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My entrance and my stairs: the big unveiling! Home Renovation

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This month 7 years ago I went through the front doors of my house. I had previously looked into the windows during a barely planned trip to Kingston – a place I really didn’t know about but which seemed pretty cool – and fell in love with the glimpses I could see. The only rooms I could see were those that would later become my living and dining room, as well as the large salon that I currently call the Hoard Room of Doom, which will eventually be the most chic room ever.

See? We can still look forward to something.

As with most real estate ads, the photos were less about showing the room than more about a practice of abstract expressionism.

For example, this was the only shot of the hallway and stairs lurking behind a large wood-paneled wall that blocked them both for the public and for private enjoyment. It looked promising, but hard to tell what was going on.

And then, on that cloudy morning in early March, I could see it myself. And what started out as an irrational obsession with a house that I couldn’t really buy became a determined mission to make it mine. I blame the unpainted, perfectly preserved Newel post. Followed by the unique paneling and the original sink in the bathroom on the second floor. The heart wants what it wants and my heart wanted this staircase. And everything around him too. Bad.

At that time, the house was divided into two apartments, which is why these two doors are covered with plywood. It was definitely built as a single family home, and newspaper reports strongly suggest that it was converted into apartments (or at least rooms for rent) during the Great Depression, and then apparently rebuilt before being sold to its second owners in 1962 in the early 1970s the third owners split it again, this time into an apartment on each floor. And then, 40 years later, I came with great ambitions to get the house back to its original glory, which pretty much updates you.

There was a ton to cope with work, mostly the exterior of the house and selected living spaces inside. My approach did Basically was room by room, with the exception that it made the most sense to do all plumbing, electrical, or drywall work at the same time – most of which occurred within the first year. The kitchen and laundry room were the first priorities before I turned to the living quarters and some pretty massive outdoor work that completely changed two of the house’s elevations. In the hallway, I removed the ugly 1970s additions, removed the wallpaper, had various plumbing and electrical jobs done, and then had the ceiling replaced and the walls covered with grout. And there it was.

In June I have been here for 7 years and – finally – tackled the main artery of the house – the entrance, the hallway and the stairs – through which I walk about 100 times a day. And suddenly the house feels like Completely different. Completely strange. Like a real place where a functioning adult could live. It will take me a minute to mentally adapt to this new reality. Ready to take a look ?!

Once more. 2013 …

And today!

I feel. So chic. Whose house is that ?!

If you participated on Instagram stories Where have I released almost daily updates for about 2 months? Then you know that this was a really deceptive amount of work. Pretty much every single part of it was a great challenge and love work – from the restoration of 15 (!!!) doors and all the associated fittings, the stripping and grinding of 17 steps to the tapering of 57 spindles, preparation and priming and all that Seal molds. It was really amazing how much it felt like “painting”! and to what extent it really tested almost everything I learned about renovation in one place. It was so tough. But man. It feels so good.

Sure, that may sound boastful, but … I can’t believe this is my house. It is so grown up. It’s like … not a total wreck. It’s so … clean … and clean! I just love it.

There are so many great old details in this room that my heart beats a little faster. This is my front doorknob and my keyhole sign, polished up! Admittedly, they are currently too shiny and look new, but that’s the beauty of unpainted brass – it gets patinated over time.

Check out this beautiful Eastlake castle! So beautiful!

I am particularly proud of how the stairs came out because it was NOT easy. All of these stages had to be dismantled kind of A real nightmare that included various experiments with chemical strippers, a hot air gun, lots of sandpaper and lots of dust masks. BRUTALLY. I treated the old pine steps with lye, a kind of old technique (colonial Americans used it to clean their floors!) That brightens the wood and takes out some of the yellows for a more neutral and natural look. I used my old faithful water-based polyurethane – Bona Traffic HD – and they feel and look good underfoot! They take a lot longer to look dirty than painted steps, which is important in a house with two big sloppy dogs.

The railing is a whole different Story. I remembered what a friend had taught me shellacwhich is basically that it dissolves with denatured alcohol and can be rejuvenated – even if it’s a century old! NEVER IN MY LIFE I would have thought that the spindles would look so fresh and beautiful! The wood tone! I’m dying! Now that you can see the beautiful wood grain again, I can’t believe I’ve ever done it considered paint it.

And the Newel Post. The first reason why I fell in love with this house! I always joked that it was basically that one thing in the house that had escaped the bad previous job unscathed and vowed that I would never mess with it as long as I lived. So you can imagine how stressful it was when I decided to strip off the newer polyurethane finish to get rid of that dark, plastic look. From there I used a 1: 1 ratio of Interesting shellac to denatured alcohol and wiped off a few coats. It seems to have worked great and I love that the mahogany has been freed and it is really shining again. It feels so beautiful too. It couldn’t be nicer.

Oh Mekko. You queen! Hold this fort down with elegance and class since 2013.

