The New Staircase Is Going In! – This is What It Took

Hi Everyone,

Like the Renovation News and Deets post, I’ll put the new staircase updates here. The newest posts are on top.

 

Wednesday November 15, 2023

 

Well, this was not the post I was planning for today. I was hoping it was going to be yesterday’s update. (underneath this update)

What happened is I had my hair done this afternoon and was about 1/4 of the way to my condo. And, I couldn’t wait to see the progress on the new staircase. So, even though I needed to get back to work on the post I was planning on doing, I couldn’t resist the urge to visit the construction site.

 

Oh, I’ll just stop by for a minute, I told myself. However, one minute turned into 75 minutes!

 

view of the new stairwell from the kitchen

That’s because I walked in and immediately saw that the stairs were in!!! Naturally, I had to scrutinize every inch of them.

New staircase stairwell + studs
And so are the new studs holding up the new floor.  I love how the old railing is dangling in the air now.

 

new staircase end of stairwell

They have done a masterful job fitting in the staircase precisely where it’s supposed to be. The beam coming towards us is in the middle of the end stile on the wainscoting. That is where the new guardrail will go. No more overlapping with the door casing!

 

new floor joists
Another angle of the new floor joists.

new staircase 15 treads - 16 risers

Here, we are at the opposite end. Now, these treads are only 32″, but the permanent treads must be 36″. They need room to do the finish work on the floor and soffit.

I wish it could be only 32″. That is plenty wide, but alas, they have to be 36″. However, some of that is taken up by the railing. It’s actually the STAIRWELL that needs to be 36″ wide.

And now, a couple of shots of the staircase from below.

 

new entrance staircase
From this angle, it looks super long and not very steep. The risers are 7.75″ high.

temp stair tread 9 without nosing
The temp treads are 9″ deep. However, the permanent treads will have a one-inch nosing, making them 10″ deep.

new staircase!

I did not use the stairs as there’s a ladder at the bottom. But, guys! I have a staircase! After three+ + years of dreaming and planning and dreaming and planning… it is in!

And, even better. The house is still standing! Actually, they have shored it up so much it is better than it was.

 

BTW, does anyone notice what’s missing if you look through the closet into the bedroom?

 

Yes, the fan. While I liked what the fan did, I wasn’t a fan of how it looked!

If you’re looking for floorplans and posts going back to October 2020, please click the link below; it will take you there.

 

 Please enjoy the history of the staircase and overall design here

 

There is also a brief renovation update not related to the stairs.

xo,

 

Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

And, also, the new Holiday Shop for 2023!

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!

 

Monday, November 13, 2023

 

If you missed the first post, it is after this one. I hope this won’t be too confusing.

This afternoon, I went to the job site to check out the new staircase. My contractor, Robert, who’s a doll, assured me repeatedly that the roughed-in staircase would be finished by Monday evening. Evening, in contractor-speak, is 3:00PM.

 

One thing I’ve learned in the last five+ months is whatever Robert says, in terms of time, to double or triple it.

 

Well, most of the time. Occasionally, just to keep me on my toes, things will happen exactly when he says they will.

I fully understand this phenomenon. I have it with my blog posts. I’ll think I only have two more hours to go. Six hours later, I’m sending out the post. That has happened hundreds of times.

 

So, Laurel, are you saying the staircase isn’t finished?

 

Close. I’m saying it’s nowhere near finished. lol

 

However, some of you might’ve missed Sunday’s post. In that case, there’s a lot to see. If you have seen it, there’s still something to see. So, here are a few pics of the progress since Friday.

 

side of new staircase
Thar she is!!!

Well, some of her.

view of stair stringers - blue tape gone!

This view is far less impressive as it’s only three stringers. There’s one more to go. But, look, the blue tape is missing! They had to cut it pretty far back.

 

view of entrance hall from embrasure door hallway

This is the view on the way to the bathroom. The staircase will be about 8″ wider than it currently appears. But, still, the new hallway will be quite spacious, especially with the open railing.

 

future under stairs storage

Here, we can see the future under-the-stairs storage. Please note that because of the cell phone camera lens and perspective, the top of the stairs looks closer to the doorway than it is. It’s a good 30″ away from the doorway. Plus, they’ll be adding another floorboard parallel to the first step.

new staircase stairwell roughed in

This view gives a better idea of the distance between the top of the stairs and den doorway. I wouldn’t want it any closer to the door opening than it is. It’s totally fine, but imagine if they had made us make the staircase 15″ longer! Fortunately, we didn’t have to cross that bridge!

