Laurel’s Home Renovation 2024 – News & Deets!

Hi Everyone,

Now that we are in month eight, (as of January 6, 2024), and the first renovation news post is now 15,000 words, lol. I thought starting a new reno post would be a good idea.

The newest entries begin from the top.

 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

 

Today has been one of the most gratifying renovation days since demo day on June 5th, when I walked in and saw in one day that my entire kitchen had been wiped out.

I feel like I can now breathe because the final structural challenge has been completed. That, of course, was the arduous task of creating a new egress doorway in the 10″ deep masonry wall in the bottom level of a 144-year-old five-story building.

 

please do come inside. new egress door!

Please, do come inside.

 

Above, we can see into the new doorway from the common hall. I was afraid we would have to move a sconce, but it clears the door frame with inches to spare out of camera reach to the left.

 

new doorway all done

 

From the opposite side, we are looking out into the common hall wall and directly across to my 20-square-foot storage closet.

Saaaawwwweeeet!!!

The guys did an amazing job. And, actually, it wasn’t as noisy as I had feared it would be; messy, yes. However, my neighbors have been quite understanding about the dust. I’ve gone downstairs with my portable vacuum cleaner to clean up a couple of times.

 

Laurel, are they putting a door in?

 

Yes, silly. Of course they are! When the guys left for the day they boarded it up.

 

old doorway boarded and bricked up - old door waiting

 

Above, you can see the old door just chillin’, and the old doorway is now bricked up and boarded. Later on, we’re going to add some embellishments to the plain door. At least on the inside of the door.

 

bedroom embrasure door pocket

To the right of the entrance to the bedroom, the door frame is waiting, as well. The frame and door are expected to be installed tomorrow morning. BTW, the seams you see in the crown moulding will get caulked and be invisible when painted.

 

I can’t tell you how much joy I get seeing all the positive changes.

 

embrasure hall from bathroom

This was early afternoon after the masons left and the guys were on their lunch break. We’re looking down the embrasure door hall into the bedroom from the bathroom.

I adore all of the little spaces.

 

bathroom mid-day 2.15.2024
While the bathroom is windowless, light does reach back here on a sunny day between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM or a little later. When the mirror is up, it’ll be brighter still.

 

mapping out wainscoting

 

Meanwhile, now that the heavy-duty structural work has been completed, Brendan and Eugene began installing the wainscoting panels.

 

panel moulding installation
I so wish it could all be painted, or at least primed, but I guess I’ll have to wait for that to happen. It’s going to look amazing when it’s all painted. The hunky mouldings are completely at home with the existing mouldings. There’s nothing worse than a renovation where the new, juxtaposed against the old, screams out: Look how new I am.

The best compliment someone can give me after asking, “Where’s the kitchen?” is, “I can’t tell what’s old and what’s new. Wasn’t it always like this?”

 

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

The day of the big non-storm.

 

Well, like so many storms with predictions of massive amounts of snow, the temps were too warm to support that, and what we were left with was yet another rainy day here in Boston.

Yet, the entire northeastern American seaboard canceled everything ahead of the nor’easter that fizzled out.

So disappointing. If there’s going to be a storm. Please make it a bloody good one! I adore the feeling of ice-cold snow making its way over the top of my boots. ;]

 

What got canceled over here was the repair of my piece of crap Bertazzoni refrigerator, which I deeply regret getting.

 

And, my fireplace mantel installation. Both were rescheduled for next week.

Alas, it’s a special day for my tiny family and me.

 

 

Today, February 13, 2023, is my late brother Donald Bern’s 75th birthday.

 

Tragically, he only made it to 38 years and seven months.

I’ve mentioned him numerous times on the blog, and maybe I’ve said some of this before, but I’ll say it again.

 

Donald Irving Bern 911

 

As you can see, Don was matinee idol-level handsome, and yes, Cale looks exactly like him but stretched out.

 

Cale in Scotland

Don was athletic and driven but also had a deep well of inner strength that helped him overcome a rocky start into adulthood. And like all of us, he was very funny! He was really just beginning to come into his own when his heart gave out at age 38.

 

In the summer of 2012, I was helping my mom move into a new home and going through a box of photos.

 

I came across the one above, taken about a year before Don died while he was visiting Australia and New Zealand. He looks so angelic there. But the address of the house behind him instantly hit me between the eyes.

911.

