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Staircases & Big Steps {Part One}

by | May 19, 2015 | Decorating Inspiration, Moving, My Life

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Staircases & Big Steps {Part One}Boston Magazine

I love charming staircases. There’s something very intriguing about steps, don’t you think? They are a wonderful way to add character and make an architectural statement. I love seeing a grand staircase in an entry, but I also love a back staircase. I think my favorite is when there are both a front staircase and a back one so you can sneak up and down. Our old house had three staircases so I often joked that I could get a workout just by running up and down each one.

Staircases & Big Steps {Part One}
House to Home

But while I love looking up at cool staircases, to be honest they make me really nervous when I look down a flight of stairs. And the first step? THE SCARIEST! Seriously. Sometimes it doesn’t bother me, but most of the time I pause and grab the rail and gingerly take the first step.

Staircases & Big Steps {Part One}
SB Long Interiors

When I was pregnant I remember feeling extra panicky about escalators because I couldn’t see my feet :). Stepping off onto a MOVING step was just too much. I actually once had a dream that I invented shoes called Adidas Ground Grippers that were specifically designed for safety on stairs and escalators. HA! If you think I have issues with stairs, it is nothing compared to my fear of heights. I can’t even watch a TV show where people are anywhere NEAR a ledge without my head and stomach doing flip flops. I think a fear of heights is the root of my fear of steps, rather than the fear of steps themselves. But either way. Issues.

Staircases & Big Steps {Part One}my staircase (sconces can be found here, paint colors here, and master bedroom details here!)

Taking a big step in life is even more scary than that first step on a staircase. It’s like you are putting yourself at risk, stepping out into the unknown. While I’ve enjoyed many adventures in life, I think in my heart of hearts I’m just a homebody who would prefer to stay in the safety of one place and not go up or down if I could avoid it. Truthfully, I’d much rather stay safely on the ground floor. :)

Staircases & Big Steps {Part One}my staircase

But to get anywhere new you want to go, you have to get brave and take that scary first step off into the unknown! So with that said, tomorrow I’ll be back to talk about a big (but exciting) step my family is considering and what that first step might look like! Thanks, everyone, for following along with my adventures through the years. It’s nice to have friends along every step of the way and I’m so excited to share a possible new chapter with you all!

Click here for part two…


  1. Kay

    OMiGosh, someone who shares my stairs issues! Somehow I manage to miss the last step on occasion, + it’s very scary. Step ladders are problematic, as well. :-O

  2. Tracie

    What an insightful way to bring fear of the physical (heights) together with the emotional fear of taking a first step toward something new. I have a paralyzing fear of someone falling down steps because my son did many years ago. He recovered but I haven’t. This year “my word” is “move” because I feel like I’ve been stuck in a mental holding pattern. “Love the Home You Have” is helping me work through some of these feelings. Only God could have directed me to read this book at this time.

    I look forward to hearing about your next step!

  3. Lynn Marie

    Oh my goodness–we share the exact same staircase and height issues. We could never be up high or coming down together as our phobia would probably pull us down it together! As always, I love seeing your home pictures and those of other houses. I found the “bird” staircase very interesting–I would never have thought of that.

  4. Tamara

    Where did you get the console table? If you know the brand or name that would help as well. I’m looking for something to put in my foyer and This is absolutely beautiful!!!!

  5. Maggie

    I can somewhat empathize with you on that issue. The new homes being built these days have way too much height and they are way too steep compared to the older homes. It is scary taking that first step down.

  6. karen on bainbridge island

    I count every step on my two part staircase. Before I had my cataract surgery, my eyesight, even with glasses, was not good. On the descent, the last step is the same wood as the ground level and I thought I was at the last step when I really had one more to go. I took quite a tumble and the result was scrapes and bruises that were very colorful. Now I count 10-6 going up…..6-10 coming down.

  7. Peg

    Absolutely love your home!
    Have you considered adding
    a runner to help with grip and
    to also help mute footsteps?
    Peg : )

  8. Caroline

    I have to say to myself “Step, step, step, step…” anytime I go up or down steps and I have to do it slowly or else I will ALWAYS trip! My husband thinks I’m a little crazy because he has caught me doing it once or twice out loud {I usually do it in my head}! I’m so glad I’m not the only one doing this- I can’t wait to share it with him :) My favorite type of staircase is a classic, metal spiral one- probably because its a little tighter so I feel like if I trip, I have something curved in front of me to grab hold of! We have wall to wall carpeting on our current staircases {I *hate* it} and hope to replace it soon with a runner instead like the one in the third picture above! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Debbie

    I have panic disorder so I can totally relate to this… mine are irrational though. I also love the console table and am wondering where you bought it? It’s very beautiful.

  10. The Office Stylist

    These are so nice! I really like the look of the finished hardwood flooring. P.S. Love the numbered stairs, haha.

