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Entryway Progress

… Lots and lots of progress.

Actually, let me just make it clear right now – the entryway isn’t done; no. But it is getting there! We’ve been working for a seemingly huge chunk of time on the foyer baseboards, and with so many funny angles, uneven walls, and a lot of problem solving (wait, how should this meet with the stairs? What about this 3″ baby wall? Ugh, the coat closet!), it’s taking us a lot longer than we thought. (This should come as no surprise, but still.) The good news, however, is that we’re pretty sure this is the hardest ‘room’ we’ll trim in the home – afterwards, it’s large, normal (?) rectangular boxes. Pssh! That’ll be cupcakes and sunshine. (Right?!)


So! Let me start over: Most nights and when we’re able to on the weekends, we’ve been dedicated our time towards the entryway trim – for the last, oh, 3 weeks. Between cutting, decision-making, more cutting, the usual disagreements and now – finally! – some caulking, we’re seeing big results:


Earlier this year, we talked about our decision to go with 6″ decorative baseboards, and we also discussed the trim we’d be using for the doors and windows. With so much of our home needing all new trim (okay, pretty much all of it!), we agreed to work by room. We’d not only do the baseboards in each room, but we’d address each door and window before we moved onto the next room. And not long after being pretty content with all of our choices, we fell head over heels for Thrift Decor Chick’s chunky door headers.


Game changer! After showing Scott how she added more substantial trim to her doors, we agreed that not only would that look great with our 10′ ceilings, but we could simply tweak our existing door trim choices by adding a few extra supplies to our shopping list:


We still used the door trim we originally chose for the sides, but for the header, we combined a stop (usually found mixed in with the decorative trim and typically used inside a door frame), pine 1×6 and brick to take everything to the next level. The brick (found in the same section as the door/window trim) was a personal choice – one we made just by playing with the different options while at the hardware store. Because the brick is a bit more substantial, we also chose to cut the ends at a 45-degree angle and create a return, bringing the decorative molding around to the side:


Another game-time decision came when we discussed how we wanted our staircase to look. We went back and forth on this for a ridiculous amount of time, and in the end, we decided to add another 1×6 along the angled edge of the staircase, which would then meet up with our baseboards.


This still left a raw edge along the top – another decision that had us agreeing / disagreeing and mocking up Photoshop options until we were both happy. It’s not done yet, but we’ll be capping it off with really, really dark stained wood (almost black, while still allowing the grain to show through) that’ll waterfall down the front as well. That decision is what ultimately had us installing the primed 1×6 you see above, since a cap alone felt out of place without a base of its own. We still need to make a trip to the lumber yard (or possibly peruse the options at the various hardware stores), but the dark wood will tie in with the stair treads once we paint those a satin black. I’m so excited about adding in the black for a good dose of contrast – but! One step at a time. (Ha! Step.)


Speaking of the steps, the stair trim meets at a plinth, which allows the floor baseboards to rest along an edge without too many awkward cuts and angles. You can see below that we still need to caulk the shoe molding (as well as the stairs), in addition to the final coat of semi-gloss white paint. To be honest, we were totally stumped on how all of this would look during the process, but at some point, we realized that all of the trim options are what you make of it; the options are limitless, so we just went with our gut. (And whenever I find myself stressing over anything as ridiculous as baseboards or insert nonsense here, all you can do is say, it’s just trim!)


As I mentioned above, our goal is to complete everything before moving on to the next room, and everything includes our second windowsill! This one is just barely deeper than our first sill, and the only other difference is that we had to trim the inside of the window casing as well. It was too deteriorated to simply paint over, and once we can finish caulking and painting this window trim, it’ll look (almost!) brand new. Side note: The gunk in the left photo is spray foam insulation, which shuts out cold air drafts and can be cut flush once dry.


Above: That sill hasn’t yet been caulked and is only partially painted!

We do have one pesky hindrance that’s preventing us from completing the second floor landing trim at the top of the entryway, and that’s our really old, really exposed sub floor. Remember when I ripped up all the maroon carpet? The landing hasn’t been touched since, and after putting this off for far too long (um, last summer!), we’ve finally ordered a pretty close hardwood match, and we’re thinking that’ll be handled in the next couple of weeks. We’re also going to add the same dark wood cap on the half-wall, which’ll tie in with the dark stair treads and banister (once we figure that out).


Phew! So, in summary:

Finish caulking everything
Touch up all the semi-gloss white paint
Decide on the dark wood caps (stain + wood)
Install caps

Lay hardwood floors on landing
Decide on banister and hardware
Install banister
Paint the stairs (!)
Paint the front door


We’ve verbally committed to each other that we’d like to be finished with the living, dining and studio baseboards by the end of May (obviously not the rooms as a whole) – if for no other reason than just moving on with our lives! The less we have in these rooms, the easier it’ll be to get the room’s foundation laid, so to speak.

