You’ve Come a Long Way, Entry.

I almost can’t believe I’m about to say this, but the entryway trim, baseboards and flooring are done! Considering how long we’ve been working on them (what, with going back to the new tile, it’s been over 5 months?), we should be done. But! There are a small handful of loose ends to tie up, such as…

  • … painting the front door.
  • … painting the stairs black + white (that have been primed since, oh, December!)
  • … installing a light fixture on the second floor landing.

So while we’ve come a long, long way, we’re calling ourselves happy-for-now. We don’t want to rush into purchasing a light on the second floor (we’d rather wait until The One comes along!), and the painting projects will happen sooner rather than later. Regardless of those (tiny? Ha!) shortcomings, we’re finished with every last bit of baseboard, flooring, door and window trim:

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We can be pretty hard on ourselves with how far (or should I say, not far) we’ve come; me, especially. I’ll say, we’ve been here for 11 months and we don’t even have doors on the bathroom! (This, sadly, is still true.) I’ll say, I’m going to buy a neutral rug today for the studio!, only to find myself thinking, but is that really important when we don’t even have a closet yet? Scott has always been my voice of reason, and he’ll remind me that we have come far. This time around, we’re making more thoughtful choices, mindful choices – and we did take on some pretty hefty renovations for a good half a year. It’s funny that he has to tell me these things; how easily I forget! (Truly, our demolition feels like years ago.) And then I’ll look at the big, dusty mess we created last fall:

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We’ve been learning a lot along the way, and these baseboards – while Scott will admit that he finds it pretty satisfying and fun – are surprisingly transformative. We can paint, pick out a new couch, throw down a rug and start our curtain search, but without baseboards, the room feels ten steps behind.

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And upstairs! That landing! Remember when it was a wall with a tiny coat closet?

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When that came down, the “hall” window was able to flood the studio from three sides, making it a beautifully bright place to work every day. We trimmed the window, added a small sill, continued the hardwood flooring where there used to be carpet and capped the half-wall with 1 1/4″ thick walnut stained with Minwax Ebony:

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We considered hiring out the hardwood floor installation, but after receiving a few quotes that cost way more than the flooring itself, we decided to give it a go ourselves. We lucked out after finding our existing floor’s perfect match at a local store, A-American, and never having laid hardwood ourselves, we enlisted the help of Jack (of course) and our friend Jake (thank you, Jake!).

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Full disclosure, it took us two days! (Remember when I said, what could go wrong? Oof! Ahaha!) We had issues with the nailer we rented, our uneven walls weren’t playing nice, and there may have been some miscommunication along the way, but you know what? We did it! Below, peace out sub floor, and hell-o new floor!

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Rarely do things go perfectly with DIY, but when you get the job done, that sense of satisfaction is a high you’ll crave again and again.

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Looking back, okay. We have come a long way! There’s more to do, yes, but isn’t that always the case? (For starters, those stairs still need a lot more repair work before we can get to painting.) To see the progress on all the entryway and second floor landing projects so far, just click on any thumbnail below to take you to the post. (And if you’re viewing this in a reader, you may need to click over to see):

Next up in the baseboard saga? Living room trim. And after our beast of an entryway, what could possibly go… Oh, pssshh. I’m not even going to say it!

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  • Jodi - May 22, 2014 - 6:52 AM

    oh my goodness! it looks AMAZING!! and seriously, you guys have come SO FAR since last summer. way to go!!!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah K. - May 22, 2014 - 7:50 AM

    This space looks amazing, guys!! I could just come live in that stairwell – beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Marie - May 22, 2014 - 8:11 AM

    Congrats to you guys. Always look on the bright side of life : a few months ago, it was all covered with dust and old carpet and now it looks perfect – with the new floor matching perfectly as a bonus. The stairs will be great in black and white. I was afraid it would be a little weird with the blue navy closet door but I know you’re color geniuses.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey d. - May 22, 2014 - 8:34 AM

    Y’all have done such an amazing job… It makes me want to leave work and run home to all the projects waiting for me! I’m currently working up the gumption to break out the oil paint for the trim… The cleanup just seems like such a pain; I can’t seem to get started because the end scares me!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 22, 2014 - 8:41 AM

      Thanks, Lindsey! Do you need to use oil based paint for the trim? I imagine you’ll have a huge headache – with the mess AND the smell! We use exterior grade latex semi-gloss paint for all of our indoor trim. We DID use oil based primer for our stairs, but only because it’s a super high traffic area. No one will be walking on your trim… ;)ReplyCancel

      • Lindsey d. - May 22, 2014 - 9:11 AM

        Unfortunately, it was originally done in oil, so I don’t think we can cover it with latex. And the paint is already purchased :(ReplyCancel

        • Kim - May 22, 2014 - 9:20 AM

          Oh, no! You can typically paint latex over oil, but the OTHER way around is not usually recommended. If you can return the oil based paint, but you can pick up latex and save yourself some hassle!ReplyCancel

          • Lindsey d. - June 4, 2014 - 10:04 AM

            Update! We painted all the trim in the kitchen over the weekend and it looks SO GOOD! I’m actually happy with the oil paint. Despite the clean up headaches, the oil goes on SO NICELY! I can’t see any brush strokes and it covered beautifully.