Well, needless to say, the most visible and effective change is here THE COLOR. Since this is a high traffic area that can be used and misused, I wanted a high quality paint that would provide nice coverage and Stick to scratches and get cleaned and scrubbed from time to time. I loved giving HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams from Lowe is a spin! It is an excellent color. I added Floetrol the paint for the paneling and the doors, which extends the drying time and enables better self-leveling capabilities, more like oil paint. The stuff is incredible – highly recommended for thicker colors that dry quickly. I am a Floetrol Loyalist now. Game changer.

The walls and the ceiling are HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Oyster White (Eggshell), that’s okay HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Extra White (Satin), and the doors are a HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams color matching to Benjamin Moore Onyx (Satin) – my old standby black, with whom I have been painting doors since 2011. I still love it.

By the way, Oyster White could now be an absolute favorite. It is so pretty. It’s gray and green and blue and white, but somehow still warm and it looks good at any time of the day and is just so beautiful. Of course, the “Extra White” paneling (which isn’t too special – it still has some pigments to give it a nice dimension) makes it really good – for me it’s enough contrast to demonstrate the amazing ornamentation, but still keeps everything bright and bright. I was nervous, I would find everything a bit boring, but I am really very happy with all of this. I just don’t feel like this hallway wanted to be crowded and dramatic, and I’m glad I went with my stomach and kept it simple.

It just feels great to have all doors painted, opened and closed, and with a fully restored set of hardware. All of this really makes me want to rework the floors NOW, but this is a project for a different time. I’m shitting!

I do not even know. At this point, I’m just having fun with the same before and after angle. I am an experienced blogger. What can I say. It’s been a long time since the house had all these strange walls and doors, but I still really appreciate how beautiful and open this room is. It feels really good to be there.

I keep using pictures from when I bought the house, but that’s what things have looked like for the past 6 years or so while walking around with blinders.

Although I am looking at a guest toilet under construction, I am so glad that I took off the glass on the mirror above the door! It only lets in a little more light and the glass is so wavy and pretty. I bet the thing was painted for 80-90 years.

Do not worry about it! This wall lamp was kept for another purpose, but it just felt weird here. Can you believe that this was the ONLY light source in the entire ground floor room? That, combined with all the strange departments and locked doors, made a VERY dark hallway.

I am so glad to see that this lithograph is hanging again and in such a valued place! It was with me most of my life – my mother and I found it in a thrift store when I was a kid for about $ 60! It is from Alexander Calder and I enjoy it. If you’re a scholar, you can tell by my Manhattan bedroom all those years ago!

Things like that make me very happy. The wall / door from the 1970s in the back of the hall was built around this curve so you couldn’t see it at all when you bought the house! I don’t think I even knew it was there until the demo. To see everything beautifully restored … it’s so elegant!

The flush-mounted lamp is an antique by the way! I bought it a while ago for $ 60 from a barn sale. I’m not sure if photos do justice to beauty and size, but I love them for this area. It can be difficult to have two lights in the same room, but I think they shine well by themselves, but they also really make the chandelier on the front of the hall shine.

Oh, right, the chandelier. I love this thing. It is the Erzo 8-Light natural brass chandelier from Kichlerand I got it from Lowes! It is nice and heavy and solid and comes with enough threaded rods so that it can hang higher or lower depending on the space. There is something that feels like a modern interpretation of an old gas chandelier to me, which of course originally hung here. I like that you can change the look depending on which lamps you use! It’s also a really versatile piece, so I could see it in the dining room, for example, if I ever get tired here.

I also think it works well the Globe Electric light I went up the stairs – there is no way to see both at the same time, but I still wanted them to play well together without being too fitting.

Before and After are really the funniest game. I know that repeats itself. BUT LOOK UP. How very nice.

I love this area in the back of the hall where there is a door on every wall! I cannot describe how grateful I am that this house keeps all of its original doors. Only ONE is missing (the former office-current washroom), but I plan to fix it. At a time when everyone wants to have an “open concept”, I’m the old grumbler who likes having rooms enclosed and included, including and excluding dogs in certain areas, and being able to control heat and cold air in winter.

I think one of the last remnants of the multi-family past of the house is this funny little door knocker attached to one of the doors of the Hoard Room of Doom. I think it is probably from the remodeling of the 1930s, not from the 1970s? But it always made me giggle and it feels like a sweet and harmless allusion to the house’s recent history. May also be haunted.

Is that it? Have we covered everything? I am so happy with how this space has developed and how much it really changes my attitude to my home. I look forward to it changing and evolving! You may notice some empty wall space that calls for art, and I still need an elegant solution for hanging coats and things, and my gold leaf mirror numbers still need to be installed, and so on, but it gets really difficult and dusty Stuff out of the way feels amazing. Continue!

A big thank you to my friends at Lowe for providing the products used in this area, the support that allowed me to spend time and their patience with me if it took longer than expected! Best. Sponsors. Yeah!

And thank you for all the kind wishes and warm blurs that I received yesterday for the 10th birthday of this blog! Best. Reader. Yeah!

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