 

new entance hall and laundry
A small piece of wood on the floor shows the finished width of the 36″ wide staircase. The new egress door will be directly to my right. Laying on the floor is the 4th stringer. Then, I believe they can pop the temporary stairs on.

 

3/4 view new staircase

They did make the new staircase exactly to the architectural plan’s specifications. I am so glad I hired an architect!

section staircase wall with x railing lower level

Okay, that’s all for now. On Thursday, there’ll be another staircase update. With three more working days ahead, there will be much more to see.

xo,

 

Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

And, also, the new Holiday Shop for 2023!

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!

***

Sunday, November  12, 2023

 

Hi Everyone,

From now on, this is where I will post info about the new staircase and, to begin with, what it took to get it in. This is post number one, and the newer posts are on top of this one.

 

Let’s begin with a review to see how we got to this point where putting in a new staircase was actually happening.

 

There have been several posts over three years about the original staircase and renovation plans for the new staircase. That includes the staircase railing. Tied into all of that is the evolution of the design of the entire lower level.

 

Of course, I don’t expect y’all to read these posts now unless you’d like to review them.

 

Some are pretty funny, like the post with all the skinny staircases. That was three years ago when I thought for a brief moment that making the staircase only 30″ wide would be fine. It would be, but the code on that one is set in stone.

Please enjoy the history of the staircase and overall design here

 

The Killer Stairs You Will Love

 

customspaces narrow-stairs

Haha; Nice idea, but impossible!

 

Stair Design: Which Comes First, Beauty or Safety?

The two posts above were written in the interim between the accepted offer and my move to Boston in 2020.

 

Early Days and News in Boston

 

Issues with the Staircase Railing Design

 

Part 2 of the Staircase Railing

 

The next post has many iterations of the downstairs design.

 

Little Known Secrets on the Design Process

 

From October 2022, a plea to forgive my sins.

 

Frankly, now that I’ve seen what it’s taken to put in the new staircase, it’s a marvel that anyone would take this job!

 

It’s not just changing a spiral into a straight-run staircase. It’s fitting it into a space that was never designed to support such a thing. Plus, deal with a 144-year-old building structure and then make it code-compliant.

Oh, and also making sure the house doesn’t fall down in the process!

 

So, Laurel, is the staircase in already?

 

Well, no, but it’s about to be. The rough staircase that is. It’s going in first thing Monday morning. My contractor says it will all be roughed in on Monday.

We’ll see…

 

Okay, I’m limping along here today.

 

When I woke up, I had no internet. In fact, the entire network is gone. There are no cable outages. And, I’ve tried rebooting the modem. Fortunately, I can use my cell phone, however, that’s only a temporary workaround.

Phew, I got my images downloaded.

For those of you who enjoy seeing trainwrecks, you’re going to love these pics!

 

By the way, I am moving back in 18 days.

 

If you missed the last set of images of the new staircase progress, please refer to the beginning of the Renovation News and Deets post here.

 

structural engineering drawing for new staircase supports
Above is the structural engineering drawing from January of this year for the new staircase supports.

rough stairwell opening 11.11.23

The new floor joist beam is 40″. So, the new stairwell will be four inches less wide, closer to the width where the old floor sticks out. However, I imagine they’ll be removing that last floorboard.

My blue tape marks the location of new staircase!

The blue tape I put down last winter marks the spot. I was off by about two inches lengthwise. The stairs will begin immediately on this side of the new beam. The notches in the wood will make it easier to cut the floor boards to the exact size needed.

new stairwell opening

The graphic made from the image above demonstrates where the old hole was and how big the new hole will be.

nail marks spot where new stairwell opening ends

Do you see that nail at the top of the ladder? That marks the spot where the opening will end.

section staircase wall with x railing lower level

You can see that in this section image. The floor joist soffit must be angled to meet the 80″ height requirement in the building code. I told Tim, my architect, we must make it so the railing clears the door casing. He agreed.

spiral staircase

The old railing had a massive overlap that made me a little nutso.

former wall stairwell renovation

Above, you can faintly see the nail above the ladder.