It was a year later, on 9.11. 1987, that Donald passed away from an arrhythmia. No, it wasn’t THE 9.11. That horrific day was the 14th anniversary of Donald’s death.

Don wasn’t super wealthy, but he was an incredibly talented and successful salesman. He owned a lovely house in Carmel, CA, and had a small stock portfolio. So, having just turned 32, I took the inheritance and used it to return to college in February 1988.

I enrolled at the New York School of Interior Design because I loved beautiful interiors and architecture and wanted to see if I could do that for a living after hopefully getting a bachelor’s degree.

 

Yeah. That’s what happened.

 

I know he would’ve been so proud of me for doing that, and even more so now.

Therefore, in Donald’s honor, I made my chocolate cake from this recipe I’ve had for over 30 years. I’ve modified the recipe to put in 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. Either way, it’s the best chocolate cake ever. Cale has made me promise to save him a piece in my toy freezer. No, not the mini-fridge. It’s the main fridge. The freezer is a joke. I can’t even fit a Trader Joe’s fro pizza without first cutting it up! That’s messed up.

 

However, I have more renovation photos and information to share with you.

 

Let’s begin with the new doorway. If you saw yesterday’s post, I shared one image showing the progress, but here are some other angles so you can see better.

 

New egress doorway
It still needs to be framed out, but the area to the right of the bottom bricks is where the new egress door is going. It will be about a foot away from the bottom of the steps. Yes, it is a little tight. But, when it’s all done, it’ll look fine.

 

two steel header beams

Here, two massively strong steel header L beams reinforce the brick load-bearing wall. This wall is important but it’s not holding up the building. However, it’s necessary to prevent the floors from sagging. The guys did an amazing job!

 

creating new doorway

 

My Milling Road Louis XVI-style chest will sit in the corner next to the laundry closet.

 

Over the chest will be a large mirror and my turquoise lamp.  The mirror will capture light from upstairs and, at night, reflect the lamp light beautifully.

 

Spiral Staircase juts into the living room - Milling Road chest
No, the killer spiral did not grow back. Nor did the way too-high wainscoting.

laundry closet

Here’s the laundry closet. The post and beam on the left are temporary until they brick up the old doorway. I’m hoping that will be happening tomorrow.

 

primary closet

This is the view standing in front of the under staircase closet, and looking straight ahead into the primary closet. To the right will be the set of embrasure doors leading to the bedroom. To the left is the set of embrasure doors leading to the bathroom.

I found a fantastic reel on Instagram that shows a gorgeous embrasure door and how it works. I sent it to my contractor, too!

 

Orac Decor c305 Cornice moulding, embrasure hallway
Above is a better version of Orac Decor c305 cornice. I adore this moulding so much! The photos do not capture it at all. It really looks like a little tray ceiling, but it’s just one moulding, and my guys put it up in no time at all. Please note that none of the mouldings have been caulked yet.

Orac Decor c305

Orac Decor C305

Orac decor c305 Cornice bathroom ceiling

We did the same cornice in the bathroom. The center section is higher than the shower, vanity, and WC niches.

However, each of those three areas gets a little cornice, too!

Orac decor cx176 crown WC niche

Above is the WC area Please note that this small cornice can go in either direction. This is the long side on the ceiling.

LOVE!!!

 

Wait, Laurel. Did you say you put a crown moulding in the shower?

 

Let me look. ;]

Yes, that’s what I said. ;] It’s fantastic, and I am not the first one to do this, and yes, it’s waterproof. You can put this stuff outside!

Incidentally, I got the 3×12 Dolomite tile for the new shower wall that’s about 28″ long. And get this. It matches the old tile from about seven years ago perfectly!

Below is a mini widget with the three mouldings (found on Wayfair) and the tile (Perigold).

 

 

Orac Decor c305 Cornice moulding, embrasure hallway
Above is the C305 Cornice looking towards the bedroom. The main closet is on the left. The staircase is through the door on the right.

And, finally, let’s take a look at the bedroom.

Orac Decor c220 Cornice Bedroom - no more soffit!

No more soffit! The wall was built out, but only five inches, so there will be 86″ for my old 84″ wide bookcase.

Remember how it looked a few weeks ago?

ugly soffit has to go

Could they have made it any uglier?

No, they couldn’t. And this was in my direct line of vision lying in bed.

Oh, I almost forgot.

Thank you so much for the lovely comments regarding the new staircase railing design.

