interiors & styling

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comOne year ago, we began demo on our entryway, stairs, and upstairs hall… today, we’re still chipping away at the project. I owe you a long overdue update, but things are progressing beautifully (albeit slowly)! I’ve had many messages requesting a project update for this space, so today I’m breaking down where exactly we’re at in the entryway renovation process, what we have left to tackle, and when we’re expecting to complete this beast of a room renovation. Click through for all the details…

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comBefore we dive in, if you’ve missed this renovation and want to revisit where it started, I’ll link some helpful posts for you below:

Aside from update requests, the question I’m most asked is in regards to our limestone & marble cabochon tile… where is it from, how is it holding up, etc. Definitely check out the tile post I linked above for sourcing! It’s hard to believe we finished tiling the entryway almost exactly a year ago. Having lived with the entry tile for a year, I’m confident it was the right choice for our home! I still love the tile, it’s highly durable, and I have zero complaints. It was worth every penny and the hassle to have it shipped from Europe. I love the warmth, age, and character it adds to our home.

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comSince I last shared an update, we’ve made lots of good progress. Emmett has nearly finished installing all of the treads, balusters, hand rails, newels, stringer, and risers. Stair millwork is no easy feat, let me tell you… it’s TEDIOUS work, as there are so many pieces and miters. This project makes me thankful my husband is a perfectionist when it comes to finish carpentry. He pretty much has the upper staircase totally finished and is working on wrapping up the five lower stairs beneath the landing. To give you a sense of the time it takes… his goal was to complete two stairs per week. I feel like Emmett deserves a slow clap for all those beautiful miters and cuts!

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comThe upstairs hall hardwood flooring is also finished! We used the same hardwood material we used on our main level, but this time around we installed it in a running bond pattern (rather than herringbone). Why? The upstairs is a bit more casual and it switches things up while remaining cohesive. It’s also far less time consuming to install. It’s the same width, same color, etc. We had leftover material, so it made perfect sense.

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comEmmett has also been working to replace all of the upstairs hall doors and hardware. He’s about 70% finished with those. He had seven doors to swap and I believe he has five finished. If you’re curious about our doors, check out this post on how I selected our interior doors & hardware style. I’ve yet to prime or painting anything, but that will come later.

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comHe’s also been working on the millwork within the space… base, casing, chair rail, etc. I designed and mapped it all out, so he has been tackling it bit by bit. Millwork is super time consuming, but he’s making good progress… there’s just a lot of it. Last week, we actually ended up at urgent care because a certain someone nicked his thumb with the table saw. Luckily it didn’t require stitches, but he did have to get a tetanus shot.

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comHe also made custom air return and vent covers for me- pictured above and below. He was able to map it out on the CNC at work… how beautiful is our first prototype? I think it looks so elegant! He’ll fine-tune and dial it in, then cut and install our custom returns.

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comAnother big change you’ll notice in the space is the chandelier swap. While I was in North Carolina a couple weeks ago, Emmett pulled an installation switcharoo. He was supposed to be on crutches post knee surgery, but later sent me a video of himself climbing up scaffolding to install my beloved Windsor chandelier (obviously against his doctor’s orders). Yikes. I can’t keep that guy down… that made me very nervous. I leave for a few days and all rules go out the window. The chandelier looks great though! While I loved the Marcel fixture, once the Windsor was released, I knew it was a better fit for our home with its traditional aesthetic. It’s designed by Mark D. Sikes and is such a dream with the creamy shades and curvy arms!

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comOur stair runners and rods are also here, although they’ll be one of the last components we install. After chatting through our budget and timeline with Emmett, I decided against wallpapering this room. Instead, I’d like to add stripes with paint application. That’s going to better fit our budget and give us the same look I had envisioned in a more timely and practical manner. Here’s a peek at the runner & rug pad from Annie Selke… they’re very nice!

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comI also thrifted a gorgeous entryway table that will most likely replace my marble one, once this space is totally complete. Isn’t it gorgeous? That was a Facebook Marketplace find.