 

Now, please travel down the ladder until you see the box for the new light switch on the wall.

 

Another nail is to the left a few inches and down a few inches. That marks the spot where the staircase will end.

All of the images tell a story. But this one truly shows the ravages of renovation. In case you’re wondering, yes, the baseboard heater is on its way to being completely gone. Of course, we’ll need to replace the missing piece of baseboard.

 

I’m not addressing it now, but I’d love to change the wainscoting if possible.

 

I’d drop it down four inches and make the boxes wider with more space between them. I’d also do an eight-inch baseboard and a smaller chair-rail.

 

nails mark spot where the new staircase ends
Here’s a closeup. Actually, it’s two nails! I love the Cy Twombly-esque scribbles the builders put on the walls to make notes for themselves.

 

The two short parallel lines flanking the ladder’s shadow represent where the new egress door casing will be.

 

So, the new doorway will be about 13″ from the bottom of the stairs.  However, there’s over six feet from the bottom of the stairs to the wall in front of it.

Of course, the Milling Road chest will take up 20 inches of that space between the new egress door and laundry closet.

checkerboard floor garden level 17 sq with closet & doors November 11, 2023

Above, I fixed all of the door swings that were bothering some of you. ;] The main closet is now swinging out because there will be a light fixture in the way. Plus, I never liked them swinging into the closet.

 

It’s not a deep closet, and I think they’ll be in the way, aside from the light fixture. The old doors swung out, and it was never a problem.

Lower level entrance area

I like the new sturdy beams added to the lower-level entry area. To the far right will be the new linen closet.

future linen closet lower level entrance - new staircase

Above is a straight-on view of the new linen closet with the embrasure door hall to the left.

 

concrete poured here to support beam

I found out what the big hole in the floor we saw the other day was for. They poured concrete down there to support the new beam!

 

temporary supports

During our meeting on Thursday, I asked my contractor, Robert, what the wood joists were doing there.

 

He said, “Oh, those are temporary; they are holding up the house.”

 

Of course, he was joking about them holding up the house, that is. However, they are helping to support the living room floor before the new stairs are built and the permanent support is put in place.

 

view from bedroom new staircase opening new beams

 

And, finally, a shot from the bedroom, looking through the future closet and staircase toward the soon-to-be-created, new door that will be about three feet from the back wall. We can still see the vestiges of the old spiral stairwell and the soon-to-be trashed ugliest railing ever.

 

Okay, that’s it for today. There will be another update Monday evening!

xo,

 

Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!

And, also the new Holiday Shop for 2023!

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!

53 Responses

  1. Congrats on your staircase, Laurel! This is such an exciting day! I’ve really benefited from following your process. I so often admire interior design photos without realizing just how carefully everything has been planned, down to the last inch.

  2. I know you plan on staying there a long time, but you have added so much value to this lovely apartment. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  3. Hi Laurel,
    This is your sister. I am going to have to take a calm-me-down pill, knowing that you went up and down on that ladder! I hope the handrail will soon be available. XXXX, Moi

    1. lol – Hi Holly!!! No, I didn’t go up and down the ladder. There’s a building staircase right outside my front door. But, I did take the stairs today as I was there with my contractor and it is now safe to do so. I went very s  l  o  w  l  y– and kind of held onto the wall. It was wonderful! xoxox

  4. Very nice, Laurel 👏👏. The railing for the stairs always gives me cramps. I can’t wait to see it gone for good!

  5. Congratulations Laurel on the improved stairs! I imagine you will be one of the fittest women in Boston after moving back in. Running up & down those stairs, just because you can! Buhbye to the spirals.
    Thank you for keeping all of us entertained with your gorgeous renovation. Such a special place to call home!

    1. Hi Mary,

      I would have but there was still yellow caution tape, and the guys had left, so I didn’t want to do it on the off-chance it wasn’t safe. But, I did so this morning when I was there for a meeting with Robert.

  6. What an exciting and maybe surreal moment for you Laurel seeing the rough stairs in place! Congratulations on the scale of the stairs, and its placement off the door trim resulting in a lovely improvement.

  7. I was trying to understand your response to your contractor, but I couldn’t tell if he’s going to do the floor before or after you move back in?