You knew we’d get there eventually.

I love the colors, too!

The bedroom has such a wonderful feeling now.

bedroom bay
It’s much cozier, and you really SEE the bay now. Part of that is because the embrasure hallway is more centered than the old, rather amorphous entrance.  There will be a crown on the bay. Orac Decor makes a flexible version of the C220.

Please note that the mini split ceiling cassette is missing its cover.

However, the bedroom has finally come into focus for me.

First of all, please know those curlicues are going away!!!

As for the rest.

For now, it’s a secret. However, the garden outside is a clue.

 

Oh, I hope the workers come back before all the cake is gone. ;]

 

xo,

 

***Please check out the recently updated HOT SALES!

There is now an Amazon link on my home page and below. Thank you for the suggestion!

Please note that I have decided not to create a membership site. However, this website is very expensive to run. To provide this content, I rely on you, the kind readers of my blog, to use my affiliate links whenever possible for items you need and want. There is no extra charge to you. The vendor you’re purchasing from pays me a small commission.

Amazon ad

To facilitate this, some readers have asked me to put

A link to Amazon.com is on my home page.

Please click the link before items go into your shopping cart. Some people save their purchases in their “save for later folder.” Then, if you remember, please come back and click my Amazon link, and then you’re free to place your orders. While most vendor links have a cookie that lasts a while, Amazon’s cookies only last up to 24 hours.

Thank you so much!

I very much appreciate your help and support!

 

***

 

Thursday, February 8, 2024

 

Thank you so much for the lovely birthday wishes! I was going to say it was a lovely one, and it was, except for one thing.

And, it’s a big thing.

I’ve only alluded to it, and I need to continue in that vein, hard as it is when what I really want to do is spill all.

Yes, it’s that bad.

 

Oh, Laurel… Common’ you can’t tease us like that.

 

Look, we all know people with one set of (lax) rules for themselves but hold everyone else to an absurdly stringent, nearly impossible standard.

Plus, they are nasty, vindictive, and condescending.

This is all about the moving of the door, something that’s a logical and very good thing for ALL of us. The current location is uncomfortable and creepy. I have hired competent, highly experienced professionals and received three detailed reports from two structural engineers.

 

Wait, Laurel.  You mean, someone’s still giving you grief over the door? I thought it was all worked out, and the mason was coming yesterday, on your birthday.

 

Well, the mason got held up on another job with the promise of coming today, the 8th.

However, in the afternoon yesterday, February 7th, came an email so long and full of grotesque misconceptions and out-and-out fabrications having no bearing on reality.

 

Fortunately, there are some incredible people in my building. I mean, the kind of neighbors you only hope you’ll get but often don’t.

 

One of them is a trustee of the condominium. And, he spent hours yesterday, to make things right for us.

And, he was successful. After yet more pushback, he called for a vote, and the majority ruled that the contractors would be allowed to proceed today as planned.  We are already into the 4th week since the job was suddenly halted due to a surprise hidden door that was simply drywalled over instead of being bricked up first, as it should’ve been.

So, this morning, at 7:00 AM, which is painfully early for me (no judging, please), I woke up to the most gut-throttling, bone-crushing sound ever.

I kept telling myself it was just noise and only a headache.  And, it’s going to give me, hopefully, years of joy when it’s finished.

Somehow, through it all, I did manage to fall back asleep for an hour. My fan was on, and I put the air filter on the turbo setting. lol

 

The carpenters also continued with the crown mouldings downstairs.

 

It is absolutely gorgeous.

So, shortly before noon, I pulled myself together because I had a lunch date with some lovelies from the Chestnuts social group.

However, I allowed enough time to gingerly go downstairs to check on the progress of the operation door moving.

This is what I saw.

Mind you. This is only the old door.

 

temporary beam - load bearing

See that beam? That’s a temporary support before the iron beam can be installed.

 

After lunch, and after the guys left, I took some more pics.

 

Old door left, new door right

They haven’t completely broken through for where the new door will be. It’s where the bricks are half down.

 

Steel L beam carries the load

 

reinforcing the house for door moving

 

Another steel beam is coming, so you see more heavy-duty temporary supports.

In the distance, you can see the new lower-level crown moulding by Orac Decor.

This is here, in the entry and the bedroom.

 

Lovely crown moulding with return
I love how Brendan and Eugene did a beautiful return on the crown. There will be one on the opposite wall where the stairwell begins.