            We ended up taping off everything, cleaning with a vinegar solution, applying liquid deglosser AND THEN deciding to prime just to be sure. We also discovered that we will need at least two sets of brushes for each room to switch out halfway through the actual paint application (man, the oil paint builds up in brushes). I actually am looking forward to tackling the living room!

          • Kim - June 4, 2014 - 10:16 AM

            Lindsey, that is AMAZING! Wow, isn’t it incredible how much clean, freshly painted trim can transform an entire room! It’s definitely one of those details that makes all the difference. I’m actually sitting here in my chair, excited for you!

            Best of luck in your living room! We’ll be tackling our baseboards in our living room in the next couple of weeks… and then it’s on to the studio :)

  • Laura @ Rather Square - May 22, 2014 - 9:03 AM

    You have come so far! The baseboards (and everything else) look great. I think I need to change out our boring stair hand railing after seeing yours. :)ReplyCancel

  • misie - May 22, 2014 - 9:04 AM

    SO fab! You guys are rocking this – I love how bright and happy your place is!ReplyCancel

  • kara - May 22, 2014 - 9:29 AM

    looks GREAT!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - May 22, 2014 - 9:37 AM

    Wow! It looks amazing. You are such an inspiration! Keep up the good work. I can’t wait to see more :)ReplyCancel

  • It looks so good, you guys! I love the dark cap on the stair baseboard and the half wall, the handrail brackets and the tile (which I’ve admired since you brought it home). The new wood floor looks like it is original!

    I definitely think you deserve an adult beverage and unlimited time switching back and forth between before and after pictures exclaiming “It’s so different! We’ve come so far!” (That’s how we like to celebrate at least…)ReplyCancel

  • erica - May 22, 2014 - 10:04 AM

    WOW!!! So impressed, it’s gorgeous and fresh. You guys did such a great job – so fun to read about here, thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Katy - May 22, 2014 - 10:15 AM

    You guys have done an amazing job! I absolutely love the color of the closet door. The whole thing looks fantastic.

    Also, my husband and I were lamenting the fact that nothing ever seems to go like you think it should just last week. Good to know that it’s not just us.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 22, 2014 - 10:31 AM

      Oh, Katy. You are most definitely no alone!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - May 22, 2014 - 10:32 AM

    Wow! My jaw has dropped. You have come so, so far! I had forgotten. And the most recent details and tres chic!ReplyCancel

  • Dre - May 22, 2014 - 12:18 PM

    Well done! I’ve been following your posts for a little while now (I love yellow brick buildings and I think someone I follow in the dog/rescue community has a link to your blog). I’m wondering where you found the table in the side room at the top of the stairs (two drawer, two shelves, scale in the upper left hand corner). I’m looking for something similar.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - May 22, 2014 - 1:27 PM

    Hi Kim! I’m a pretty new reader. I think I found you via better/after or pinterest… Wherever I found you, I am SO glad I did. Love reading your posts. Just wanted to drop in and say hi! Oh and also, the color of your door…. I die. Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Schutte - May 22, 2014 - 2:17 PM

    Congrats on all the progress! It looks fantastic!ReplyCancel

  • Katja | Shift Ctrl Art - May 22, 2014 - 2:45 PM

    It’s insane how well that turned out. Love how you were able to match that floor.

    Love the base-board-meets-stringer-molding route you went with. Looks perfect!!ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin @ Desert Domicile - May 22, 2014 - 5:11 PM

    Wow! You guys have come so far and done such an amazing job! We’d love to swap our skinny baseboards and trim for something a little chunkier but the amount of work is such a buzz kill hahaReplyCancel

  • Joanna @ TheNestbook - May 22, 2014 - 10:05 PM

    Your house is gorgeous, Kim! And you guys are doing an amazing job with it. I look forward to following along and seeing it progress. :)ReplyCancel

  • thelady - May 23, 2014 - 10:51 AM

    Great work. Your home is coming together beautifully. I’ve said it before but I love that you are adding character back to your house: restoring the arches, marble floored entry, vintage doors, wood floors.ReplyCancel

    • maria laura - May 23, 2014 - 1:39 PM

      Dear litlle fairy….you and Scott are the best! Your home is comming incredible…My applause to both… Here in Brazil I am following your progress …ReplyCancel

  • thelady - May 23, 2014 - 10:55 AM

    Also don’t feel bad about not having closets. I bought my first home in December and I’m just now assembling the wardrobes I bought in February to compensate for a lack of first floor closets in my row home. I’m not even doing the extensive renovation you are but things just take so much longer than we expect especially when we also have to work.ReplyCancel

  • Marie - May 23, 2014 - 4:51 PM

    As an artist, I know how much you love art. I saw this : http://www.onemustdash.com/collections/prints-30-x-40-cm/products/wannabee
    and immediately thought of you.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - May 23, 2014 - 5:05 PM

      That is the cutest!! Looks like our Jackie Boy, too! Thanks, Marie :)ReplyCancel

      • Marie - May 23, 2014 - 5:26 PM

        ;-) Have a nice weekend with your kiddos.ReplyCancel

  • caroline [the diy nurse] - May 25, 2014 - 7:11 AM

    Looking so good!!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - June 10, 2014 - 8:46 PM

    Please tell me the color of that lovely blue door! I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect blue for our front door and I think that’s it. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 11, 2014 - 9:53 AM

      Hi Nicole! It’s Hague Blue (a Farrow & Ball navy blue), but mixed to an outdoor grade Sherwin Williams paint.ReplyCancel

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