  11. Shauna

    When I saw your post on Instagram today about taking that first step, I knew I had to hop on over here to read a little more! I look at you and how far you’ve come with your blog and books and how you have inspired us more than you know. Then I wonder “how does she do it all so gracefully?” I discovered you a few years ago and have been quietly following along because you are real and authentic, and your home just makes me feel happy looking at everything you do! Because of you, I have toyed with the idea to start blogging but as of yet, I’m so afraid to hit “publish.” I have a 100 reasons why I shouldn’t blog but there is a whisper to do it! Just want to say thank you for always inspiring to take the leap of faith. Maybe one day I will hit “publish” and I will always hear your words to be authentic. That’s my hope and to just help others find that sweet silver lining in their home.

    Thank you for all your hard work in your writing and blog! You really are a blessing to your fans!
    Shauna {The House of Silver Lining}

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room


      Thank you so much for your sweet and encouraging email. I’m touched that you took the time to leave a comment. I know how you feel, I too often have a 100 reasons why I don’t want to take a leap of faith. I get scared, fearful, worried, panicked, and all the other feelings :). I have leaped out many times and been scared out of my mind. Yet, I think if you never leap toward your dreams, you never know what wonderful place you might land! Yes, you might trip or land on your rump (I do that) but quite often when you take a leap of faith, you at least land a little closer to where you want to be. I hope you will hit PUBLISH and I’m sure every word your share will be a blessing to someone else just as your words encouraged me today! Please tell me when you do and I’ll be your first commenter! xo

  12. Kari

    I love those numbered stairs!

  13. Gilly @ Colour Saturated Life

    I have to admit I was scared of stairs during my one pregnancy….for the right reasons as one day on my way down to laundry when I was heavily pregnant I feel down them. I immediately rushed to the doctors to find my daughter was okay but I had a massive bruise on my hip. Since then I still get freaked out!

  14. Linda @ Over Sixty Dating

    Your home is very beautiful, and obviously filled with love. I have enjoyed reading your blog it is so well written. Good luck with all of your adventures.

  15. Irma

    I can so relate to everything you say as I have this fear of heights as well. But what I’m noticing is that a lot of handrails don’t start till the first step has already begun, especially in newer homes. In older homes the handrails are often part of a landing rail or they begin about 6″ before the step. I have a balance problem and an arthritic knee so to lean over that first step to grab hold of it, is often tricky and very scary. I sure appreciate those buildings with extended handrails.

  16. Lorena

    You are a blessing to me! I am divorced and am solely raising my 3 boys ages 12, 14 and 16. We have a 100+ year old farmhouse in the country (minutes away from Texas A&M University). We moved out of it to make it larger but then had major issues with our contractor not being honest. We have been renting a house in town for 5 years now. I own an antiques store called Southern Grace which I’ve had for 6 years. I am so busy with work, even when I’m not at work, that I feel I’ve lost out on their childhood. I’ve basically been working to pay rent because I have no time to focus on the farmhouse. We are now moving my grandfather’s 750 sq ft, 1940’s cottage out to our property before the city bulldozes it. I’ve been back and forth so many times about closing the store to focus on family time and getting us back out to our little place but I seem to always put it off. I feel like with all the stress over raising 3 boys, the farmhouse renovations and now the cottage move (and it’s necessary improvements) all while owning a store…it won’t be surprising if I have a stroke. So at 4 a.m. this morning I knew I have to let something go….and that’s my store…which is sad but I know God has other plans. I know that if I focus on Him and my boys that he will guide me to what is next in life. I hope to have a small special events place out there but with a focus on helping ministry and Christian based charity groups. Basically, I’d have small weddings, bridal/baby showers and vintage tent sales in order to cover the bills. I plan on hosting church fundraising events, Bible studies and good old fashioned revivals!! I know our little farm is meant to become a place of healing and happiness. I know I’ve rambled but your blog post was right in line with my current emotional and financial worries. As long as we remember when the worry, fear, sadness and stress starts to overwhelm us, that it really comes down to something so simple, “Faith and Family”, it’s all a part of His plan for us. God bless you for being such a wonderful example to others!?

  17. Liz @ Infuse With Liz

    That’s an interesting way to tie in your fear of steps and taking a first step forward into something new! I grew up in a one level home with no basement. I didn’t have stairs around to get used to and I always seemed to struggle walking on stairs and feeling like I wasn’t going to hit one right and fall. I still grab the handrail as I go down steps. I’m sure your new adventure will work out fine :-)

  18. Lisa Murphy

    What kid of light colored wood is that? Love!

  19. Katy

    Oh dear. I totally feel ya. I broke my leg last year and was on crutches for six weeks. The stairs suddenly became about 800 times more scary. I actually butt-scooted up and down for probably at least the first three weeks because I was so scared I was going to catch a crutch and just…. lose it. Ugh. And right there with you on the heights thing – last year we went to the Grand Canyon and I probably hyperventilated like four times watching Mr. Coffee stand right on the edge. NOT to mention the one guy I saw RUN down a out shoot of rock. No railing. Just.. thousands of feet of NOTHING on either side of him. We left after that. haha (cause we had too). But… it was the most beautiful and breath-taking (in a good way too) thing I have EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. So. Worth it.
    Love & Coffee Beans ;)


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