Below is the moulding. I know. It looks quite different when viewed like this.

 

c220 Orac Decor crown moulding - decorating details - my bedroom and lower entry moulding. Love it to bits!

C220 crown moulding by Orac Decor.

Unfortunately, it was late afternoon, and the light wasn’t very good. I took some photos in the bedroom, but they didn’t come out. I’d rather wait until I have some better images to show you.

 

Every time I walk into the bedroom even before the moulding went up, I have such a wonderful feeling.

 

The room is almost perfectly square, and the entrance is more centered than before. You really feel the bay now.

While I didn’t hate the bedroom, I knew it wasn’t coming close to living up to its potential.

I will be so relieved when the door is done.

In the meantime, you won’t believe what else I’ve been working on.

Or, maybe you will.

Yes, it’s the staircase railing.

 

WHAT???

 

Please calm down. I’ve had more than enough drama recently.

Yes, because I know now that I can’t have glass, and I also know now that the openings, except for the bottom, cannot be more than four inches. I can do my design with five inches, but not four.

Anyway, I took another stab at it and found something I love just as much. I just need to work a few things out. However, I think I will put my screen on the seven-foot wall with the electric panel, which sticks out a bit. So, a mural would be a problem.

Well, they’re coming back early to keep working on the door. Hopefully, the door will be done by the end of the day on Monday.

xo,

 

***Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

There is now an Amazon link on my home page and below. Thank you for the suggestion!

Please note that I have decided not to create a membership site. However, this website is very expensive to run. To provide this content, I rely on you, the kind readers of my blog, to use my affiliate links whenever possible for items you need and want. There is no extra charge to you. The vendor you’re purchasing from pays me a small commission.

Amazon ad

To facilitate this, some readers have asked me to put

A link to Amazon.com is on my home page.

Please click the link before items go into your shopping cart. Some people save their purchases in their “save for later folder.” Then, if you remember, please come back and click my Amazon link, and then you’re free to place your orders. While most vendor links have a cookie that lasts a while, Amazon’s cookies only last up to 24 hours.

Thank you so much!

I very much appreciate your help and support!

 

***

 

Wednesday February 7, 2024

 

Hi Everyone,

Things are changing quickly these days and so there’s much renovation news to share.

Tomorrow Today (February 7th) is a super big day, and it’s my birthday!

It’s been a trying three weeks, but we’ve been given the go-ahead by the building trustees to move the door.

Yes, 2DAY.

 

To begin with, it is not easy to renovate an old home that was never meant to be what it is and was not well-renovated.

 

And now, we just began our ninth month! I fully understand why folks do a gut renovation. It’s a lot easier to start over than make do with what’s there and work around it.

One of our issues that came to a head today is the big doorway between the living room and kitchen entry. Some of you have asked about it.

On the kitchen side, the casing butted up against the ceiling. Of course, that ceiling came 100 years after the home was built.

old kitchen looking into old living room

 

The old kitchen from May 2022. While well-meaning, this, I don’t feel is the best solution.

 

renovation mid-way doorway dilemma

 

And, from early February 2024.

The main opening on the living room side is 4.5″ taller than the smaller two doorways leading to the bathroom and den. Yes, the doors that were going to get French doors until I came to my senses!

The windows on the opposite end go up almost to the frieze. (You can see them in the old photo if you scroll back up.) So, if anything, I’d like this doorway to be taller, but it’s not.

 

The problem is, the kitchen side, as the crown moulding went up today. (This was yesterday, February 5th.)

 

It is gorgeous. I couldn’t be happier with it. But, the door is a problem because the casing overlaps the moulding.

I realized part of that is because there’s no door jam. The door jam on the smaller door is actually a double jam, about 1.5″.

That would help.

 

tweaking the door jam

 

Door casing needs to be resized in order to fit under the new crown moulding.

As you can see, with Eugene holding up the casing, it doesn’t fit.

The other issue is that the casing is 1.25″ thick. That’s also adding to it encroaching on the kitchen crown moulding.

We need at least one inch of breathing space, which I think we can get if we trim the moulding down.

 

Brendan thought making the two doorways the same height would be a good idea.

 

Let’s take a look at that.

 

Lowered Doorway doesn't look good

 

I don’t like this doorway lower; not at all.

 

current doorway

Overall, I think this is much better. I don’t mind it being higher than the other doors. It’s a much wider door, so that makes sense.

