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
Website | + posts

Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. >Great plan. Can't wait to see the finished entry. Love the stairs and the arch, brings everything together.

  2. >It's gorgeous! The larger newel posts, arches and additional trim adds sooo much more interest and definition to that space. You're going to light stained glass windows from behind, aren't you? 🙂

  3. >I think it's awesome and you are amazing! I can't wait to see it! I love your projects. I wish you were local – you two would be an excellent DIY teachers! 😉


  4. >I really like how the bottom steps are wider and it really makes a huge difference. Who knew !

  5. >It looks SO awesome! And I love the idea of swapping natural light for a mirror. I'm sure you'll be so pleased! Very talented team you guys are. -shaunna 🙂

  6. >Your plan looks amazing! You guys have great vision to see what that plain space can become, and obviously some talent to carry it out. I'm so looking forward to see how it progresses.

  7. >I love the plans.
    But if you want natural light, what about a new door with a window? Doors are expensive, but just a suggestion.

  8. >Emily, that is a good solution, but the budget is prohibitive, and even if we got a smokin' deal, I like the privacy of not having to answer the door if I don't know who is there!!

  9. >You must have an architect in your family history and that gene trickled down to you! The plans look amazing. You have perfectly defined the space, brought in the light, and made it a real eye catcher. Good luck and be sure to post photos of the final project for we who can only dream… 😉

  10. >Looks good! I like the detail on the entryway. How long did it take to sketch and overlay all that detail?

  11. >Marvelous post. You were able to get all your tremendous ideas through to me on paper, and that's quite an accomplishment. Your changes would make a dramatic difference. I hope you get exactly what you want!

  12. >Love it! Can't wait to see. We are getting ready to "make" an entryway for our house as you just walk right into the dining room. Love the 3D model.

  13. >I get the budget thing. We built a house back in 2007 and I had lots of things in mind, but money won out.
    And I feel the same way about people not being able to see into my house. My husband insisted on having windows in the door as well as a side window, what ever the correct name for those are and I caved, but it has bevels and a stained glass look so it isn't as easy as clear glass for people to see in through.
    Emily, again.

  14. >Definately! I love the arch. Pushing back the railing to stop a couple of steps up, really opens up the space so that the railing isn't the focus… It feels more welcoming instead of a fence railing in front of you. The window will do wonders too! Looks fun! I really like your blog! We bought a fixer-upper, and in no way are we doing it to the magnitude that you always do, but I am learning so much from you! Love your style!

  15. I absolutely love love love this post. I love the sketches and how you walked through your process and thoughts. SOO incredibly helpful and interesting. Love the final product too shown in later posts too.