Monday, April 21, 2014

Foyer Update: The Reveal

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I spent the weekend transforming our foyer from this....



To this:



But let's start from the beginning. Lots of photos today so grab a drink and get cozy.

Originally I was planning on another board & batten treatment for this wall, kind of like what I did in our old house...


But then I remembered I had tons of leftover planks just sitting in the garage so I thought I'd save some money and use them again. It's also nice because it's consistent with the planking in the adjacent areas.

I won't go into depth about the planking process (you can read all about that when we did our kitchen ceiling, kitchen wall, studio, and living room), but here's a quick overview.

Step 1: Remove the existing baseboard.


Step 2: Relocate the wiring for our door chime (this wasn't necessary, but I thought it'd look better tucked in the corner by the door instead of on top of the planks. I picked up an old fashioned little bell to replace the giant wood & plastic relic from the 70's.



Step 3: Cut some planks. I started on the small wall first, and had to measure for each one since the wall wasn't perfectly even all the way down.


Step 4: Secure planks to the wall. On these, I shot two nails through the tongue of each to hold it in without being visible (the groove of the board below will hide them. The tongue and groove locks them together so you don't have to go overboard with the nail gun.


In no time, this wall was finished.


Then I started on the main wall—same process here, except I used two nails on each end instead of along the bottom since it would be hidden by trim.


For the bottom, I just ripped down the last board with a table saw and it locked in place.



Already an improvement...



Then it was time for trim. I started with quarter round at the top...


Then quarter round again where it met the wall on the right, and a 90' piece for the outside corner on the left.



Then came the tricky part... this edge where it met up with the bar.


At first I was going to use quarter round again, but decided another 90' piece would look nicer, and that way I could also cover the edge of the stacked stone. To give it something to nail to, I first put up a scrap piece of wood cut to 3/4".



At the bottom where it met the counter, I cut another piece of wood the same depth but wider to cover the larger gap.

Then I secured my corner piece over them:


Whew, much better. And finally it was time to spackle the nail holes & caulk the seams.

It takes a whole lot of caulk to get into all the little spaces...


Before painting, I decided to use a primer over the knots because I've been noticing a slight amount of yellowing where the knots are on the other plank walls. It's nothing obvious, but enough to take the extra step of using primer (I used Zinnser's in the blue can for this). Since it was water based, I was able to go ahead and touch up over the already-painted walls elsewhere in the house while I was at it, and hopefully that will stop them from bleeding through any more.



After the primer was dry, I applied a couple coats of my go-to white satin paint (Valspar Signature color matched to Kelly Moore's Swiss Coffee), and the hardest part was over!



Then the real fun began—decorating.

I had the perfect mirror to use... remember this guy from our sunroom?


He was a perfect fit. But I decided to age him a bit by sanding the edges.


Much better.


Next, I wanted to bring some function to to the wall with a shelf—but it had to be small because we open the left door every now and then to bring large things through. A custom shelf/ledge held up by brackets was what I decided on.

I have a bunch of old wood lying around so I grabbed a pallet and started hacking away at it. This is the first pallet I've ever attempted to disassemble, and seriously, I'm not even sure it's worth it. 


I started prying one piece at a time, and after about 20 minutes of struggling I only had one board off. Then I took my jigsaw and tried to cut them all off. Finally, Brad came to the rescue with a huge crow bar and helped me pry each individual rusty nail out. It took probably an hour just to get this one board.

I'd think I'd rather just buy a bunch of wood at Lowe's, throw them in the backyard for a few years and let nature do its thing. That would definitely be easier.

Anyway, after I finally got my board, I cut it in half and gave them a light coat of stain (Minwax's Dark Walnut).



I picked up these brackets at Lowe's for around $6 each, but they only came in white and I wanted them to look like iron.


So I spray painted them of course (satin black). And once they were dry, I was ready to assemble my shelf.



Using black drywall screws, I secured each bracket to the wall...


Followed by the wood pieces.


Simple as that!

For my last project, I decided to add some greenery with a couple door wreaths. I picked up four wire wreath bases for $2.50/ea at Joann's (I plan to make two for the front door as well) along with green floral wire.

We're spoiled out here in the country with a large variety of plants and trees, so I stepped out into the front yard and found some shrubbery that was in full bloom. I gathered some clippings that I thought would make perfect spring wreaths.


To attach them, I snipped off small pieces of wire and bent them into a U shape...