    I would say, if it’s at all possible to stay somewhere else the night after the stain goes on, you’ll be less likely to have a headache from the smell.

    I’ve been painting one boys’ room with BM Dolphin Cove (love the recommendation!), and even that has a slight odor, so I moved them out for sleeping. Unfortunately, they’ve been sick, so the painting has been delayed, but at least the room is airing out!

    So very excited to see your stairs! My husband said wondered where the 4th stringer will go? By the exposed end, we guessed.

    If I lived closer, I’d lend you my Neat steamer…it is such an incredible cleaning tool! No more scrubbing and minimal cleaning products. It’s saved me scrubbing and I adore it!!

    1. Thanks so much, Gabrielle.

      BM Regal select has practically no odor. I had my bedroom painted twice with it and there was barely any smell at all, even the same day.

      The floor is definitely being done after I move back. One of the problems is all work needs to stop for a few days, and at this point, it’s better to wait. The floor finish I’m doing no matter if it’s poly or hard wax oil is very low VOC, so no problem staying in the apartment. However, I will leave for a few days, most likely as I won’t have a place to sleep.

  8. Laurel, ugh! Moving into that is horrendous for you, this job seems to creep along. My good friend is currently undergoing a remodel as extensive as yours on a bigger place, and they also moved out during it. Her fantastic contractor has crews working from 7a to 7p, 7 days a week! Saturday and Sunday are also work days, and my gosh that makes a huge difference. I hope you survive the final month of this.

    1. Hi Robin,

      7 days a week would be great, but there are only two builders. They’re working very hard, and they need the weekend to recuperate.

      Alas, there’s more like 3-4 months to go!

  9. I’m very happy that everything is working out so well for you—the renovation is fabulous, and I enjoy all of your updates. Wishing you all the best as you move back in and enjoy the completed renovations (which, hopefully, will be soon). A beautiful home (you are just what it needed to realize its full potential) in a bustling city—how divine!

  10. Laurel, I am joining the others in saying Congratulations! Wish you could hear me applauding your good news. The renovation appears to be in the last stretch. I imagine progress will be speedy from this point forward. Cannot wait for your next post.

  11. I’m in love with the new staircase.
    I so wish you could wait to move into your home until it is closer to being finished.
    Your diet will be dust for three meals a day.
    We lived in a trailer for one year on the property until our home was 90% finished. I realize you can’t do this.
    Wishing you very good health and unexplained happy surprises each day.

    1. A cleaning service is coming tomorrow. I also talked to Robert about closing off their main work area which is currently my bedroom. As most of the work is downstairs, if they could also put up a tarp lining the open parts of the stair well, that would help contain the dust downstairs. I will be in my room while I’m there and the guys are there, and they’re going to completely seal off the den door adjacent to the bathroom. I can use the living room door. That is being reattached tomorrow. I will keep that door closed and have a curtain of plastic as a secondary barrier. And I’ll put a towel at the bottom of the door.

      In addition, an air filter is on its way. I’m sure I’ll be vacuuming every day after the guys have left which is 3:00 every day. It’ll be okay.

  12. CONGRATULATIONS! with all the ‘pretty’ you are adding to your flat, this staircase finally going in feels WONDERFUL – even more of a boost to me than getting your glorious kitchen!

  13. Hi Laurel! So happy for you!
    We just had an extensive ‘rebuild’ due to a fire and actually moved our laundry room in the process, which was a huge improvement from the previous location. Since the walls were open, our contractors completely insulated the walls in the new laundry area, including the ceiling, with batting in between the studs. I thought of you as I watch your lovely renovation and would highly recommend the resultant soundproofing our new laundry area has gained. I’m sure Rob has thought of this for your new space, but thought I would mention it just in case. It certainly made the surrounding and upper floors so much quieter with all the whirring and vibration that happens with the new high efficiency stacking machines.

    Your home is absolutely going to be stunning! You have worked so hard to bring this vision to life! It’s just beautiful.
    Thanks so much for bringing us all along! Blessings to you as you round the next corners,
    Anna Marie

  14. Someone upthread calls the staircase “a spiral deathtrap.”

    Hahaha! My brilliant husband built our spiral staircase from 2nd to 3rd floor out of church pews (the treads) and iron support. It was code compliant. We were in our 30’s and thought we were brilliant!

