Indoor Outdoor Stair Runner

Indoor Outdoor Stair Runner



How to Make a DIY Stair Runner from indoor/outdoor carpet

Have you ever watched Antiques Road Show?

Isn’t it amazing what you see on a good night on the local PBS affiliate?

Mark Walberg holds up a few pieces of orange and yellow Tupperware and the crowd goes wild.

Indoor Outdoor Stair Runner

You see it all….old Christmas decorations and Barbie heads and vintage Fisher Price People and antique macrame plant holders and ancient ceiling fan parts.


All that stuff your mom threw away….or sold in a yard sale….or you never really wanted anyway….. is now worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Who knew?


Old stuff.  It’s where it’s at.


Blue Shag carpet


In the light of the past 500 episodes of Antique Road Show….maybe we should have left the blue shag carpeting on the stairs.

It’s old.

It’s stuff.

It had a certain vintage charm.

Maybe we should have never removed it.

Stair Runner Steps

But we did.

We took out the potentially valuable, historic remnants of an era gone by and replaced it with two indoor outdoor 2′ 3″ x 11′ 9″ stair runners from here.

Nothing too fancy.

We just stapled them onto the stairs.


Stair Rods


The set of stairs took two runners and we wrapped the end of one runner around a stair tread and tucked the other behind it to create the illusion of one continuous runner.

And then to make an indoor outdoor runner fancy…..we dressed it up with brushed nickel staircase rods.

With little brushed nickel finials from Home Depot.


Stairs View From the Top


Now….let’s be honest.

The runner is no shag carpeting.

But it’s held up for two years…..with four children, two dogs and 25,567 pairs of really stinky socks.


Indoor Outdoor Stair Runner


And besides.

I think there’s still a few pieces of that incredibly beautiful, historic one-of-a-kind stair carpeting out in the barn.

And one day…..if Antiques Roadshow ever travels to the beautiful Kentucky countryside.

My blue shag carpeting and I…..

….we’ll be ready for our close-up. 🙂


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  1. So excited to see your post Kari! I’ve been looking into doing the same thing on our playroom stairs. Yours look great. Although, that blue shag was fabulous and bound to come back in style. Good thing you kept some extra pieces in the garage. 😉

  2. Wow, that’s a great idea to use indoor/outdoor carpeting! I’ve been beating myself over the head trying to come up with something for my stairs ever since I took a dive down them but I didn’t like the look of anything I had seen so far. You know, looks over safety any day…

    But this is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I know you were attached to that blue shag but this is a real improvement! Send the leftover shag to Sesame Street…..Cookie can make something of it, I’m sure….

  4. Love this! Every time I see someone do something lovely on stairs it makes me wish I had stairs in my cottage!

  5. Before each new eposode of Antique’s Road Show, a friend and I text each other with our predictions…the value of the most expensive item,how many times,”I had no idea”,will be said,and most importantly,will the guy with the crazy plaid suits be on.( personally I think he’s really auditioning for SNL)
    Now, I understand that a rare blue stair runner like you had,if left in its original condition would be worth 2 million big American dollars. Tragically,its only value now is sentimental.

  6. Oh my gosh I love you! Thanks for making my inbox giggle every time! Hugs 🙂

  7. Those stair rods are too sweet! Such a nice touch. I just ripped up an old runner on my stairs…now you have me thinking I should hold onto the relic in case Antiques Road Show comes my way 😉

  8. Oh love this! Thanks for sharing with us….I think I may just have to do the same thing :-). How many stair treds do you have? I have 16 and I’m just trying to figure if two runners will be enough.

    Love your blog!!!! It is my very favorite

  9. Too funny…I always watch Antiques Roadshow and start wishing I had a treasure tucked away! I LOVE this runner. We have painted stairs…tucked away behind a door in this 183’s home. I do have a question. At the bottom of the stairs I noticed you had wallpaper,and now paint. I have wallpaper in 3 rooms I want GONE!!!! Did you have to skimcoat??

