Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Daring Doorway Cut In The Wall - Opening Up Your Floor Plan

Several decades ago, back when the "Lefere mansion" was inhabited by the Leferes and not the Beverly Hillbillies Wielengas, there was a doorway in this wall which opened up into a sunken family room.  The Lefere's have told me that is where they sat with Grandpa and Grandma and watched television as kids.  The gray room that is now our family room was the Lefere's formal dining room, and beautiful it was - as I have an old photograph of it decked out for Christmas, probably taken in the seventies.

Since this wall had been closed off (I'm guessing in the 90's?), the sunroom behind it had been totally neglected and unlivable, and while the seamless wall on the "livable" side was impeccably done, the scene on the other side was just insulation and bare wood.  It was obvious why it was totally sealed off - I stored a couple cans of paint in there last winter and they froze solid!  Yes, it was THAT COLD in there.  No heat and no basement underneath.  I rolled up newspapers and tucked them all around the doorway between that room and our eating area.  Oh my stars, last winter we froze.  Anyways.

Let me show you what I mean (excuse the disaster, we used it to house all of our tools/supplies/trim/crap during renovations!).

The back side of that beautiful wall:

So this summer, we fixed up the old Lefere family room into our sunroom and one of the last things we did was open it back up to the rest of the house!

Dad really had to ponder this one.  There was a lot more to this than just cutting the "window" out of the wall in the kitchen, which I wrote about earlier this week!  There was the thick paneled wall on top so that trim would not lay flush against the wall all the way to the bottom.  Then there was the matter of the trim itself - to get it to match perfectly to the rest of the trim in the room (see where we upcycled the trim from later in the post)...

We kept the mess to a bare minimum using the method I wrote about a couple of days ago here.  In addition to me holding up the shop back to the blade to catch all of the dust, we also made a "tent" around the opening with a sheet, held up against the wall with a ladder and propped up boards.

I was so excited when I got the bright idea to use the trim off of this old door that we were going to be walling up and siding over!  (Who really needs nine exterior doors?!)  We carefully took it off so we could reuse it.  It had the same design as the other trim in the family room.  (Not all of the trim in the house matches!)

And viola!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I can now see all the way from one of my house to the other!  
Gotta have it as open as I can - and that's the way it originally was anyway! :)

So here is my family room with BEFORE the doorway opening...

And here it is AFTER!

One more BEFORE and AFTER to compare from a different angle:



Just for fun, how about a peek at what the room looked like when we bought the house one and a half years ago?  It was a cheerful yellow with rose wallpaper under the chair rail.

And let's see some behind the scenes from the OTHER side of the wall...
There are those parents of mine again - mom posing and smiling, and the Dadman who makes my crazy design dreams come true. :)  Gotta love them.

Original ship-lap (or similar) wall... and my beloved barn door - to be blogged about in the near future....

And the sunroom side all done!
  Can't even believe how well it turned out! :)  The step is still needing some attention, but even how that came about is pretty cool - the stair tread was found in a pile of wood out in one of the buildings.  I love that when we need something, rather than run to a Home Depot or Lowes, we can usually find what we need by scrounging around in one of the outbuildings!  My friend says for as much as we've had to put into this place, the least it can do is give a little back. :)

Stay tuned to hear the fun barn door story!

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  1. What a difference (re)creating another doorway made! Love the "afters"!

  2. Love! The amount of light it lets in having that doorway opened up is fantastic! Also I love your grey Couch :)

  3. Just beautiful!!! Both rooms are so pretty!!!

  4. I LOVE a great makeover! I am sure that you are enjoying all the extra space...I can't wait to see what's next

    Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

  5. Gorgeous. What a great improvement to both rooms and LOVE your sliding door!

  6. What a transformation!! Great, terrific, and well done....

  7. Wow - major difference in the look and feel of the room! This was a really great design decision, being able to see into the charming sunroom not only opened things up but improved the flow of the spaces - great for entertaining!

  8. It is so bright and the light is great...feels so serene...Love lots of son wants to add barn doors to his place when he gets it...can't wait for your next project...

  9. You continue to amaze me with your DIY renovations!! Love your house!!!

  10. Oh my Kammy! This is what I have been struggling with for years and my {first} husband is finally on board. I have a living room and family room separated by a 2 story wall! Love this! laura {not a trophy wife}

  11. Its gorgeous! How are you (or how did you) solve the issue of the cold air coming into the room from the sunroom?

  12. It is amazing what you do, I Love this, and how open it is!! BEAUTIFUL!!

  13. Visiting from Wow us Wednesdays... What a genius idea. Love all the new light and the great sight lines. Well done.

  14. wow, so gorgeous! Loving all the light and your barn door is absolutely fabulous! Visiting from Funky Junk Interiors and I'm loving your blog!

  15. How lovely and beautiful! I enjoyed the whole thing. Thanks for the share.

  16. Your home is one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. It is stunning, that for most part is all of the fantastic transformations you have made, ( or your Dad&Mom team). You come up with the ideas and they put your dreams to reality. I would NEVER go out if that was my home.
    Yea maybe I would, but that would be to sit on the opposite side of the street, just to admire it. It is truly beautiful.

  17. Kammy! Where did you get your rug?? I'm looking for something like that and I can't find it anywhere, except a billion dollars on Wayfair. The rooms are lovely, btw. :) Rachel

    1. I think it was RugsUSA - using one of their 70% off codes.... if not, I usually buy rugs from Can't remember for sure!

  18. Love your rooms and what you did with them!

  19. When I saw what you did I exclaimed, outloud, "Oh Wow!"


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