Entryway Renovation : Millwork Details - roomfortuesday.comI think that brings you up to speed! We’ve been persistent over here, but I did want to take this as an opportunity to remind you that home projects and renovating takes time (and money)- and that’s totally normal. Please don’t feel defeated if your home projects also take a year or more to complete. I’ve had some interesting (negative) messages asking why we stopped renovating or what is taking us so long on this project. My response? Home happens at your own pace. Is that boring to watch and follow? Maybe, but that’s where we’re at these days and I’m all for keeping it real. I’d much rather save and play the slow renovating game for a truly timeless outcome that we’ll love for many years. We do all of this work ourselves, we both have full time jobs, life throws some unexpected curveballs, and while renovating is rewarding- so is living…. which I think is the case for many of us here.

Here’s a reminder that renovating is a balance and not a race.

I believe we’re so used to seeing instant before & afters on social media that literally happen with the snap of a finger (a cringey video transition, IMO), and that’s just not reality for the vast majority. Good things take time- including our homes. Ok, I’m hopping off my soapbox now, ha! I hope everyone has a lovely week ahead. I’m excited for this project and to look back and see our progress. All good things to come! I’ll share more posts as things evolve… including a future stair runner installation tutorial. Thanks for sticking around!

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Peggi
    May 8, 2023 at 5:32 am

    Good morning! Everything is looking gorgeous, but it surely seems unfair to call this a “room” renovation. The stairs alone have more detail than many single rooms require. Add laying tile, hanging doors, more hardwoods and custom millwork…not to mention lighting and paint and stair runners! Seriously, it feels like half a house. Ha. Although living with construction requires patience, that’s just the name of the game when you’re a one or two-person crew working evenings and weekends. I wonder if these critics have ever done any work on their home?! Moving on. Those vent covers Emmett made are stunning! Such a special detail. Love the thrifted table (and Cash)! The shape and style feel perfect for the space. What I’m really curious about though is the upcoming paint treatment! I know you’ll share details, but here’s what this enquiring mind wants to know: different shades or different sheens? stripe width and how do you determine it? will you mask it or freehand? which walls and where will you stop? what color?! I am very excited about this. Ha. As for my little project, I just need to muster the courage to install my ceiling fixture to call it done. The yard and garden are positively begging for my attention now! All the rain and warmer temperatures have kicked growth into high gear.🤯 Time to get myself going. Cheers to a lovely Monday, reasonable (or even slow!) progress, and warm encouragement from friends. Go, Gibsons!💜

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:26 am

      Good morning, Peggi! Thank you! It’s definitely a big project… more than we expected to tackle initially, but I think it will make a huge difference in the flow of our home, as the entryway connects the main floor and upper level. You’re right though- it’s a BIG space. I’m so glad you got to see it in person in progress. The vent covers were a fun surprise- those were all Emmett. Cash refused to move out of my table shot, so I just left him standing there, ha! I’ll definitely share the paint treatment once we get there, but I for sure want subtle stripes and they’ll have to be masked for precision. You’ve totally got the ceiling fixture swap- I believe in you! Our yard and garden is also demanding my attention, which feels exciting and like a much needed change of pace. I’m eager to go get my hands dirty and work outside. Bring on spring! Thanks for the encouragement! Have an awesome day.

  • Reply
    Melanie T
    May 8, 2023 at 6:27 am

    This project has so many facets that extend into other renovations that I honestly think that one year to current finished status is incredible. The update shows you have been methoical about the artistic nature of woodcraft. You two are the dream team for sure. Your striping paint project conjures up memories of a striping wall project I did on our small hallway between the two bedrooms and bathrooms in our old house. I loved that it was subtlety formal and barely noticeable. I think I read about it in BH&G magazine or something but it was easy to tackle and loked so much better than the wallpaper that I had just removed. I used the widest painters tape to create symmetrical vertical stripes on the wall. Then used a small roller to apply the weakest sheen of water based poly on the exposed wall. It created a pearly monochromatic shading that was so lovely. Thanks for sharing the update and appeasing curious minds out there.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:23 am