  10. What an ironic post– I spent yesterday ripping out the old green shag from the stairs in my 1935 house. In fact the before staircase looks almost identical. The previous owners had groovy 70s paneling covering the sides that they “updated” in the 80s with some Venetian plaster painted to look like fresco. It was not good. I’ve been staring at it for five years. Somehow removing the carpeting turned into removing paneling (I was on a hell-bent roll) only to discover plastered walls and the stair baseboards along the sides. Some of the plaster is cracking but I’ve been deciding if I should add the board and batten look to it or not. After seeing your stairs, I think it is a sign! Thanks for the post– I may have to save a little of the carpet in case our future generation sees it as a cool “vintage” piece that they can hang on a wall in a frame. 🙂

  11. Good Morning KariAnne,
    My sister and I used to rake my Mom’s orange shag carpet in the 70’s!
    I think updating your blue was the right thing.: )
    The brushed nickel with the natural is beatiful – clean.

  12. Happy Birthday to a very talented, beautiful, amazing lady – celebrate your special day by doing something you have never done before- hard for you as you are always willing to take on a new challenge.

  13. Lovely, as always. I have been thinking of ordering an outdoor rug for our entryway. All the muddy wet boots and shoes…sounds like a good answer to worrying about messing up a rug that will be messed up nonetheless. Always enjoy your great ideas!

  14. It’s your birthday?!!……Happy Birthday!!!!…Well just put on your dancing shoes and “shag away” on that blue shag rug with your blue suede shoes!!….Have a wonderful, wonderful birthday!!!….oh, and love the runner!…

  15. Major improvement! I am all for anything that can stand up to more than 25,000 pairs of stinky socks and live to tell the tale. Just out of curiosity, why would you want carpet in a barn? Does your honey have some amazing workshop out there? I know I sure would.

  16. We lived with our shag carpeting for 16 years! We threw a party when we got rid of ours! Lots of beer and bratwurst! Your runners are great…very clean…they deserve a party….but more sedate, wine and cheese. So, when’s the party? 😉

  17. that is a very cool idea to dress up the stairs! the staircase rods look very nice

  18. Having just slipped on my friends stairs and enjoy back pain for three days.. this is an excellent solution. Her stairs are between two hardwood floor levels, so would look quite natural and blend in as well. I’ll have to show this to her:) xx Smidge

  19. Truly you are a genius. I am sooooo doing this. I was about to spend a fortune on all new carpeting! Showing this to the hubs. Seriously where do you come up with these ideas?

  20. Let’s not be dissin’ the yellow and orange Tupperware . . . I’m still using mine that I received as a wedding gift . . . 😉

    Love the stair runner! I’ve looked at outdoor rugs from time to time and thought, “huh. These would look great INSIDE!” So durable!

    Have an amazing day! 🙂

  21. Fab! I have been trying to come up with a way to skid proof my stairs but don’t want to do wall to wall. It’s perfect! I’m getting this done before my mother-in-law come to visit since those slippery stairs make me so nervous!
    Thanks so much!!!

    Ashley Rane

  22. Wow Karianne! That looks nice! It’s so affordable, too! The stairs leading to our second story are on our to-do list. I’m going to remember this post when it comes time to re-do. Thanks so much!

  23. It looks great!! The before & after is pretty amazing!! Your staircase is so charming! Love the board & batten!

  24. I just love Antiques road show..When I saw your runner I thought “That will never hold up under dogs “…It looks great and you have proven me wrong..

  25. I just think this is great!! I shared you fb post on my fb and I’m pinning this too! Little Bit

  26. Blue might be my favourite colour, but I would put the blue shag carpet in the garage, too. Buried, deep. If those Antiques Roadshow people want it, they’ll have to dig for it. Love the stair runner. And those nickel staircase rods are like the perfect jewelry for your stairs.

    I hear it’s your birthday, too. Have a very happy day and a year filled with God’s good gifts.

  27. Very insightful post! I didn’t know Mark Wahlburg hosted Antiques Roadshow!! I am going to start watching! Wonder if he lifts his shirt for those really stubborn pieces that just won’t sell! I’d buy them…LOL! Love your blog Karianne!!