    By our 60’s that stupid staircase was, in fact, a death spiral. Here’s how we got rid of it: we moved! Younger people bought our house. God speed to them.

    It often amazes me that Laurel is working on something we also are working on. We are currently putting a new staircase in our gut-rehabbed house, this one a simple straight run of stairs. No more spirals!

    1. Oh, how wonderful, Kim. Yes, it’s also very easy to torque one’s knee while negotiating the continuous turn. I only had one accident, but just a bruise on my shin. However, there were a few close calls.

  15. Oh Laurel! That’s HUGE progress! Stunning to see that spiral death trap gone! This reno is almost as much fun…(?) –exciting– for me as it is for you! We fans out here, anxiously await the next chapter.

    SO happy for you.

  16. Laurel:

    Everything is looking great! I can’t wait to see the finished product! I saw the exposed brick on the back wall of the staircase. Did you consider keeping that exposed or is that not in keeping with the original house?

  17. This looks great! My father-in law was an excellent tradesperson/contractor and when it came to carpenters, it was all about if you can build a set of stringers, a master carpenter you are. So hats off to Rob and his team. I can totally envision then and they are going to be great. I am always amazed at what changes can be made to an old building and how different our lives are to the original tenants. Fascinating!

    1. Hi Evelyn,

      I often think of the people who lived in the house 140+ years ago. I’m sure they would think we are all incredibly odd. And what? No butler, cook, housekeeper? lol

  18. After all your fine planning, long distance vision, and patience …
    this stairway is as good as done (almost).
    So exciting – and happy for you…

  19. Hi Laurel,

    Now I’ll be able to sleep better knowing you are not going to break your neck going down that awful spiral staircase. Thanks for getting rid of it!!!☺️

    Laura

  20. I have to tell you that as soon as I see that you’ve published a post, I drop everything to read it. The stringers are taking that new staircase from fantasy to reality! It is so exciting to see this progress. And this is just the rough…when all the finish carpentry is done, and the painting and mural and styling — it is going to be a dream come true! I am looking forward to each step.

  21. I’m so excited for you, Laurel! All your diligence and planning is really paying off :] Your home is going to be so amazing and beautiful. I’m happy that your renovation dreams are coming to fruition. Thank you for sharing it all with us!

  22. So lovely to follow your redesign…as a Designer myself, I can appreciate all your diligence in perfecting your design…It was be fabulous and worth the wait!

  23. Being in the midst of completely reinventing our house—just for us—now that the kiddo years/tuitions are in the rear view, I FULLY feel your excitement.
    I am so happy for you and am enjoying our semi-tandem journeys (we are doing a lot of our own work so it will likely take an extra year…plus we have less taste) but seeing your progress gives me great hope! Your plans are sooooo lovely!
    Been too busy to see where you are in your door journey, but if that search brings you to western New York and you need transport, give me a jingle. I’m five minutes from the airport and about 30 from the custom door peeps, fwiw.
    Cheers!

  24. Thanks for all the wonderful updates. I look forward to reading them as soon as you send them out! Hats off to your contractor who sounds like a real craftsman as well as a wonderful person. I’ve built and renovated before and, unfortunately, that was not always my experience with contractors. If anything, I’ve learned when a contractor or tradesman tries to talk me out of something because “it’s not possible” without being able to tell me why or gives the dismissive “it won’t look good”, that’s code for they don’t want to do it. Kudos to Robert and his crew for being collaborative partners in making your dreams a reality.

  25. I love your plans for the downstairs area. Just be sure your laundry closet has enough space for the units AND the dryer vent hose. We bought a small condo, first one they built and found out we couldn’t get the washer and dryer into the closet completely because of the dryer vent. The builder had to cut a hole in the adjoining wall so they could manipulate the dryer vent into place. Only then could we get the washer and dryer into the closet to close the door. Had to repair the wall. He made changes in the next set of condos.

  26. Laurel,
    I really feel for you in this huge project. We’ve only gutted two rooms and between the noise and the dust, well let’s just say I’ve had to enter a dream state.
    My sanity being held together by looking at photos of beautifully finished rooms.
    It’s three months now since moving here and I can definitely say that the south moves a slowly as molasses in January.
    I hope your finished product is everything you ever dreamed it would be.

