This house reno blog has been a long time coming! We' ve lived in this house for about 3 years now, and I wish we had a blog that documented it from day 1, but better late than never! So from here on out I'm hoping to have blogs for each of our reno projects, as we're just in the beginning stages of redoing the whole main level in our house.
It's crazy because when we first bought our house, it underwent a lot of changes, and now, only three years later, we're redoing everything all over again. Hopefully this time it sticks...
Here's what the entryway looked like when we first moved in.
Here's what it ended up looking like all this time...messy, cluttered, and dark. See all the debris on that rug? If I didn't vacuum it every day, it would look like that. Plus from wet shoes and boots, the rug would smell. So I would have to haul it outside in the summer and scrub it with soap and water until my knuckles we raw and rug-burned. Not the best hey?!
When our house reno plans began to form, Isaac cleverly suggested that we tile the floor in there. Of course my response was a very loud and excited "WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?!". It really didn't make any sense for there to be hardwood flooring in an entry way. So Isaac had fun using a crow bar and ripped up all the hardwood, although for some reason I don't have a picture of that stage, sorry.
We found some OSB pieces to use for the underlay. Some people say you shouldn't use it, because it expands and contracts and can lead to cracked tiles. Since we are so often 'wing it' people, this was no exception, and we gave it a go anyways. We sanded the OSB to give the Thinset adhesive something to stick to, and so far it's been fine for us, but if that changes, I'll let you know. We let it cure properly before walking on it, then grouted it, cleaned it, and finished with tile sealer.
We went out and found the cheapest tiles we could. I wasn't fussy, I just knew I wanted something light and neutral coloured. Luckily, RONA had their yard sale on at that time, and we scored some for about $12 a box and paired them with some other ones we got off our local classifieds. They were a little different in colour and size, but we made it work and I actually quite like how the slight colour variation looks.
Next thing on the agenda was the storage cabinet. I wanted all of our coats, shoes, hats, gloves, EVERYTHING to be hidden behind doors or drawers. So I came up with a design, and Isaac custom built us a fabulous storage cabinet. The drawers on the bottom hold all the gloves and hats, the tall cabinets are where we hang our coats, and the two cabinets on the ends have adjustable shelves for all of our shoes.
Naturally, I decided I wanted the ceiling to be shiplapped...
For this we cut 1/4" MDF into 6" strips and painted them with pure white paint in an eggshell finish. Then we applied some PL all the way across the back of the board to prevent "board popping" when moisture levels change.
It's a two man job to mount the boards to the ceiling. One person stands at each end holding up their end of the board, and Isaac worked his was along nailing and spacing with nickels. We used the jigsaw to cut out the hole for the light fixture.
Thankfully it didn't take very long to mount the strips. Maybe an hour or so.
We put up trim all the way around to hide any gaps and give it a more finished look.
I also decided to repaint and scuff up the light fixture a bit. Everything looked great, but I missed the "shab" factor, so that was an easy small way to add a little without going too crazy.
We still wanted a place for someone to sit if they needed, so the only place left for that was at the end of the cabinets, by the basement door. We designed the cabinet to have a faux drawer on that end, and made sure the cabinet door could open right over top of the seat. I wanted there to be a little bit of wood in there for contrast, so we opted to stain the seat, and paint the decorative support brackets.
That little seat is so cute! Room for only 1 bum at a time, but it works :).
We replaced the door that leads down to the basement too. The one we had before was a glass french door and rattled too much, plus it had a broken glass panel, so it was time.
I painted it a light blue colour, but it still was too dark, so I lightened it up with a white wash by simply painting on some white, and wiping it with a damp rag.
The cute little decor piece between the plates was a bday gift from my brother last year! He chose well :).
I also decided I wanted a barrel lock on the door rather than a door knob. It gives it a more garden-feel I think!
It was shiny and new when I bought it, so to age it a bit I dumped some vinegar on it and let it dry, and repeated a few times. Then I poured some hydrogen peroxide on it followed by some salt and baked it for about 20 min in the oven.
I found this awesome herb picture at a thrift store a few years ago. I remember hemming and hawing over whether I should spend the money on it, I'm so glad I did! It was in our kitchen up until now, but it suits this room perfectly.
Here is the shabbed up light fixture.
The small size and shape/layout of this room makes it unbelievably hard to photograph! I crouched, I leaned, I slouched... just know I tried my darnedest!
We chose to leave the top of the cabinet open so I could put some plants up there.
So there ya have it! I'd still like to get a jute rug for in front of the cabinets, and I'd like to hang a little curtain on the basement door window. But other than that it's pretty much complete.
What do you guys think? I'm really pleased with it so far! If any of you are wondering, I would like to fill those nails holes on the shiplap. But to be honest, that probably won't happen until we put the house up for sale one day :D. Next project is our living room TV wall so stay tuned for that!
I'll leave you with these side by side before and afters :). Thanks for reading!