Friday, January 29, 2010

The foyer remodel that almost brought on early labor

Are you new here? I am on tour with my house. My husband and I have been remodeling our home very slowly over the past 3 (almost 4) years, and we are finally done. Considering the amount of time this project has taken, it seems only fitting to record it, thus this house tour was started. You can see day 1 here. So glad you have stopped by and I hope you leave with some inspiration!

This post is one mainly of pictures. They tell a better story than I can. Below you will see where the foyer started. It was extremely dated, however, when we first bought the house I saw it as a blank canvas, something that wouldn't take much work to update. This was probably the biggest misconception of our remodeling process. This foyer was a bear!

And here is why. The gigantic window above the door had to come out. It dated the house unbelievably from the outside, and put us on display from the inside. We lived in the upstairs guest bedroom for 3 years before we were able to remodel our downstairs master bedroom....and I cannot tell you how many people must have gotten an unexpected show from the street in front of our house. There were so many times one us would be walking from the shower to our closet and forget that we were on display due to the window. It had go...therefore the entire exterior wall had to be cut out and re framed for a smaller, less revealing window. We also replaced these doors with ebay bought doors. We paid less than cost for them, and they are solid, beautiful doors. My cute carpenter started searching ebay long before we were ready to replace the doors, hunting for a deal, and he found one.
Next, please notice that the old stairs dropped you off at the bottom about 1 1/2 feet from the wall in front of you... an awkward design that had to be fixed once the new, bigger doors went in. And then there was that unfortunate detail of the 70's contemporary looking TILE on the floor in the foyer. The tile was installed over a 4 inch concrete base that had to be busted out with a jack hammer, and then a new sub floor put in.
Are you overwhelmed yet? I am having panic attacks just thinking back over the nightmare that this project turned into. I regret to inform you that I have no photographic evidence of my husband on his 2nd jack hammer (he burned up the first) busting up the floors, and me six months pregnant with baby #3 hauling out the tile and concrete demolition. We backed a pick up truck right to the front door and launched the construction demolition into the back of the truck. It took 3 trips to the dump because the back of the truck was dragging so low. I wish I was making this stuff up...it was a sight to see and it took us an entire weekend to get that floor busted up and hauled away.
Next we ripped out the stairs, but then hired someone to come in a replace them. Stair work is an interesting kind of science and my cute carpenter is good, but he wisely handed over the installation to someone else. We were without stairs to the second level of our home for several days, we used a ladder...remember, still pregnant! We also had to widen the walkway upstairs that led to the playroom because it was too narrow (remember that playroom at the end of the hall didn't use to be there, so we had to create a walkway to get to it). We also needed to fix the length of the stairs so that there was more room at the bottom. The new front doors could only open halfway with the old design.

In progress...



And just because he didn't have enough to do already, the cute carpenter tore out the door opening from the foyer to the family room so that he could design an arched opening that modeled the arched front doors. I was quite pleased with what he created, he never ceases to amaze me with the stuff he comes up with.
He and I worked together to layout the new hardwood floors and then he started on the trim up the staircase. What a difference trim makes, and the man is good with installing some trim work!



How cool is that?!?! All the cute carpenter's work!

A monogram should be in every room.

And this picture is here just because of the cuteness level...the dude is so appropriately labeled here.
If you want to see the whole tour click MY HOUSE TOUR over in the left column to see all the posts. Okay, I'm tired. How about on Monday we look at an undertaking that was less overwhelming...like updating a bathroom with just a little bit of paint. Alright, maybe it took a little more than just paint, but it was nothing like jackhammering tile while pregnant.
Have a blessed (snow filled) weekend, see you on Monday!
Amy

28 comments:

C.J. said...

wow! what a job that must have been, thank God your husband can do those things. I really like your blog and by the way, when are you due? Get your self a cup of tea and sit down for goodness sake.

http://wwwbeenblogged.blogspot.com/

The Starr Family said...

For Pete's sake.. you all are saints! What an amazing transformation! It is truly, truly gorgeous and I am certain worth the work, right? kinda?

Design A-Peele said...

It looks amazing!! Love the rounded trim work. He did an awesome job!

Melanie said...

It is absolutely STUNNING! Amazing work.

Cathy said...

Absolutely gorgeous! How wonderful to have your very own carpenter;)!

So glad you threw in the pic of the "dude"... cutest one I've ever seen!

