Making Holes in the Wall

They say first impressions are lasting. The most commonly used door into the house happens to be the one on the side.

The front door isn’t used by anyone unless they are trying to sell you something, or delivering sushi… The side door entry needed some heavy remodeling.

Out came the sledge and down went some walls. Check out the full impact after the jump.

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Originally this was the view you were greeted to when you walked in:

There was just enough room to swing the door open and then to the left two steps up to the kitchen, and directly in front of you five steps leading into the basement.

It was all the things you didn’t want; small, awkward, and dark.

Since the house is so small (you can take a tour of the original glory here and here) we had very little maneuvering room. But this was a priority, if we couldn’t improve the initial experience of the house, well anything else we did do would be diminished.

One thing the house does have going for it: high ceilings. Because the landing on the entry way is lower than the other floors it was even taller in here. So we decided to emphasis this and took out the sledge.

Hello wall.

Goodbye Wall.

That blue is the entryway, you can just see the top of the door peeking out.

Cutting out part of the wall was a messy affair. The house was built in the 30s and the walls aren’t lath and plaster or drywall. They are an awkward in between stage that was never meant to be taken down. Also, although the wall wasn’t a supporting wall (ironically the house is so small that only the exterior walls are) the husband went up into the attic and added some blocks to re support the ceiling.

This picture is taken from the hallway, there use to be a large cabinet here at the end.

So with this we had fixed the dark part of our problem. And visually we had added some space to the room. But it wasn’t functional with such a small landing. Because the stairs were leading into what was the kitchen the whole flow of the house was off. Lucky girl that I am, moving stairs was within the realm of possibility for the framer husband. So we decided to flip the stairs and make the hallway the path for all traffic in the house.

So now when you enter to the left are the stairs going down to the basement.

And in front of you is twice the size of a landing and stairs leading into the main level of the house. We were able to expand the length of the landing because the basement stairs that originally occupied this spot had 5 or 6 risers, which meant it occupied more horizontal space than the two risers needed to get to the main level.

This is where the stairs originally lead up into the kitchen. We’ve built a closet around it now, but I’ll show you more on that when I do a post on how we changed what was the kitchen into a bedroom.

Knocking that wall down into a half wall changed the feel of the entire house.



The state of that door personally offended me. I hated walking by it during the day. So I spent an hour or so taking off all the random fixtures and scraping off adhesive. Then I raided my misc paint collection, did a little mixing and came up with a short term painting solution. Which I tend to do for many projects we just can’t get to the next stage of yet, like the fireplace.

It’s blotchy in the picture because the paint is still wet. We are still working on the entry way, I’m hoping that soon it’ll see the benefits of the tiling enthusiasm that started in the bathroom.

We scored *free!* tile from a guy off Kijiji. It was about half a skid worth of misc stuff, not any large amount of any one type. BUT there happens to be enough of a marble-look Italian ceramic tile for me to finish off this floor with.

I see a herringbone floor in my future, and a lot of time in front of the tile saw in the husband’s.


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