      Thank you, Melanie! We’re both pleased with how it’s coming along. It’s fun to look back on our progress, so this post was a mental boost for us as well. I’m excited about the stripes- that’s exactly what I had in mind… a subtle or textural difference for a hint of elevation. I like that monochromatic look that you described. That’s the goal! I’ll be sure to share once we get to that point. Thanks so much for following along! Have a great day!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    May 8, 2023 at 7:22 am

    Good morning to everyone except the haters! LOL. I am ecstatic to see the progress- it’s all looking so beautiful! Millwork, doors, floors, stairs- they’re all tedious and my insides cringe at the thought of any of them in isolation, let alone all together. Emmett’s attention to detail shines through with the stairs- those mitered edges are perfection, not to mention back breaking work. A room this size that opens to so many others, is quite the task. I’m impressed with how much you’ve been able to complete in your “off” time; and to be honest, one year is impressive with all that’s been completed. The flooring upstairs looks incredible, and I can’t wait to see what you do with the paint treatment. That in itself will be a chore with those high ceilings. Your FBMP table is stunning, and looks perfect for your entry space. Where will the old table live, or will you sell it? Are you still planning on a skirted entry table? I’m guessing no with the gorgeous details this one boasts. You have the best luck Sarah! How did you decide on the design for the air returns? The details are stunning, and I can’t wait to see them finished off in the space. It’s all looking lovely! Cheers to realistic timelines, beauty in the in between, and making room for life while renovating. Have a fantastic Monday Sarah!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:21 am

      Ha! Love you for that, Lauren. Lol! It’s looking good, right? Emmett has been doing such a phenomenal job. The amount of math that has gone into that staircase is far more than my creative brain can handle. He has had protractors and rulers out meticulously measuring and calculating. I’m really excited about my new (vintage) entry table. What a good FBMP surprise! I’m keeping the old marble table, though I have no idea where I’ll put it… it’s one of my favorites and I’m not sure I can part with it quite yet. Maybe it will end up in the laundry room someday- it would make a good folding table or something. Maybe a game table in the basement? Who knows! Hope you have a fantastic day. xo

  • Reply
    Amanda
    May 8, 2023 at 7:24 am

    I thoroughly enjoy your “slow” process! It is so so much more real and relatable than work from content creators. What a job title. Not artists, designers, or builders, just making “content” anyway, I have the same soapbox 😅. I do follow content creators, but I really really miss the old blogging days where people did it because they loved it, not to get partnerships or sell ads. Anyway, I love how you do it, love how meticulous you guys are, love your style, and can’t wait to keep following along!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:17 am

      Thank you, Amanda! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed following along. It’s true… it’s an interesting world we live in with social media and the demand to produce instantaneous content. While it has been wonderful for connecting, I also feel like it has stripped a lot of the creativity and process from things we hold beautiful. I miss the old days of blogging as well- which is probably why I spend more time over here on my site than on social (not the best move for business, but oh well). Thanks for following along! You have no idea how much I appreciate that. Hope you’re having a good week!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    May 8, 2023 at 10:14 am

    Good morning Sarah!
    Wow! The entryway looks phenomenal 😍 the millwork and staircase is so gorgeous, the floors are stunning (did you end up sealing them) and I love strip hardwood on the upper level so timeless and classic.
    Also, door replacement is a huge job not to mention all the designing that goes into ginormous projects like this. Those custom vents/returns are so pretty and one of a kind details like this set a home apart from anything you see on instagram or TV I’m sure. What an amazing renovation journey and I definitely needed your pep talk this morning 😬 Slow and steady wins the race and you reminded me of that as I stressed myself out last week with my kitchen makeover. I can’t even imagine tackling and accomplishing what you two have done over the past decade. Renovating takes incredible patience, time, money and a very strong backbone. You two are definitely a talented duo and made of some very tough stuff. I’ve so enjoyed your blog over the years and will continue to cheer you on.
    I can’t believe Emmett swapping out a chandelier while recovering from surgery 😳 a beautiful combination of crazy and superhero 😜 You must have been so surprised upon your return ☺️ It’s so gorgeous BTW.
    Spring has been slow to arrive here but it’s a gorgeous day today and I hope there is sunshine everywhere 😎 It feels good 💐 How is it May 8th already?
    Can’t wait to hear more about the painting stripes design plan, sounds beautiful and insane with those tall ceilings but I love it! Have a wonderful day 🥰

