Enter here; Entry Remodel Plans

Our house is your basic builder’s grade house.  Nothing interesting, no great finishes.  The entry is no exception.  This is what it looked like when we walked through the house.
 
 
 
For the last little while we have been making plans.  I wanted to show you some of these today.  The only caveat is that we have no time frame as to when exactly we will get this done… It is just how we work.  See, if the weather gets good, we have a project to do outside. Or somethings need to be organized before I go insane, we try to get to that first, cause going insane is not a good thing!…
 
Which means, while we will try to get this done asap, for our sakes as well as your inquiring minds, I can’t make any promises to time lines!  But fear not, you will get to see the finished product… sooner or later!
 
There are a few problems with the entry
1. It is a tight fit.
2. There is no natural light.
3. It is just kinda blah….
4. It felt like an undefined space.  (one of the problems with one plans to me, is the lack of defined spaces, the entry just sort of melted into the family room)
 
My goals: (pretty much the opposite of the problems…)
1. Open up the space
2.  Let in some light
3.  Give it some character
4. Define the space, as it’s own little room.
5. A small table for keys and a mirror, (so I can see how bad i look when I answer the front door).
 
So, I started drawing up options.  I am a person who likes to see what I am doing.  Also, since Justin and I collaborate on projects it is the best way to communicate back and forth.  Needless to say there are usually a lot of these plans, in varying degrees of “finished-ness”.   While we are building it, we sketch our versions of how it should be done until we come up with the best solution.  There are always a lot of changes!
 
1st try not the final plan.  Our first attempt at coming up with a solution.
The attempts to fix problems, are as follows
The new newel posts sit on the first stair, instead of on the floor in front of them,
this gained us 6 inches of extra width.
 A small 1′ deep console table, very open.
Corbels in the open space to create some sort of header to define the spaces a little more.
2nd attempt, after deciding to have arches into the kitchen.
We were figuring out what it would look like with a full arch into the entry.We also had new plans for the door headers.  You can see that we have already made some changes to the entry, i.e. painting the door black, but I will show you that later.

Same day view from the kitchen, to see how the two arches would sort of look together,
and a possible black handrail.

3rd option, While looking through some magazines and old tear files I found these images that I really liked, which sparked a new, altogether more open option.
 
 
 
We discussed the plans and Justin made a 3d model of the space with our few changes,
and the idea is getting very close to done.
 
 
This was basically the last plan we had come up with.  It opens the space up tremendously.  The new arch above defines the spaces, The stairs look custom, grand and beautiful.  So, this is what we have had in mind, but there is still one major problem, NO natural light.
 
Enter our last solution, not quite fully worked out. I will have to explain this in depth after our visit to the window store on Saturday.  But here is the sketch:
 
 
Notice the large window?  
Remember how I was talking to ya’ll about stained glass?  
Well, I will explain that in more detail on my next “designing our house” post….
What do you think of the new plan?  
(i hope you don’t hate it, cause we are already working on it…. and it is probably not going to change much)
 
**EDIT:  To  let you know why I don’t want to replace the door to add natural light.  First because of the budget!  Hello, expensive!!  But also, we get a LOT of solicitors in our neighborhood, and my no soliciting sign does not always stop them.   So, often times I check out my trusty little peep hole to decide if I am going to answer.  If I had a window on my front door, it would be hard to look through and see who is there, before deciding on whether or not to answer the door, cause they could see me.  But I promise, I have a solution that will work!  (Thanks Emily for the question!)
 
In case you want to follow along, check out these posts too:

post 1: Starting the project!
post 2 : Demo & Rebuilding
post 3: More Rebuilding
post 4 : Filling the gaps
post 5 : Walnut Stain… at last!
post 6 :  Adding the Stair Risers, Finishing the Runners
Post 7 : Custom Built Newel Posts
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23 Comments

  1. I like this design since it opens up the entryway so much with the newel posts on the second stair. Does this design pass code? Everywhere I look the code seems to require a handrail that is continuous from the top riser to the bottom riser when there are more than four stairs in a run.

    1. Rich, the best thing to do is consult your local building inspector to see if this would work in your home. They would be more than willing to help. The best option would be a handrail over each stair no doubt. The newel post design can be applied at the bottom of the stair as well. The handrail would just need to curve around and end at the post. Thanks for liking the design!

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