The jam was taken out, so when that goes back in, the doorway will be a little lower and I think it’ll be okay if we replace the casing with something similar but more sleek, just for the kitchen/entry side.

Renovating an old house is often about compromise.

 

refreshed door casing

More like this.

 

Laurel, is that the new kitchen crown moulding in the upper corner? Can we see more?

 

Of course, but please know that it hasn’t been calked or painted. So, it’s a little rough.

Below is the Orac Decor c341 Victorian Swan Neck Coving, as the British call it.

Orac Decor c341

 

Victorian swan neck cove moulding detail February 2024 Orac Decor c341

 

And, here it is, all installed in its new home!

This is looking towards the front door, the same corner you can see above in the mock-up. It’s so wonderful not to have this wall shoved into the doorway as it was.

 

kitchen crown moulding detail
We have added a small panel moulding border that can either go close to the crown or two or three inches away from it. Like I’ve been saying for years, now, lol. What’s going on in the kitchen/entry is a scaled-down version of the living room crown and ceiling mouldings in the Victorian style.

However, yesterday, Brendan started out putting up a larger panel moulding. It’s the one we’ll be using for the wainscoting panels.

 

However, I felt it was a bit too heavy for this application, so I told Brendan to try the other moulding we’re using for the bottom of the frieze this morning.

smaller border kitchen crown moulding
So much better. Please know that these images don’t do these beautiful mouldings justice. I couldn’t get far enough back because of the temporary plastic wall, so I had to shoot my camera going up to get the moulding into the image. This is giving a distorted view because one would never stand there and look up like this.

 

Normally, when taking pics of the kitchen, I stand several feet back from where I was taking these images.

 

Victorian coving and border trim

Here you can see the same panel moulding that covers up the seam and creates the bottom of the freeze.

And, this is all. I wanted molding in the 19th-century Victorian style but not too fussy as it is a kitchen. This is the only spot that’s a little busy. But, it looks wonderful when standing in the room.

Incidentally, I will soon be putting together an entire source list for everything I’ve purchased for my remodeled home.

 

My Kitchen - Sink Wall Design September 21,2023

After the kitchen crown is done, the only other thing moulding-wise will be some panel moulding on the sink wall, and I also want to add some flat pieces to the range hood.  And yes, the toe kicks still need to go on. That will happen after the floor is done.

 

Victorian Coving glass cabinets

 

The living room wainscoting is starting to go up, too. So far, the chair rail is up, and it looks fantastic.

 

Okay, that’s all for now.

 

The guys have been waking me up super early. So, I better get some sleep!

Please pray that all goes well today with the door. I will rest a lot easier when this is done. It’s our last big structural hurdle.

The majority left to do is the icing on the cake.

But, like with most cakes, it’s the most important ingredient, and there’s a lot of it.

xo,

 

***Please check out the recently updated HOT SALES!

There is now an Amazon link on my home page and below. Thank you for the suggestion!

Please note that I have decided not to create a membership site. However, this website is very expensive to run. To provide this content, I rely on you, the kind readers of my blog, to use my affiliate links whenever possible for items you need and want. There is no extra charge to you. The vendor you’re purchasing from pays me a small commission.

Amazon ad

To facilitate this, some readers have asked me to put

A link to Amazon.com is on my home page.

Please click the link before items go into your shopping cart. Some people save their purchases in their “save for later folder.” Then, if you remember, please come back and click my Amazon link, and then you’re free to place your orders. While most vendor links have a cookie that lasts a while, Amazon’s cookies only last up to 24 hours.

Thank you so much!

I very much appreciate your help and support!

 

***

 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Renovation Shocking news!

Oh, I bet you think I’m click-baiting you.

I wish I were.

While we’ve encountered some challenges during this renovation, a part of me has been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well, yesterday, it did.

 

After all, it’s a 144-year-old home that’s undergone numerous alterations. There are bound to be some massive surprises.

 

Yesterday afternoon, I returned from my brief awaycation around the corner at about 1:30, and it was oddly quiet inside the house. I figured the guys were having lunch.

The staircase was covered super tightly. Hooray! And the plastic only lets some light through. Therefore, I couldn’t see a thing.

I went downstairs via the building staircase, and was relieved the guys had done a great job protecting the common hallway. However, there was no sign of a new doorway.

 

Hmmm… I’m sure they’re just going very slowly, and it’s a thick wall.