  28. You mean to tell me I could have gotten GOOD MONEY for al the stuff I took to GW when we moved??????????? I used to do macrame, worked in a macrame SHOP, in fact so had alot of hangers. Had saved all my kids Fisher Price toys and PEOPLE, and swings, and chairs etc. I YI YI, now I need that $$$ for TAXES:):) I LOOOOVE how you did the stairs. Genius to use 2 runners. I will keep this in the back of my mind for when our carpeting wears out. XO, Pinky

  29. What a genius idea to use an indoor/outdoor rug, Kari! Cleaning it should be a breeze! We have old white berber going up our stairs and into the hallway on the 2nd floor. I hate it because it’s now worn and just old looking….not to mention such a joy to try to clean after our 17 y/o cat urps up on it. (No…for some odd reason she won’t do it on the wood floors in the bedroom. It MUST be in carpeted hallway. lol), So I’ll definitely be keeping your great idea in mind when it comes time to replace our outdated carpeting. And I’ll watch for ya on the Antique Road Show! lol

    xoxo laurie

  30. Looks great! Congrats on being in Country Living Magazine this month! My copy came in the mail yesterday and I was thumbing through it when I saw your picture. I yelled to my husband, “LOOK ITS KARI!!! I KNOW HER!!!”. He thought I was a little bit nutso when I explained that I read your blog everyday and that’s how I “know” you. What does he know. By the way, I’m a Kentucky girl too. Louisville.

  31. I’m loving those brushed nickel rods & finials! The staircase is perfection. Would love to do something similar (you know, to hide the dust bunnies) but my stairs are accordion style. Oh well.

    Once gain a fabulous, inspiring idea for us readers!

    🙂 Linda

  32. Your stairs look fabulous, and I love the finials and rods. Such perfect accents or jewelry for them!
    Debbie 🙂

  33. What is the best way you have found to clean/sweep/mop your stairs since doing this? Does any dog hair or dirt get underneath it?

  34. KariAnne….I have a serious question for ya! 🙂 Your newel posts are white. Are they hard to keep clean and what kind of paint would you recommend? Our staircase is front and center when you come in the front door. Just needed your opinion….before I plead my case with the Mr. to paint the wood! 😉 k.

  35. You’ve just made me realize how badly my stairs need a makeover. Yours are looking very fancy. I wouldn’t mourn the loss of that valuable blue carpet too much if my stairs looked this good. 😉

  36. Hi Karianne. A very clever post as usual. Love the stair treads. They look like brand new, they are holding up well. Oh, shag carpet. My sister just got a new rug for her new house. You guessed it – Shag..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  37. Looks so much better…like it was supposed to be just that way!

  38. Great idea, and it looks wonderful! Let’s pray that the old, green shag carpet that was in my house growing up will never, ever come back in style.

  39. I too had the beautiful shag carpet from days gone by, mine was 70’s gold. Mine was an accident waiting to happen. Just go to run down those steps in stocking feet. You could find yourself skiing much like a mogul event at the Olympics. So glad to have replaced that carpet. It is now living among the 50’s metal doll houses and the Barbies my mother got rid of for me. Oh well I keep telling myself when I see all those things bringing $$$, they wouldn’t be worth as much if we had all kept them.

  40. It looks so amazing!! Haha and seriously, that shag carpet could be worth some serious buckaroos. Who knows?

  41. Kari Anne, can you stop being so darn clever for just a 5 minutes? Seriously, great makeover on those stairs, wow!!

  42. Great project for naked stairs! I’m going to pass this along to my daughter who just moved into a 1924 house. XOXO

  43. OMG I love it! You’ve got a brilliant idea and it turned out just perfect! Great job Karianne!

  44. This is a great idea. We want to replace our broadloom on our front stairs which are only 7 up, and fix up the stair treads with a runner over them. This is perfect! Yours looks really great. Our house is a front split and we use the front door as our main entrance so it gets everything coming in. We usually remove our outer footwear at the bottom of the steps though. We used to have gold shag all through then beige broadloom and now hardwood but just never got the stairs done. Thanks for sharing this idea. Pamela

  45. Woo I like if only I had stairs to put them on……………….lol

  46. Hi Karianne, I absolutely LOVE this!! I have been looking for the best way to do this for my stairs because I just don’t want to put carpet back down (yuck!) I currently have some of that blue stuff and can’t wait to get rid of it…. soon hopefully… but I clipped this over at Hometalk cause it’s so awesome and for when I get to working on this. Great idea, thank you!!

