An L-shaped runner of original quarter-sawn red oak was created by coloring the surrounding flooring with ebony stain. The homeowner exposed some of the true 2x4 headers and studs of the entry-hall wall. "Once I took the paster off the walls I realized I didn't want to close all of them back up," says Strong. "The exposed stud walls downstairs make the rooms feel larger and allow for better ventilation."
To complete the look, Stong added a rough-hewn cedar post rescued from another job site.