Introducing Mike & Sandie's Foyer Renovation

Renovation Diary

The foyer before, looking towards the kitchen.
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Name: Mike and Sandie
Type of Project: Foyer renovation
Location: Saskatoon; Saskatchewan, Canada
Type of building: 2 1/2 story single-family home, built in 1919

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

Our next Renovation Diary project is a little different from anything we've done before: instead of focusing on a kitchen or bathroom, we're going to follow along with Mike and Sandie as they transform the foyer of their 1919 house. Read on to learn more about their plans for the space.

The proposed plan for the space, showing the new coat closet that will be added.
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From Sandie:

After entering through the front porch, the foyer is the first introduction to our home. Since we purchased it and moved in two and a half years ago, we have been slowly remodeling this 1919 house. Although the majority of the main floor is now liveable (if not wicked awesome cool), the foyer remains in a sad state, and it is high time to freshen it up and give it purpose, creating a beautiful and functional space that will welcome us and our guests into the home.

The foyer, facing south.
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The foyer, facing southwest.
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Looking west towards the front door.
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The 'function' parts of the work will include re-wiring, any structural support necessary (that means you, creaky staircase), repairing the walls/ceiling, replacing some of the floor with water-resistant tile, and the addition of a much needed coat closet (for those parkas & snowshoes essential to Canadian prairie life).

The staircase in its current state. Grossest. Carpet. Ever.
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The 'form' parts will include repairing and refinishing the stairs, removing the awkward built-in bench (also repairing the bottom two steps & banister after bench removal), replacing the remaining hardwood with new hardwood (that seamlessly melds into the adjoining Kitchen and Living Room), and adding a wainscoting detail to the walls, some colourful wallpaper, and fresh paint.

Sad hardwood. Pretty kitty.
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A closeup of the paneling on the staircase, which has seen better days.
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Unfortunately, refinishing the original hardwood floors is not an option — the boards are wafer-thin. The baseboards, trim, and paneling on the staircase have been abused over almost 100 years by many layers of paint (pea green, salmon pink, cherry red, and canary yellow), stripped, and then neglected over time... leaving them gauged, brittle, and sad. Although we painted the walls ultra-white after moving in, the dark wood robs the foyer of light, making it a dark area even in midday. It’s time to let go of the wood trims and embrace change. Wood purists may smack us down... but we have a clear plan and are ready to take the high road: paint them out!

The dark woodwork sucks all the light out of the space.
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The textured ceiling - less than attractive.
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The final result will provide practical solutions to our “mostly-winter” lifestyle, amp up the character in this area of the house (with the addition of the wainscot paneling), and make a stylish “welcome home” statement while addressing some structural needs to keep this house standing pretty for another century.

Want to hear more about Mike and Sandie's renovation? Join us tomorrow as Mike and Sandie shares their inspiration for their new foyer.

(Images and Diary Text: Mike and Sandie)

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Renovation Diary: Mike & Sandie's Foyer

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