Chicago Home Stair Runner Reveal

I could not be more excited to share our home stair runner with you all!  I partnered with Design Materials, Inc. for our stair runner at the after photo is AH-MAZING! When we were searching for our home, I desperately wanted a gorgeous staircase – something that brought out the charm in a classic Chicago home.  Plans were quickly sidelined when we fell in love with our 90s cottage home.  It checked all of the boxes… except the grand staircase.  I figured it was just one of those things I’d have to get over until I saw my renovation dreams coming to life.  OK, let’s start from the beginning.

home stair runner review


Before is super hard to capture because it was a total 90s hallway.  The stairs were completely functional surrounded by drywall and banisters screwed into the wall.

Do you see the stairs peeking out from behind the wall?  It seems like there’s no chance for a stunning staircase, but just you wait!

Here’s another view from upstairs.  Again, you can’t see the stairs because they were completely functional.  However, you can get a feel for the drywall banisters.  YIKES!  What I also didn’t realize at the time is the drywall banisters were essentially blocking the gorgeous sunlight from the skylight upstairs.

My inspiration

Isn’t it breathtaking?  I found this and fell in love.  It felt simple yet elegant. I found this design from Emily Henderson and instantly fell in love.  I adored how grand it felt.  It’s a statement piece, which is what I always wanted.  I didn’t think it would be possible.  Who knew I would find Design Materials, Inc. to make all of my dreams come true.


I always look back at this time period fondly, but the truth is it was chaotic.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d 100% do it again [sorry, Matt].  First, the drywall was pulled from the center of the staircase.  You could quickly see how open it felt.  I’ll admit, for a hot second I was worried I made it too open as I played novice designer, but I was quickly reassured when the posts were added in.

Then, the wall came down and it was a whole new world.  The second and third photos above I love because you can start to see the turn of the staircase coming to life.  
The drywall phase felt like it lasted forever.  But, The Matts Construction cut the stair treads and added in all of the spindles. which by the way are stock!  Can you believe it??  Stock spindles fit our timeline so that’s what we went with.

After (but before the stair runner)

The stairs looked stunning when The Matts Construction finished them.  It felt like they were missing something though… an accessory.  Plus, both grandmas may or may not have continuously made comments about a stair runner that planted the seed [as they’d grip the walls walking down the stairs with Emmie – love you Nana & Toots].

It was Danielle Moss’s post about her gallery wall that inspired me and actually how I found DMIKira Davidson, who’s a dear friend & designer, shared more about the company and I started following them on Instagram.  Their product is beautiful, but it’s actually this photo I gravitated towards.  You know I’m a sucker for a great entrepreneur story, and low and behold I found another one.  DMI is a family-owned business since 1979.  After a few DMs and a phone call, Denise [a third-generation family member] and I became fast friends.


Design Materials, Inc. offers high-quality products in classic patterns that last for years to come.  They are a company that truly values its customers.  So much so, in fact, that they refuse to have an answering service.  DMI prefers to connect with suppliers and customers in real-time.  DMI believes that longevity translates into better product quality, excellent customer service, and experienced product knowledge.

Plus, they’re a family-owned business.  As I mentioned, Denise is a 3rd generation family member.  She shared with me that she had the opportunity to join the business after college and she took the opportunity.  It gave her 8 years working side by side with her grandpa, and, now, more than 22 years working with her Dad.  Her relationship with her father is so special and unique given their bond at work.  That’s something you can’t embed within a company — it’s something that’s special to only a few that are out there.  With her brothers by her side, the next generation is laying plans for the future and continuing to serve their loyal customer base.

The Process

The only con about DMI is they offer too many beautiful choices.  When Denise and I met, I narrowed it down to 15 choices… that’s right.  FIFTEEN.  The patterns and colors were stunning, and I struggled to narrow it down.  DMI sent all of my favorites from their classic line along with choices from their premium brand Adara so I could view them on our stairs and live with them for a while.  The original styles are on the DMI site here and all of the premium styles under the Adara brand can be found here.

chicago home stair runner reveal

The choices above were my top favorite choices.  Matt’s favorite picks, too!

chicago home stair runner reveal

I loved the look and feel of the other patterns for our home stair runner but worried about a pattern making it too busy.  Plus, our stairs curve, which the supplier kindly reminded me of.  Following a pattern on a curve is super tough!  I did not want to risk the appearance and opted for a neutral (and stunning!) choice for our home stair runner.

We opted for the Ines 213 Cruz from the sisal collection.  It’s a neutral choice from the Adara Limited collection and Ines line, which you can find here. Not only is it beautiful, but its stain-resistant & fire resistant treated.  Win-win!

How to Order

It’s easiest to work with a designer to order.  If you’re in Chicago, I highly recommend Kira David Design.  She’s incredibly talented and a dream to work with!  If you are not working with a designer (like yours truly!), then call DMI directly.  They can put you in touch with a great supplier.

chicago home stair runner reveal jen herrmann

We worked with Eagle Carpet Services for measurement and installation and had a wonderful experience.  The team was super professional and safe (which is even more important during COVID).  Most importantly, the final product is stunning!!

Tada!  Our beautiful home stair runner from Design Materials, Inc.

I can’t thank Design Materials, Inc enough for giving me the opportunity to work with them.  I am absolutely in love with our staircase now.  This runner completes the look and feel we wanted.  Not only do the stairs feel complete, but they also look great and are super safe to walk up and down.

If you are in need of a stair runner or carpet for your home, I could not recommend Design Materials, Inc. more.  They’re professional and easy to work with.  Plus, the product is stunning.  All around it was a very easy and seamless experience.

Meet Jen

I’ve always had a love affair with creation. Since I was a child, I handmade my gifts or combined toys to design something new. Fast forward twenty years, and I’m still making my gifts every holiday and designing new ways to do things.


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In order to grow my small business, I earn revenue in a few different ways. I publish sponsored posts from time to time, which are always labeled. Sometimes I earn an affiliate commission on the sales of products or business resources I link to. I only feature items I genuinely love and want to share. Thank you for reading and supporting my small business!

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