5. Painted Stair Runner
The inspiration: High-maintenance rugs
The project: Homeowner Lynn Boughton loves the look of high-end runners but can't stand to vacuum stairs. So she finished the ones that lead down to the master suite in her Brooklyn, Michigan, home with easy-to-sweep paint. After putting down a wood-colored base coat, she marked off a 2-foot-wide runner edged with bright red stripes. Tools included a small torpedo level and painter's tape in two widths."I put down workable 2-foot lengths as I went along," she says. "Then I ‘pounced on' the red to give it a fuzzy-carpet look."
The payoff: A rug that cleans up with a dustpan and broom