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How we Built a Step Around the Living Room

How we Built a Step Around the Living Room

Remember the pony wall we used to have around our sunken living room? We removed the wall last year but after demolition, we were left with a big, hazardous step that we had to address before our new flooring (as part of the kitchen reno) could be installed. In the end, we built an additional step around the living room to create two code-friendly steps.

Pony Wall Removal and the Big Step that Remained

half wall around living room
half wall around sunken living room

The pony wall served no real purpose other than making the large open living area of our house look dated. I hated the wall since we first saw the house so it had to go. We demolished it last year and I blogged all about it here.

half wall between kitchen and living room removal
removal of the pony wall

As you can see, after demolishing the pony wall, we were left with a huge 10″ drop down into the living room which is a safety hazard and code violation. Originally, our plan was to hire a concrete removal company and remove a chunk of the 10″ step in line with the lower, pre-existing step, to extend it all the way around the room.… Read more

Our Finished Staircase with Horizontal Stair Railing!!

Our Finished Staircase with Horizontal Stair Railing!!

After living months and months (years?) without any railings on our two staircases or the second story of our house (not recommended BTW), I’m thrilled to report our staircase renovation is finally complete! Today I’m sharing all of the details on the staircase reno and horizontal stair railing.

We went through a lot of considerations before pulling the trigger on anything related to the staircase. We debated cable railingtiling the risers, vertical vs horizontal railings, tread coverings, etc. It consumed hours of research and I even thought we could DIY some or maybe even all of the project. In the end, we hired everything out! Staircase work is meticulous and it was definitely the right decision to bring in the professionals.

Check out that sexy before photo! When we bought the house, the second story and the stairs themselves were covered with nasty, old carpet and the railings were orange-y colored wood that I knew had to go. Shortly after buying the house we had new hardwood floors installed in the downstairs living area and entire upstairs.… Read more

Staircase Project Update … and cha, cha, cha, CHANGES!

Staircase Project Update … and cha, cha, cha, CHANGES!

A lot has changed since I last blogged about the staircase project. By a lot I mean everything.

Railing Debate

First things first, the railings. The vertical vs horizontal railing debate kept us occupied for quite a while. Originally, I wanted horizontal railings but then as I mulled it over and pinned staircase after staircase, I started to lean toward verticle railings.  staircase project railing debate

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staircase project

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staircase project railing debate

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staircase project

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After we decided to hire out the railings, I brought in a metalworks guy and he showed me some samples. I was still torn so I mocked up both versions on a photo of our balcony and did a poll on Instagram and I’m happy to report we’ve officially decided to go with horizontal metal railings. I feel the horizontal is less busy, more modern and less traditional than the vertical. We will have a lot of railing, about 80 ft, all of which is visible from the main living area so in this case, I think simpler is better. I know some of you will say that horizontal railing is a climbing hazard but we’ve increased the height of the railing on the balcony area above code requirements to help minimize some risk.… Read more

Removing the Half Wall Around the Living Room

Removing the Half Wall Around the Living Room

Pony Wall Saga

Our house came with an existing half wall around the living room. Commonly called a pony wall, it’s a feature I never really liked and I wanted to take it down. Hubby liked it though. He thought it made the living room feel cozy and thought it was a unique feature we could make work. We brainstormed ideas. Shiplap it. Add bookshelves to it. Make it into a built-in planter. We considered all of these ideas but I still preferred completely removing it. It took a year, but hubby finally got on board. I posted a poll on Instagram and I’m surprised that a lot of you voted to keep it.  Nonetheless, we finally removed it.

To recap, here’s what the main living space looked like when we closed on the house. This is the view from the front entrance and you can see the half wall around the living room. There were two sets of steps down into the living room, one set on the left coming from the kitchen area and one out of the frame on the right.… Read more

Living Room Chandelier Installation Update

Living Room Chandelier Installation Update

Remember the living room chandelier debate? I posted a poll on Instagram several weeks ago asking for your input on which chandeliers to choose for the living room. I had it narrowed down to these three:

Because we would hang two chandeliers to replace the pre-existing ceiling fans, I thought#3, while I love it, would be too busy for the space and the hefty price tag was another deterrent. I felt #2 was a little too visually light so number 1 is ultimately what we went with and it was the crowd fave on the Instagram poll. It was hubby’s fave and I think it’s the most farmhouse-y of them all. I also really love the round shape and the Edison bulbs. Just FYI, because I was so torn about #3 and I really, really love that fixture, I plan to order a smaller version of it and hang it in the dining room, so I don’t have to say goodbye to it altogether. 😉

As a reminder, here’s what we were working with. The ceiling fans were here when we moved in and I dreamed of replacing them with visually-appealing living room chandeliers.… Read more

Staircase Renovation Project Intro…and what tile has to do with it!

