The attic stairs are done... and there's no doubt, it's a huge improvement!
I decided to go bold, so I attached Behr paint chips to the walls- working in a slight dark to light gradient (...and don't worry! Home Depot was quite willing to have me take all of these paint chips- I asked first!). Aside from the paint chips, everything else was stripped (3-4 layers of wallpaper- yuck!), cleaned, prepped, and painted white. We also installed a runner made from rag rugs my Grandmother made. It feels so much brighter and cleaner. All said & done, I rang in with a total cost of $16. We spent $4 on a ventilation mask for me to wear and $12 on 2 bottles of spray adhesive.
I just love how fun and colorful this space is now, and it's so much more appropriate for the nursery! Jesse and I both agreed reading through the paint chip names is quite amusing too, so maybe someday our little one can practice reading off names like "Majestic Mint," "Lemon Tart," and "Feather Plume."
Perhaps most important is that the stairs withstood their first test! We successfully moved a very large, heavy piece of furniture up them (more on that later!), and the runner made it a lot easier while holding up fabulously. The dogs are also no longer afraid to wander up them, which gives us one more thing to worry about when we're in the attic. :)