We can do it! (We think!) Nothing will light the fire more than saying it out loud. (And telling the interweb, too.)

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  • carrie @ brick city love4.23.14 - 8:33 AM

    You’re getting there!!!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square4.23.14 - 8:59 AM

    Love how it’s all coming along so far! I’m impressed by your attention to detail and thoughtful thought process (is that redundant?). One question: are you planning on putting any kind of railing on the right side of the stairs, or leaving that open? Just curious, it looks really clean right now, but wondering about your ideas for that.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.23.14 - 9:31 AM

      Great question! We’re definitely leaving it open. We love the cleaner look it’ll have with just the chunky wood cap.ReplyCancel

  • kerri4.23.14 - 9:20 AM

    it’s looking great! such a difference. :)ReplyCancel

  • Hilary4.23.14 - 9:24 AM

    Congrats on the progress! I’ve really enjoyed following along with you as you work your butts off on this place, and I’m sure it will all be worth it. Just keep swimming!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.23.14 - 9:37 AM

      We sure hope so! Thank you, Hilary. Love that.ReplyCancel

  • Heather4.23.14 - 9:28 AM

    Keep it up guys. It’s looking fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah @ 702 Park Project4.23.14 - 10:11 AM

    It’s amazing how something as simple as trim can make a HUGE impact!! It’s looking great…I can’t wait to see what you continue to do with the rest of the house! :)ReplyCancel

  • The entryway is looking so great! The trim really makes everything feel finished (even if it isn’t). I like the door trim cap too. It makes so much sense in your space.ReplyCancel

  • Mary | Lemon Grove Blog4.23.14 - 11:35 AM

    Recently stumbled across your blog and I’m loving it!! Everything looks so great – good call on the extra trim. It makes a big difference!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design4.23.14 - 1:37 PM

    It’s so so good. White new molding always makes such a big difference.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer I4.23.14 - 1:53 PM

    There is a reason finish carpentry is its own specialized subset of carpenters. :) When a house is being built, there are framing carpenters and then there are the trim carpenters. Totally different skills! I think you guys are doing a great job — looks very pretty!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.23.14 - 2:00 PM

      Thanks, Jennifer! Yea, it’s no joke. Respect!ReplyCancel

  • Emma4.23.14 - 3:25 PM

    Oh golly – I love it! The moulding looks amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Marie4.23.14 - 5:43 PM

    You know how much I love your baseboards, I totally fell in love with the trims too. I had love at first sight for your work, congrats for the wow factor added to your awesome home.ReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse]4.23.14 - 7:21 PM

    I think anyone who’s spent substantial time painting or caulking trim can appreciate whats on your plate. That’s just nuts and I don’t envy you at all [except for ya know… the awesome results].

    And you’re totally killing that built up trim above the doors. Love itReplyCancel

  • Silke4.24.14 - 4:56 AM

    I just recently started following you guys, and it’s the first time I make a comment. Slow and steady is a great motto (it’s also ours), just make sure to keep moving. Reminds me of the quote I have hanging on the wall somewhere “in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving”.
    Keep it up!
    Greetings from Belgium,

  • Paige @ Lux Per Diem4.24.14 - 10:05 AM

    You guys will be glad in the long run that you’re only working on one room at a time. My house seems to be in a constant state of renovation. It’s looking great though!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.24.14 - 3:37 PM

      Well, the TRIM is one room at a time! We know that chaotic feeling too. Best of luck with your renovations!ReplyCancel

  • michelle4.25.14 - 9:15 AM

    Looks great! One question, why is there a little piece of trim at the bottom of the stairs that is taller than the baseboards and a little extra square by the front door?ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.25.14 - 9:22 AM

      Thanks, Michelle! The extra trim at the bottom of the stairs is a plinth, a decorative trim piece that helps the baseboards meet up with the stairs at a right angle. It was a bizarre little meeting point to make sense of, but after going through a TON of photos online and looking at diagrams in the store, this is a solution – apparently – that works. We still need to caulk and paint it though, so it will look more seamless once we’re done (we hope!).

      I was confused by the square by the front door, but then I saw what you meant – that’s our doorbell speaker! Ha! We have a wireless doorbell, and we haven’t mounted the speaker to anything yet to hide it. :)ReplyCancel

  • Monika4.27.14 - 1:36 PM

    As usual, you guys really made this project sing. It’s gorgeous. Well done.ReplyCancel

  • […] “For the header, it goes in this order from bottom to top: stop, 1×6, brick moulding. The lengths in which you cut these are all personal preference, but we prefer a 1/4-1/2″ overhang for the stop and brick moulding.” NOTE: You can get more details about headers here. […]ReplyCancel

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