Staircase Renovation Project Intro…and what tile has to do with it!

Heya friends! We’re gearing up to start our staircase renovation project! I told ya guys the stairs were on the list for 2018! As you may know, we ripped out the ugly carpet when we moved in and removed all of the railings when we got our floors installed upstairs (so they wouldn’t have to cut the hardwood around the railing posts I planned to remove anyway). We have two staircases, one to the right of the front door and one off of the dining room. Not much to look at now, but keep reading to see what I have in store.

I’ve had this staircase renovation project on my mind for a hot minute. I even have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to stairs, check it out. I’ve requested about 12 stair railing quotes, research treads and balusters and learned more about staircases than I ever thought there was to know. My latest obsession is with the stairs is tile. Yup, you read that right, TILE! Why you ask? If you follow me on Insta then you may have seen my story where I was explaining my contemplation with tiling the stair risers, like this:

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What do ya think?… Read more

Adventures in Painting 24′ Ceilings

Adventures in Painting 24′ Ceilings

Interior Painting Updates

Alright, folks! I talked briefly about the living room plans in my 2018 Project List blog post so click over to read the intro because we are making some progress!

The living area is the center of our home and is what you see when you come into the main entry. It’s a large and open space, is two-stories-high and has a tall fireplace focal point. When we moved into the house, the walls and ceiling were in need of a painting and with 24′ ceilings, we knew that job would be expensive to hire out and a doozy to do ourselves. If you guys follow me on Instagram, you may have seen we finally tackled the daunting job of painting the ceiling a couple weeks ago. We rented a scissor lift and did it ourselves. We saved about $5k doing it ourselves and after painting the exterior of our house (a very intense undertaking), we’re basically pros. Since we’d have a lift for the weekend, we made a to-do list of everything we wanted to accomplish to maximize the rental.… Read more

Shiplap Built-In Entertainment Center REVEAL!

Shiplap Built-In Entertainment Center REVEAL!

Oh my lord y’all. It has taken FOREVER but our custom shiplap built-in project is finally done! We hired the job out and the woodworkers started 6 MONTS AGO! Needless to say, we won’t be hiring those guys again due to their lackadaisical schedule but they did do a decent job and overall we’re happy with how it turned out.

Before we jump in, let’s take it back. I first introduced you guys to the project in this post where I showed you the blank wall in our living room that was begging for a built-in unit, and I rounded up some shiplap built-in styles and shelf styling inspiration that I love. More recently, I gave you an update here.

Shiplap Built-in Process

This is wall before we started. It’s a huge wall and since it’s the only full wall in our living room, it’s where the TV would go, making it perfect for a built-in unit. The first step was framing it out and then electrical work. We had to move all of the outlets forward and add an outlet and HDMI cables in the center so that the TV can be hung.… Read more

Custom Shiplap Built-In Project Update

Custom Shiplap Built-In Project Update

Shiplap Built-In Progress

It’s been a hot minute since I gave an update on our shiplap built-in entertainment center project and that’s mostly because our contractors are taking foooreeevvveerrrr. We hired them for the project five months ago and progress has been super duper slow. But rather than complain about the woodworkers that we’ll never hire again, let’s talk about the positives!

Here’s the first post about the shiplap built-in if you’d like to refresh your memory and see our inspiration for the project. We decided to use this awesome shiplap built-in by Studio McGee as inspiration for our build. I love the shiplap, the floating cabinet and the rustic shelving against the white. built-in entertainment center

The first step was for the woodworkers to frame out the built-in. Part of our wall was deeper than the other side so we had to frame it out so that the back wall would be flush. Then we had to have an electrician come out and move the electrical outlets out. We also had the electrician pre-wire for a mounted TV by adding HDMI cables and an outlet directly in the center of the built-in so we could conceal all of the wires.… Read more

BUILT-IN ENTERTAINMENT CENTER PROJECT

BUILT-IN ENTERTAINMENT CENTER PROJECT

Built-In Entertainment Center

So check it! The next project in the #dalydigs is a custom built-in entertainment center in the living room. The living room is in the center of the house and has a huge wall that’s seriously begging for a built-in unit. It already has a nook and at almost 14′ across, it’s large enough to accommodate a good sized built-in.

Here is a handy depiction of the wall.

built-in wall before

As you can see, one section of the wall is deeper than the other so the woodworkers will frame it out so the back is flush. We’ll be losing a little bit of space but we want the TV centered on the entire wall so that’s what we have to do. Once it’s done no one will know the back wall wasn’t flush. Well, except for you guys. 😉 The wall is almost 14′ across and 9′ tall. #motd (man of the digs, aka hubby) wants an 85″ TV so we’ll pre-measure to accommodate it and add some shelving on either side and cabinets on the bottom. By the way, do you guys know how big an 85″ TV is?… Read more