If you have ever done a renovation, you may have also fell victim to the downward (or upward, depending on which way you look at it) reno spiral. This is when you start one reno, like taking out some walls, for instance, and then decide that if you’re going to take out some walls, you’re going to have to replace the floors; then if you’re going to replace the floors, you’ll have to replace the trim and if you’re going to do that, you might as well replace the doors and all the hardware and what the hell, let’s just burn the place down and start all over. Okay, the last step isn’t necessary, but everything else before that really happened.
Our house had strip oak hardwood floors, which are very common in houses of this age, and something I was actually very excited about when we first walked through. I love the look of refinished hardwood and thought it would be easy on the wallet.
After more thought, however, we decided it would be nicer and a whole lot easier to just replace them. Because we were tearing out so many walls we would’ve had to fill in the spaces where the walls once were. It would have been very difficult to salvage enough hardwood and match it up properly in all the missing spaces. The hardwood that was there was also in very rough shape and creaked and cracked like firecrackers wherever you walked. Sometimes, I think the creak of old hardwood floors is part of the charm and character, but this was a bit much. In fact, our upstairs is still covered in these creaky floors and it drives me crazy. Especially when I am trying to sneak out of my kids’ bedrooms after putting them to sleep.
From the looks of this picture, I’d say the ladies did all the work on this floor. Ya, let’s go with that! 😉
Shaun technically picked out these floors. Looking back now, I’m trying to remember how that happened, and I just can’t even. I swear, I am really really not a control freak in my everyday life, but when it comes home decor, I have a problem. When you see our black leather, puffy sofas that look like they were bought in 1997, but actually purchased in 2010 by my husband, you’ll understand why I have trust issues. I will write an entire post on our sofa story one day…Anywayyyy, Shaun sent me a picture of these floors at the store and I approved (again, can’t believe I just went with it from a picture). Thankfully, it worked out and I still love them two years later. The floors are Acacia Walnut 5″ hand-scraped solid hardwood like this.
In Shaun’s week off, he tore down all the walls, pulled out all the existing floors and trim, put up the beam, had the electrical and ducts reworked and laid new floors (with help of course)…oh, and we moved in…with a 1 year old. Yep…all that happened in a week. It’s amazing what you can get done when you don’t actually live in the space. Needless to say the next steps took a lot longer! Over the course of a year or so, we enclosed the bulkhead and post, added new trim, skimmed the textured ceiling, built out a closet and moved the door to the powder room, hung new doors and painted EVERYTHING.
That bulkhead and post took a lot of time to do, especially because at this point we were now living in the house (hence the baby in the highchair – that was fun!). Aesthetically, it is not ideal to have a giant bulkhead and post in here but it was our best option for opening up the space and it is SO much better than the chopped up space it was. An island will eventually sit against that post as well, which I think will make it not look so out of place. Who knows, maybe one day it will even be a feature?! I’m working on it – just nod and smile, nod and smile! 🙂
We had very ugly textured ceilings in the living room which I would have wanted to remedy regardless, but in opening up the walls we knew we would have to do something to create the same texture throughout. Shaun skimmed and sanded the ceiling (and skimmed and sanded again) until we had nice smooth ceilings. We later realized it would have been easier to scrape the texture off the ceiling and just patch up where the walls were but that’s just one of the many lessons we’ve learned along the way. Not even the contractor knows EVERYTHING. (;
Trim going up! We wanted a modern, sleek look for our trim. We bought 1″x5″ clear pine from a local lumber mill and simply primed and painted it white (with some light sanding between coats) before installing it. We love the look! You can also see the new paint colour here but I’ll talk about that more in my next post.
There was a short period of time there, when we had to walk through the closet to get to the powder room. It was kind of like Narnia, except instead of Narnia, the closet led to a very ugly bathroom. Sooo, not like Narnia…at all.
And here’s the closet and the new entrance to the powder room in the front hall. Drywall is fun! Nope…no it’s not.
Doors! I truly get excited about every detail, and doors were no exception. In keeping with a more modern style my only request for our interior doors, was ‘nothing curvy’. I love the simplicity of these doors, while still providing some visual interest with the panels. You may notice the fireplace is already painted in this picture…we’re getting there! Check out the next post for the final phase of the main floor reno!