Sunday, February 23, 2014

Foyer: The Finished Product

FINALLY!!!  It's been a long 14 months, and while we're definitely older, I'd like to think we're a little wiser too.  After all, we now know how to remove ancient wallpaper glue, repair plaster, cut and install crown molding, put up tin (ok...faux tin) tiles, and close our eyes and ignore the whole mess when we're overwhelmed.

So once again, here's the BEFORE photo- from the real estate listing when we bought the house:

And here are a few of the progress along the way:

And now that the moldings are up, the caulking and touch up painting are done, and the new rug is in place, here are the final photos!

I hope you enjoy this photo because taking it gave me a horrible episode of vertigo and Lance had to take all of the rest!

Here is the crown molding before the seams were caulked and painted:

The finished look:

We still need to put the pictures on the walls, but the room itself is DONE! I feel like now we're going to be begging everyone who comes to the door to come in and see it- the mail carrier, girl scouts selling cookies, the UPS guy.......  "No, it's cool, we're not creepers! We're just really proud of our foyer!"


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Foyer Finishes Part I

From a cold snowy day in late December 2012 when we ripped off the first strip of wallpaper, to a cold snowy day in February 2014 when the last piece of molding will be nailed in place....... it's been over a year in the making but the foyer project is finally almost DONE!!!!!  But after 14 months of work, obviously I am not going to do a big reveal of the finished product without an overly dramatic and unnecessarily long and drawn out build up (just a little trick I've learned from American Idol). Plus, Lance and my dad are still working (temporarily sidetracked putting together a brand spankin' new mitre saw to cut the molding) so I've got some time to fill before we're ready for "after" pictures.

There are a few parts of this project that I have not yet covered, so this is probably a good time to recap those.  We had originally planned to do a light gray color on the walls, but then at the very last minute, we changed direction completely and chose a Dutch Boy color called Marine Reef.  I know that typically it is frowned upon to just choose paint colors willy nilly with no forethought, but we like to live on the edge (seriously! sometimes we even stay up past 10:00!) and now that it is on the walls, this is one impulsive decision I do NOT regret.  

As much as I would love to take credit for all of this gorgeousness, it all belongs to Lance.  He did 100% of the priming, painting, and plastering all on his own. 

You may remember my post from last summer, when I got all hopped up on sugar and lost my temper with the carpet on the stairs.  And it stayed that way for months, until Lance stepped in and tore off the rest of the carpet.  Our original plan was to refinish the wood on the steps, but upon closer inspection, we decided that was going to be a much bigger project than we are prepared to do right now.  For one, there were several layers of paint on the stairs, and the old rubber stair treads are cemented on with something that will probably require dynamite to remove.  And secondly, it's pretty hard to refinish stairs when you only have one bathroom- and it is upstairs.  So we can't really leave the steps out of commission long enough for refinishing.  So, instead we chose to paint the stairs dark brown and leave the stair treads firmly in place.  If you look closely at the taped off treads, you can see tiny little white feline footprints.  Turns out you can't train cats to walk only on the taped off part of the steps.....

Meanwhile, while Lance was toiling away in a paint splattered daze, I was searching online for new switch plate covers, because the current ones were old and dingy and looked really bad against the freshly painted walls.  

I was hoping to find something in a brushed nickel finish- and something that would fit the age and style of the house.  Luckily, Lance is exceptionally frugal, and he decided to experiment with some brass cleaner. 

As it turns out, they clean up pretty well! While I would prefer a silver tone to the yellow of the brass, I don't dislike it enough to spend money on new covers, and now that they're all shiny and new-looking they are definitely something I can live with.

And this brings me to the crown jewel of the whole project- the tin ceiling! We debated for a long time between doing a real tin ceiling and a faux one.  While a real tin one would be really nice, it would also be much more expensive, very difficult to find, and a pain to install (sharp edges galore!). Plus a lot of the old tin ceiling panels have been painted, and after some research I discovered that there really is no way to safely strip paint from them.  So in the end we opted for faux tin tiles made from PVC.  They look very close to the real thing, are lightweight and pretty easy to install, and much more affordable.  We picked up ours on sale at Menard's for something like $17 per 4'x2' panel.  

It comes in a variety of patterns and finishes and can be glued directly to your existing ceiling or laid in to a suspended ceiling.  We chose a square grid pattern because we felt like it would be easier to cut evenly and make the pattern match up.  Because we are both spatially challenged and the idea of installing the tiles in even, straight lines was really terrifying, we called in reinforcements.  So today Lance and my dad have spent most of the day cutting and gluing tiles.  

And the ceiling looks AMAZING!!! I love when things in real life turn out how I pictured them in my head! 

 Lance putting up the very last piece

The only thing left to do is put up the molding, which they are in the process of cutting right now.  I finally got a bunch of our wedding pictures printed and framed, so several of those will be put up in the entryway and along the stairs.  Of course figuring out where to hang them might end up being the hardest part of the whole project......

I am hoping by tomorrow I will be able to post a photo gallery of the whole thing in all it's finished glory, so stay tuned!