  27. Thank you for the section image in this post! For months, I was unable to visualize the upstairs and the downstairs together…I kept thinking your bedroom was under your kitchen, which makes no sense. My husband explained the layout to me several posts back, but this rendering was that “lightbulb” moment, so I’m screenshotting that image so I’ll have it as I reference your updates!

    I wonder how the spiral stair folks even got to deciding to make such a monstrosity, but all the structural supports and no Laurel was probably too complicated for them. And although it’s definitely an “antique”, it’s that one bit of history that’s not worth repeating!

    Maybe for a New Year’s Eve post, you can show us some properly rendered spiral stairs ( if any!) While sipping bubbly and admiring the transformation, of course!

    Congratulations on all the steady progress!

  28. What about bifold doors for the big closet? Could be left open but be out of the way too. I have bifold doors going into bathroom suite and they are convenient.

    1. Hi GGG,

      I’ll only need to open one of the doors to enter the closet. And, I probably won’t go in there more than twice a day, on average. We’re doing custom eight-foot tall doors in the same style as the embrasure doors.

  29. Laurel, WoW! Your section image pulled it together for me. I can see it now. Will be great. Looking forward to your next posting.

    1. Hi Marlene,

      I forgot to add that we’re eliminating the wainscoting on the staircase. It’s funny. Most of the time, folks keep adding to projects, but I keep taking things away!

  30. Laurel, I’m curious if any of the other apartments in your building have done this extensive remodeling themselves. Or is yours going to set the new standard for the whole building? I love how you are restoring it to its glory. The more millwork the better for me, and that just adds to the value of the whole place. I hope that once all of this structure is completed and they finally get to the stages of sheetrock, that things will move quickly since you will be living in your upstairs den by that time. And you’ve never mentioned if you are going to be doing anything to that bathroom upstairs? Is it in good shape and just needs a little tweaking? I absolutely cannot wait to see this styled with your taste, and I’m so happy for you.

    1. Hi Robin,

      There was an extensive renovation on one of the units, but they sold their place a year later. lol There have been other renovations, but not this large. The rough inspections are expected to be this week and then they can begin to close things up and, it’ll begin to take shape. Then, they’ll do the bathroom downstairs.

      The bathroom upstairs is mostly fine as is. I’m changing the sconces. And I need to put up a ring so I can have a curtain for the clawfoot tub.

      Oh, and I also need to take everything out of the bathtub.lol Of course, everything has a thick layer of dust on it. My contractor has a cleaning person who is going to help me clean things up. And, I’m getting a heavy-duty air filter.

  31. Hi Laurel,
    Would you believe me if I said I’m more excited about your new stairs than I am about your kitchen?
    I know they’ve been a thorn in your side since you first saw the place. And I don’t blame you.
    I can’t wait to see the new set when it’s all completed.
    Another foot closer to the finish line!

    1. Hi Mary,

      Yes, I would believe you. Renovating a kitchen, especially a small one isn’t such a big deal when there are no structural issues. However, the stairs is akin to separating conjoined twins. Okay, not that difficult, but a massive challenge, for sure!

  32. What a job! So fun to see the progress and to think you’ll be in for Xmas. Just a thought about the closet doors, what about no closet doors!!! One of the carpenters at our build suggested it, I didn’t do it thinking, well we need them but it would have been so much neater and more useable space in the master closet. You could do an arch or some kind of woodwork for the molding. And get this, we never use them. the only people in that part of the house is US.
    I can’t wait to see the staircase!

  33. It’s all coming together beautifully and I’m very excited for you. Re the swinging doors on the main clothes closet, have you considered omitting the doors and instead hanging a fabulous drapery with your Greek key motif? The top door casing could act as a valence so you wouldn’t see the rod. It’s super convenient not to bother with doors, especially if/when this becomes a shared space, and visually will soften the ample millwork.

    1. Hi Sandi,

      The idea of the embrasure hall is that when the embrasure doors are open and the closet doors are closed, it is going to look like a beautiful paneled wall. The entire hall is only eight feet long.

      However, the contractor is going to build a small lip for the shower. So, instead of one of those super expensive frameless glass partitions, I could do a beautiful shower curtain with a Greek Key motif there! I’m also planning on some beautiful drapes for the bedroom window and door area.

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