 

While I could’ve gone in through the old door to take a look, I was tired and hungry and had a tea coming up at the Boston Public Library at 3:00, so I went upstairs, plopped my stuff down, and heated some leftovers. Then, I went to my room and did some work. As I was getting ready to leave at about 2:30, through the plastic, I saw Eugene and Brendan working on the kitchen hood. It was installed and working, but the new pipe hadn’t been attached yet.

I said, “Is everything okay?”

“No, Laurel, we hit a snag. Please come down and take a look.”

Oh, I’m supposed to be leaving just now.

 

Denial is a powerful force.

 

However, I could see by their grave expressions that I needed to face whatever scary thing they needed to show me.

We went in through the bedroom as has always been the case and stepped into the embrasure hall, and then one more step, and we were through the doorway into the entry with the new staircase.

And then I immediately saw what the problem was.

WTF? A 144-year-old doorway

In the load-bearing masonry wall, butted up to where my new door is to go, lives a truly secret doorway from 1879.

 

Yes, an original doorway!!!

 

The doorway is attached to the last four steps of the staircase, separated only by 3/4 of an inch of sheetrock. How crazy is that?

Renovation 2024-secret totally hidden door in the wall
Here, you can see to the right where the new door is going.

Brendan and Eugene said they had to stop to get a longer piece of steel.

Okay. That makes sense.

 

Laurel, wait! I have questions.

 

Yes, of course you do. :]

 

What is that arch for? It’s quite attractive.

 

That is how they reinforced load-bearing walls before they used steel. Arches are amazing things and help distribute the load removed by adding an opening.

 

And why are they only putting in the door now? Shouldn’t they have done that a while back, before the stairs? And didn’t they just sheetrock and plaster everything? It seems you got approval for it months ago.

 

I thought they should’ve done it earlier, along with the radiator, but they didn’t. We can only go forward.

ugly soffit has to go

There is a bit of great news on the radiator front. The soffit that sticks out on the fireplace chimney can be pushed back two inches. Therefore, we’ll have 86″ to accommodate the 84″ bookcase.

The sheetrock on the hidden door wall was pristine and didn’t need to be replaced. Much exploratory surgery did take place, and still, this crazy thing didn’t show up until yesterday. Who could imagine there was an old doorway butted up against where the new one was to go.

 

So, I went off to my tea, but when I returned, I saw a panicked text informing me that all work must cease immediately on the load-bearing wall.

 

We have no other choice but to have the structural engineer come back. Although the panicked text person thought we were making an eight-foot opening! No, it’s only 26″.

In the meantime, I’ve been working diligently on the moulding design for the living room.

 

If you saw the post the other day, you’ll see that the baseboard height needs to be about eight inches. That’s okay because it’s the same height as the baseboard heaters. I plan to get nicer covers.

 

schematic fireplace wall moulding design January 2024

Yes, those are Gracie Chinoiserie panels and George Smith chairs. A girl can dream, can’t she?  However, I adore the lower wainscoting. Something I forgot to mention was that I want to wrap the paneling around the fireplace breast.

 

This is mostly a wall elevation, but the fireplace mantel is in perspective, as are the chairs.

 

These chairs have a very low back @ only 30″ high. Imagine that with my 41″ wainscoting! I will be doing more detailed drawings with measurements. I’m having a meeting tomorrow morning with Robert, my contractor. We will review the baseboard and everything that still needs to be done. I made a list.

My favorite hotel, The JK Place, Capri, inspired the mirror and wall paneling. (That links back to a terrific post about mirrors over the fireplace. Most people put up mirrors that are too small. I recommend checking out AB Kasha on Instagram. Their mantels and mirrors are perfect.

JK Place Capri lobby - mirror over the mantel - moulding

Designed by Michele Bonan.

JK did take their mirror all the way up in one piece. However, there’s more going on than on my wall.

jkplace capri slipcovered upholstery

They actually extended the mirror beyond the width of the fireplace mantel.

jk place dining room

 

As for the door, it surely was a shocker, but it’s not insurmountable. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there are still months left to go.

However, it’s not all that bad. I do have my gorgeous kitchen, and my den is cozy. Sure, the living room is a disaster area. But, then, there’s the staircase. I have plenty to eat, air to breathe, and a humidifier. Life is good.

 

Laurel, if you knew that the door had been there, could you have done a different design and used that doorway for your new door?