Enjoy!
XOXO
Cathy

Kelly said...

Amazing! I am so impressed with the major changes you all tackled. Did you make a plan for the whole house initially, or tackle ideas one room at a time? I am fascinated by the process... especially with three small children!

Amy S. Norris said...

so, why is it always a thick layer of concrete underneath? and why does it always seem to be constructed with gravel and construction adhesive instead of water? and why do jackhammers lllleaavee yyyooooouuu seeeaaasssiiiiiccckkkk ffooorr daaaaaayyyysss affttteerr using them?

not only would we be bff's, your hubby & my hubby would hit it off. maybe we will look for some ENT jobs in NC. :)

Jill said...

Wow, it is just gorgeous! You and your hubby have some serious skillz! Amazing!

Becca said...

Okay, so your gorgeous home reno needs to be featured in a magazine or on HGTV ... just sayin'!! Your foyer is beautiful ... the doors are gorgeous and the detail your husband put into the arched doorway to "mimick" the arched front doors is awesome !! I LOVE the molding (and little dude hanging out on the stairs is just too cute)!! Have a great weekend, Becca (Adventures in Decorating)

Ashley said...

I can't seem to remember how I found your blog, but I know it was someone posting about your renovation. I am so highly impressed, and I wait with bated breath for each new installment! This foyer post was particularly awe inspiring for me. I love how you made that doorway arch like the front doors. Everything's in the details! Putting so much work into this home must make living in it so much more special!

Shannon said...

hey amy! stumbled on your blog from chatting at the sky! miss seeing you sister and reading your blog just makes me want to catch up with you all the more. hope our paths will cross soon! love you sister, shannon

ps - the updates are incredible - i knew your house looked great - but i never saw the before shots!

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

Those front doors! I'm clapping for you! This was a beautiful job, well done. I love all the molding and rich colors. So encouraging to see what a difference can be made with TLC (tough love carpetentry). Some serious love, and perhaps a little hate, when into that foyer! I can't wait for more.

Pam said...

Holy Cow! This is incredible! Your hubby could easily use your blog as his portfolio- he'd have carpentry jobs lined up til 2020! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comment!

julie said...

wow! what a beautiful job! was the install of the curved moulding hard? love it!

Melissa Stover said...

i can't believe the vision you had for this. even if i attempted a remodel, i wouln't know where to begin much less how i wanted it to end. people like you and your husband amaze me.

HouseMama said...

It's incredible. I'm having issues with coveting. Again. :)

Katy said...

WOW! How beautiful is your home, just wonderfully done!!! Love the arches that were created and the new staircase makes such a grand entrance.

Kimmy said...

Oh my word! That is AMAZING. Amazing. I can't wait to look through your blog for more inspiration... ~ kim

Kim said...

Very nice images. What a great post and great inspiration indeed.

The Fab Five said...

hi there! i'm new to your blog.. I was sent by amy norris..my internet friend, that has become a real life friend! She told me you were doing renovations and I love what I see. We are about to embark on some small renovations so I'm obsessing on every else's first.

Deidra said...

So beautiful! I have torn up the shag (!) carpet that was on my staircase when we bought the house, and have been debating a runner. I love yours! What a great job!

Pat B. said...

Your remodeling job is amazing; but, not as beautiful as that yummy little boy of yours!!

Pat B.

Richella said...

You have no idea how much I've enjoyed this house tour of yours. I've loved every space you've shown us. . . and I really loved the glimpse of the outside of the house. . . but this entry takes the cake. It's really, really beautiful. Gorgeous. Southern Living kind of gorgeous.

And I'm so glad that it didn't put you into premature labor--I just love the photo that darling little dude of yours!

Cara@TheSheetBoutique said...

Wow. This is fabulous. Definitely worth the 3 years in the making!

Dear Lillie said...

Absolutely STUNNING!!!!!

Joy said...

What a gorgeous transformation. I just can't believe the vision you had for this house. Boy it really shines now.
♥ Joy

Brenda said...

You have a beautiful Home and family! It's a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for sharing your wonderuful projects. I feel inspired!
Blessings to you! I love making new friends, come by and visit anytime!

Thank you!
Love, Brenda

Mindy said...

What a difference! I'm finding your blog today from the nester's linky... I just went through your whole house tour and can't believe all that you did yourselves! I'm so impressed and inspired... fabulous job on all of it!

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