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:15 am

      Good morning, Colleen! Thank you! I honestly can’t remember if we ended up sealing the floors… I don’t think we did, but I could be wrong. Ha! It’s been ages since we finished the tile (almost a year). We probably forgot, which is fine- because I love a good patina. The doors have definitely been taking Emmett awhile to replace. After the stair rebuilding and millwork, that has been the second most time consuming project. The flooring went surprisingly quick. Slow and steady, indeed! That’s the reality for most of us, and your kitchen renovation is looking gorgeous. I LOVE the paint color you landed on. Emmett with the chandelier swap while he was supposed to be on crutches was not my favorite- that made me very nervous, but there’s no keeping that guy down. Oof. I’m glad I wasn’t home to watch him climb on scaffolding with his bad knee. I hope you’re enjoying your gorgeous spring week! It has been cool and cloudy here, but this weekend is supposed to be beautiful! I can’t believe we’re already in mid May. Time is flying! Have a great day! xo

  • Reply
    Christiane
    May 8, 2023 at 1:07 pm

    You and Emmett are amazing. This is a major undertaking and it’s coming along beautifully. Let’s not forget Emmett works a full time job aside from this, life happens and you’ve got to have free/fun time in the balance.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:10 am

      Thanks, Christiane! Most definitely agree… it’s all about balance. Hope you have a wonderful day ahead!

  • Reply
    Monica
    May 9, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Wow – the level of skill put into this is amazing. I agree with Peggy, this is hardly just a ‘room’ this is almost a whole house! Can’t wait to see the final product – I’m sure it will be beautiful.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:10 am

      Thanks so much, Monica! It’s a big space… and certainly more than we were expecting to tackle, but I think the end result will be well worth our efforts :)

  • Reply
    Arli
    May 9, 2023 at 12:11 pm

    Emmett’s work on the stairway is jaw-droppingly beautiful! What precision, care and craftsmanship. You are quite the inspirational team. Thank you so much for sharing the design evolution of your home with us.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:09 am

      Thank you, Arli! I enjoy sharing our home journey- thank YOU for taking the time to read and comment! I hope you’re having a wonderful week.

  • Reply
    Teri
    May 10, 2023 at 3:14 am

    I appreciate this post and you and your husband’s meticulous work so much! Quality workmanship takes time and I don’t understand anyone making negative comments about your beautiful home renovations. A new design phrase comes to mind when looking at your home: quiet luxury. And that takes time…keep up the good work.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 10, 2023 at 8:07 am

      Thank you so much, Teri! Quiet luxury… I LOVE that- truly such a wonderful compliment. Thanks again! Hope you’re having a great week.

  • Reply
    Kyla
    May 18, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    Sarah! This looks absolutely gorgeous! I’m obsessed with the floor time you chose. So chic!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 22, 2023 at 11:17 am

      Thank you, Kyla! Hope your week is off to a good start!

  • Reply
    Taylor
    May 20, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    I love this! I have a similar entryway with white and black tile and a wood table placed next to our staircase. I’m obsessed with the table you found though! Can you share the brand? I’d love to know so I can keep an eye out for one that’s similar. Thanks

    • Reply
      Sarah
      May 22, 2023 at 11:03 am

      Thank you so much, Taylor! It doesn’t have a brand listed anywhere, I’m sorry. I wish I knew!

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