 

Gosh, you guys ask the best questions! ;]

114 Comm Ave Garden Level secret door in orange

 

I’m almost positive the answer is no. The orange is where the old door is. The blue is our new door. This is a plan from two years ago.

First of all, the staircase is one step too short. We had to do 15 treads. Therefore, turning the staircase is problematic.

However, an even bigger issue is the electrical panel.

Let’s remember that has been built and is wonderful as is. We just need to make that hole in the wall disappear for good!!!

 

xo,

 

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***

 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

 

I am still eyeball-deep in moulding decisions. If you missed the other post, you can see it here.

my Boston Living Room - Benjamin Moore Classic Gray walls

One reason why is that I’ve definitely decided to redo the living room wainscoting.

 

Oh, thank God, Laurel, because now you can take down the moulding over the staircase.

 

I could, but I’m not. I mean, I’m putting new moulding up because, without it, it will look strange, not to mention bare. We can’t do the typical going down-the-stairs moulding because they had to put back the little piece of floor. It’s the way the building was built. Actually, I love the wainscoting on that  wall.

 

Did you get your new laptop?

 

Yes, I got it yesterday; thank you for asking. ;] However, I haven’t had a chance to set it up yet.

The other piece making this an extra challenge is that I need flexible moulding for the crown, picture rail, chair rail, panel mouldings, and baseboard downstairs. For upstairs, I only need flexible mouldings for the wainscoting elements.

 

As for the crown, there are numerous locations with varying ceiling heights from 8′-3″ – 10-2″.

 

Compounding my issue, 10 samples were said to have been delivered the other night in the middle of a heavy rain. I never got them.

But, I did get a couple samples I like a lot last night.

One is the c220 from Orac Decor.

Orac Decor crown moulding - decorating details
I love its simplicity. And, it’s a bit smaller than the c341 (below)

Orac Decor c341

Both come in flexible versions. However, I only need a flexible crown downstairs for the bedroom curve. So, I think for the 9′-1″ entry and bedroom downstairs, I will do the c220.

Upstairs, we’ll do the 341 crown and a 1-inch panel moulding, the px103 by Orac Decor.

Okay, I’m sure you’re sick of this. Me too. lol

 

So, let’s finish off today with this week’s renovation progress.

 

Stairs no black hole

Well, it’s beginning to look like a home instead of a warehouse about to be torn down. ;] However, it’s going to look infinitely better when the lighting is in. Yes, the wall is done! They’ve filled in all of the holes, too, except for that one in the kitchen.

Get this. I forgot to tell you, but the hood does vent to the outside! Have I told you how much I adore my Zephyr Monsoon hood?

Okay, let’s focus on the image again. The  new wainscoting is going to be 4.5″ lower.

 

So, the top of the chair rail will begin slightly above where the panel moulding is now. I’ll do a diagram for you. In fact, I’ll be mapping out every wall/

I remember some of you were worried about a “black hole.”

 

Laurel, I’m worried about falling into the hole!

 

Well, fortunately, I think the chances of *you* falling into the hole are quite slim. ;]

 

There they are! Now imagine my beautiful Milling Road chest with a lovely mirror over it and my turquoise lamp. The new entry door will be near the bottom of the stairs.

Let’s walk down. Don’t worry. I’ll hold your hand.

lower level stairs

Brendan and Eugene did a fantastic job! The bottom rounded step is being custom-made.

 

side view stairs - 1.11.2-24

Yesterday, I met with Jerry, the steel guy who’s making the railing.

 

stairs doors railing open stringer
One day in the not-too-distant future!

But for now, I’m desperate to get the new laptop going, so I can type normally!

 

xo,

 

***Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

There is now an Amazon link on my home page and below. Thank you for the suggestion!

Please note that I have decided not to create a membership site. However, this website is very expensive to run. To provide this content, I rely on you, the kind readers of my blog, to use my affiliate links whenever possible for items you need and want. There is no extra charge to you. The vendor you’re purchasing from pays me a small commission.

Amazon ad

To facilitate this, some readers have asked me to put

A link to Amazon.com is on my home page.

Please click the link before items go into your shopping cart. Some people save their purchases in their “save for later folder.” Then, if you remember, please come back and click my Amazon link, and then you’re free to place your orders. While most vendor links have a cookie that lasts a while, Amazon’s cookies only last up to 24 hours.

Thank you so much!

I very much appreciate your help and support!

Welcome To Laurel Home!

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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