to an interesting staircase would be to paint a runner. If you're REALLY talented, I guess you could attempt to paint a faux carpet - but I was getting more at the illusion of a runner...something like these...
Here's a before and after shot from Domino - the article also provided a DIY guide to painting a runner - go here to investigate.
I'm forever gushing about my projects...What's on your project or to-save-for list?