Thursday, 15 November 2012

Front hall progress

I realized after posting the pictures of the closet doors that I should have posted some before pictures to show the big changes in the front hallway.

I'm so excited to finally have a closet on the main floor. A huge problem with these old houses is the dearth of closet space. I was so tired of having messy looking coat hooks on the wall in the entryway. They were functional, but ugly.

Before the reno, when you entered the house the view was directly up the stairs to the second floor, and all the way through to the kitchen on the main floor. A door frame closed off the small front vestibule in the winter - you can see the wood door on the left side of the picture below. The door took up a lot of floor space, but was absolutely necessary as the old outer entry door leaked so much cold air. Hopefully that problem has been solved by the installation of the new front door.

Here's a view of the inner part of the entryway from the dining room. You can see the big, bulky vestibule door, as well as the ugliness of the coats hanging on the wall behind it. We also had a small Ikea cabinet to hold shoes, mitts, hats, dog leashes, etc. It was a perpetual mess, and always coming off the wall as the kids would hang onto it for balance when they put their shoes on.

It was that shoe cabinet that fell over on poor Tessa the day that she panicked and tried to claw her way out of the house through the front door.

When you stepped into the larger inner part of the entryway you were faced with a view of the long, narrow hallway that ran along the length of the living room. It was such a waste of space.

Gaining a closet in the front hallway was really important to me, so we decided to reconfigure the stairs to make a 90 degree turn at the bottom of the run. Since we were taking out the wall that ran along the hallway, this change allowed the stairs to exit right into the old living room (which we're now using as a dining room).

I loved the details in the hallway - the cove ceiling and the demilune with the corbels were original to the house and I didn't want to lose them so we planned and built the closet around them.

I painted the inside of the closet with blue paint left over from Matthew's room. Just for fun.

I installed a shelf up high to hold baskets for hats, gloves, umbrellas, etc., and one down low for shoes. I left a fairly large space below the bottom shelf to make sure that our boots could be tucked in under it.

And to in increase the chances of the kids actually hanging their coats up, I took one of the old coat racks, cut it down, and hung it on the wall on one end of the closet.

Genius, if I do say so myself! They've been hanging up their coats every day, often without a reminder, and anything that makes me have to nag a little less is a big success in my books!

There's still a fair amount of work to do in the entryway. We need to paint the front door, the walls and trim, and choose tiles for the floor.  I've been toying with the idea of installing wainscot on the walls, but haven't been able to commit to a style. I think that I may paint the hallway as it is now and leave the wainscot idea in the long-term plans book.

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