Then starting from the outside, secured my clippings one at a time (here's the back):



It takes a while to get the hang of it, but after the outer ring is done it goes by quickly, and in 20 minutes or so I had this:


I thought about incorporating some flowers, but I loved the simplicity of the leaves so I left them as is.


I've never made a natural wreath before so I have no idea how long it will last, but I plan to spritz it with water frequently and hope it stays good for at least a little while!

With the final touches on the door, the foyer is dressed up for spring and ready to welcome guests...




These pretty flowers came from the same shrub as the wreath leaves. They're a big hit with bees.





I picked up the antler at a local flea market for a few bucks, and I've had the gold dish as long as I can remember. It holds spare change/keys/etc.



I pulled an old Ikea vase out of storage to serve as an umbrella holder. The metal bicycle basket was purchased on Ebay a few years back and is great for mail and small packages.






Most everything was reused/repurposed in this space or I had it on hand already, so this whole makeover cost me around $30 (for the shelf brackets, trim pieces and wire wreaths).

Not a bad deal considering this is how it started...



I still need to spruce up the closet door and replace the ceiling light, but this proves that you can still have a welcoming entryway even if your foyer is tiny/nonexistent. And on a budget!

Alright folks, guess what? My next post is the Big Kitchen Reveal! I'll be doing last minute preparations over the next few days, and the post will be up first thing Thursday morning (in the meantime, you can follow my instagram feed where I may post a sneak peek or two...)

I'm so excited to share everything with you guys, I can hardly wait. The countdown begins...


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Foyer Updates: New paint & door hardware

If you've been following along on instagram, you may remember this in-progress photo I posted on Tuesday...



Not the best looking door yet, but let's back up for a second... here's what we're working with:



Of course that was way back when we first bought the house, but literally the only thing we've changed since is the floors.


Everything else was gold, beige and bleh. Had to go.

Remember when I painted our kitchen door black?


I love that door so much—I knew black was the right choice for the front doors too. They needed to stand out rather than blend in to the background.

I used the same paint (Valspar Signature Duramax Exterior paint in Dark Kettle Black, which is a soft smoky black).

Let's take a look at the front of the doors first...


Not a terribly offensive color, but really not my style.

The old mismatched brass handles were especially rough looking.


After scrubbing the doors down, removing the hardware and taping the trim off, it was time to paint.

The first coat always looks rough...


Covering over darker colors is a little easier...


The paint dries pretty fast though, and by the time I finished one side and took a small rest, it was time to put up another coat.

Here's how the second coat looks:



Then a third coat, which covered pretty well.


I went over it a fourth time just to get any areas that were peeking through and make sure it was fully covered.

After drying, we installed our new hardware. I ordered matching handles for all three keyed entrance points (the kitchen, front door and garage) so they would all be keyed the same. Nice and simple.


For the front door, I spray painted the decorative handle bars (we painted the gold screws black after this photo was taken). The doors look grayish here—they are definitely black when you step back, but next to the oil rubbed bronze you can see that the shade is definitely a softer black.




Once that was taken care of, I painted the foyer and hallway in the same barely-there gray I use throughout the house—Valspar's Montpelier Madison White.



I am seriously in love with this paint—it covers in just one coat so I was able to paint the foyer and entire hallway in less than a couple hours. Easiest paint job ever.

Here's a hallway photo from the other night...



And here it is now:



Certainly far from done (I plan to add some kind of molding/trimwork and a ledge for frames), but it's a step in the right direction. It's much more refreshing in there.

While we're at it, we're updating the old switches so that's still in progress (I need to make a Lowe's trip to grab some plates). I also ordered matching ORB handles for the rest of the doors in the house, so they should be here in a few days—so ignore the taped down closet door below. And I plan on either replacing that door entirely or transforming it with trim + paint in the near future.

I also added this jute runner I picked up at TJ Maxx for $30 a couple weeks ago...




I'll bring in more pieces this weekend to add some personality, but for now I'm just loving the contrast it brings to the space.



No more blending into a sea of white & beige!


Both doors open, which is convenient for the large packages we're always bringing into the house, but we normally keep the right door latched in place.


Now they are just begging for some spring wreaths for a pop of color. Planning to get on that soon.

Meanwhile, it's time for another planking project! This little foyer wall is my next victim...



Work begins tonight, so I'm hoping to have a fully functional, fabulous foyer photo for you on Monday (say that 5x fast).

Enjoy your Easter weekend!