  47. Fabulous look for your farm house. I have no fond memories of shag carpet, and believe me I lived with it for more years than I like to think about. It was all the rage in every apartment I lived in during the early 70s. I was so excited when we moved into our first home and we had hardwood floors. ‘-) Green shag, gold shag, blue shag……..been there, done that!
    Your new runner looks amazing, and I bet it’s the perfect solution for all those busy feet running up and down these stairs. Love the hardware. Your stairs have a fresh, clean look. Great choice! ~ Sarah

  48. I can see that blue shag being worth thousands … good thing you saved it *just* in case the road show comes knocking! Your runners look awesome … such a great idea! And, you *know* I love that rug … they’ve held up beautifully in our kitchen and mudroom … thanks again for sharing where you found it!

  49. I love what u did and now has given me the push to do this to my ugly orange shag carpeting on my 100 yr old stairs. Are the staircase rods/finials very expensive? Becca from Adventures in Decorating got me hooked onto your blog!!!!

  50. You are a genius.

    That looks great.

  51. where did u find the neat runners?

  52. May the blue shag carpeting rest in peace! What a wonderful job you did with the new runner! Stunning!

  53. Wondering how you clean it? I am about to take the carpeting off my stairs but worried what to put on them and how I would clean it.

  54. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I have some incredibly UGLY carpeting on my stairs…cheap, short pile, grey with colored flecks in it ugly. I may just have to go rip it out right now!!!!! WEeeeeeeeeee!

  55. Awe, come on!! I can’t believe you got rid of that gorgeous blue shag carpet!! What were you thinking?? No, really. This project is beautiful and simple – right up my ally. Thanks for sharing.

  56. Genius, I say! I just might try this on my stairs too. Glad to know it held up to kids and dogs. ~Delores

  57. Wow ! I love that idea! simple classic and easy to clean !

  58. What a fantastic project! I’ll be linking to it on our Flooring pinboard. Check it out at

    – Chante

  59. You really have me wanting to rip the carpet off my stairs Karianne. Your runner is very reasonably priced. Thanx for the inspiration.

  60. Wow that a difference, I agree with Pamela, you have me wanting to rip my carpet off of my stairs! You did such a fantastic job, your stairs look beautiful!

  61. Now here I have been uhmming & Aahhhhing over what to do with our stairs now that we took our ugly beige carpet that must have been a bazillion years old, & stumbled across you on pinterest! Got to love Pinterest I say, & after painting the depressing dark brown wainscotting Antique USA White, I have now decided what to do as my runner, as I have five sons & a hubby, this seems like the smart practical solution & looks great, thanks heaps from this little Aussie down under!

  62. Those stair rods pictured are from Lowe’s, not Home Depot.

  63. I love your stairs, what a beautiful idea. I love the door that leeds up to the stairs. Please tell me if you added this door and if so how did you do it? We have a almost 9 year old with autism and baby gates are getting too short. An old door refinished would be a nice replacement option not to mention a more decorative choice.


  64. Beautiful Karianne! What a transformation too!

  65. Can you tell me where you got the handrail you added on the wall? Thx!

  66. I ran across this same runner in my search to find a carpet runner for our newly finished stairs. I loved the texture and the fact that it was indoor/outdoor carpeting {so much easier to maintain}. Now, that I have seen an actual install of the product in your home…I am convinced that this is the runner for me! Thanks so much for sharing this project. Your stairs look beautiful! Quick question….at any point during the install, did you have to cut this carpet and if so, did you find it difficult to work with after cutting?{ie..did it unravel, was it hard to cut, etc, etc.} Thanks again! 🙂

  67. I am absolutely IN LOVE LOVE LOVE with this idea!!! I have hated what we have on the stairs since the day we bought them. I wonder if I can convince hubby to do this! It is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!