Our Foyer Construction Project

Yesterday I shared our dining room with you guys and you got a couple glimpses of the living room in the background. 
Before I jump right into the whole living room reveal, I wanted to share with you the the construction that went on in our foyer area. 
 So this is the front of our house- front door and then a screened in porch.
The only problem is that the front door wasn’t really the front door. It lead straight upstairs for what was an upstairs apartment in the ’40s. 
The previous owners used the screened in porch as their front door and since we were putting in a fence for our dog and kids, we knew we wanted to actually make it so you could access the front door from downstairs.
 This is a view of the front door from the top of the stairs. See, just open the door and up you go!! 
If you were downstairs, you can see the door to outside, which leads out to the screened in porch and then the door to the left is a closet. On the other side of that closet wall, is the other door.
 When you open the closet, there are shelves and hanging space to the right of the closet.
And then to the left, is this built in cabinet.
After talking with the contractor we hired, we came to the conclusion that the wall that you see in the living room, plus the door, was original to the house, and the inner closet wall plus stairs, were added when they created the apartment so this project would be easier than we first thought.
The hardwood floors ran directly under the wall and that was going to save us lots of money!! 
So after talking with our contractor and set a start date for work, Travis and I got a little antsy! 
We hated not being at access this door especially when people would come knock on it and we had to go on the screened porch and tell them to come around.
So one day we decided to start a little demo ourselves.
I took the first few swings at the wall to see what was inside. 
Then continued to bust through to the closet.
I let Travis take over and then he decided to go a little crazy! 
We were just going to leave it a little hole between the studs so we could crawl through to use the stairs but he had other plans.
 He just kept going which was nice so we could get a better feel of exactly how we wanted them to open this space.
Here is a shot looking into the closet from the living room. This was before Travis cut a stud out of the way so we could easily get through! But it was amazing to see the light shining through.
Seeing this light alone coming through the holes in the wall got me so excited to get this project finished! 
When the contractor started, they got to work quickly on opening up the wall. 
The inner wall was totally removed then they cut an opening leaving a half wall. 
This was the route we were originally going to go. There is a cold air return in the wall and if we removed more of the wall, we would have had to figure out what to do with the vent.
Well after a weekend of living with this, and figuring things out, we decided it would best to get rid of the half wall portion because the space to walk through would be too tight.
So, when they came back to work, it was decided that the half wall would go and it was a great decision!! 
Unfortunately, we were left with this vent sticking out of the floor but the plan was to just cut down the box and place the vent covers directly in the floor.
We wanted an arch, to match the other arches in the space, and so the guys built and dry walled it all up. 
But it was totally uneven! 
If you can see, the left side of the arch is very boxy compared to the right side.
We were told it would get fixed by the plaster finisher so we let it go for the time being.
The plaster guy showed up, started doing his thing, and when we pointed out the mess up he was like “I can’t fix that!” Awesome! So after literally placing in THOUSANDS of nails in the arch and trying to add the metal corner piece with even more nails, he hated how it looked so after working on it for 2 weeks, he literally tore the entire thing apart!! Talk about my anxiety level going a little crazy! 
So after he completely rebuilt the arch, re-dry walled, and finally got to mudding the wall it was probably 2 to 3 more weeks since he tore it apart.
We definitely got to know him well since he was here late often. lol
The day he turned it over to the painter was the best day ever!! 
The painted came in and got the whole wall and inner area painted out and it was a remarkable sight to see! 
After the arch was completed, it was time to finish the stairs.
We had a stud that couldn’t be removed next to the cabinet where we opened the stairs up to so it left everyone a bit puzzled at what to do with it. 
We asked that it be cut back and they pretty much messed it up so then it really left everyone wondered what to do with it. 
We knew we had to add a newel post and spindles but if we added them to the existing stairs they would be too far in and look strange so I finally came up with this idea.
We built out the stair wall and treads passed the stud which gave us the perfect place for the spindles and newel post.
They also boxed in the stud up the wall to enclose it and tie it in a little bit.
Once they completed everything, they started staining it all and I had to tell them to stop because I had other plans for the space.
So over the weekend I painted the wall boxing in the stud the wall color, then painted the wood below the stairs white and stained the newel post and banister a darker stain then what they were doing.
They were a little surprised when they showed up Monday to see what I did but I am happy with the look.
Our plan is to paint the stair risers white so while I was painting, I started painting that area behind the spindles because at the time, they weren’t installed yet and it was so much easier.
 The stairs were officially done and I loved looking over to see them.
The last thing the contractors had to to in this area was install the new front door we had made by an Amish carpenter. 
This thing weighs a ton and it so nice! 
This job was done, well the contractor portion of this job, and then it was time for Travis and I to take over to finish redoing the floors and a few other small projects.
But that is where I am going to leave off right now! 
You will see the full foyer reveal tomorrow when I share the full living room reveal as well!

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  • Loris Glassworks
    April 6, 2016 at 1:14 am

    I love your new door and the fact that you changed the direction that it swings open. So much nicer to enter into the room, not into a wall and up the stairs. Great job opening up the space!
    Lori in Atlanta