What in the world is going on in the front entry?!

February 9, 2021

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Anybody else trying to figure out how we’re already a week into February? Last Monday we started demoing the front-entry/ entrance into the office/coat closet, and already, it’s so much easier to envision what we have planned. The entry was one of our 10 projects to tackle this year, and although we’ve been documenting a lot of this process in our Instagram stories, we haven’t shared much of what our plans are here on the blog. So let’s catch you up.

Before demo, this is what we were dealing with.

The smaller door is a coat closet that currently doesn’t get much use (thanks to the mudroom), and the large door under the archway is the entrance into our office where we work with our team (listing photos from previous owners showed they used this room as a den/home theater), complete with a diagonal entry door and niches. The whole thing was so awkward.

Should we rewind even further back? You might not remember, but the archways into the music room, and through the dining room weren’t even there when we bought the house. We actually built those archways, modeled after the office archway because of the way they tie in the modern cottage style we want, but they weren’t able to be as tall due to a needed support header. So we always knew we would be revisiting this area, but at the time, we thought we would just be taking out the niches and lowering the arch.

Over the last few months, the renovation escalated a little bit! Instead of disguising the coat closet door, we decided to nix access altogether from the front entry and allow access from the office space. And with that, we decided to get rid of the awkward slanted doorway altogether and square it off. If you look at the white tape lines above, that is where we will be framing the new walls, eliminating the current office entrance, as well as the 45° tangent wall. Also, say goodbye to the little inset shelf nooks.

Hopefully this diagram better illustrates the plan, because it looks confusing now.


This where we are one week in. Can you start to see it now? Are you panicking because some of our wood floor is pulled up? Not to worry. The new studs need to be screwed into the subfloor, so we had to pull some of them up in order to uncover the subfloor. When the new walls are in, new wood planks will be installed and this will all be seamless.

This is how the new closet area looks from inside the office. This week we have a plumber coming to move the piping, so rebuilding can continue. This will now be a storage space for the office where we can keep all of our camera equipment, extra decor, etc. It feels like a big project, but fortunately, because we’re doing it ourselves, it’s costing hardly anything except the cost of some drywall. And I really think the squared off entry into the office will look so much more seamless.

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What do you think?

  1. Ali says:

    This is so amazing ! I am so impressed ! Love this ! Wish I could of been a fly on the wall when you and Chris brainstormed this project ! It’s so brilliant ! Thanks for sharing all this on the blog!!

  2. Jessica says:

    I’d love to know the actual cost. Electrician, plumber fees, drywall, cost of studs, (will you pay someone to texture the wall so it’s seamless?). I’d love to wrap my mind around how much this would cost me if I did something similar. It seems like a structural change like this would be costly, so I’d love to know how much so I’m no afraid to do it myself!

  3. Kim says:

    I just LOVE that you are doing this! I’m not one for the weird angles and the “nook” feel but I would have gone along with it if it worked for you. ;) But this is going to just look so clean and sharp. Also more wall space for some great art! Can’t wait – every single project and every room has just been amazing to watch in this house!

  4. I think this will make for such a nice clean look!! Will definitely be worth the trouble!

  5. Victoria says:

    We have so many things on a diagonal in our house, I knew exactly what you meant from the beginning. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  6. Danielle says:

    How did you decide the order of construction for this? I think it’s going to look great and function well!

  7. Nicolette says:

    Floor plans for the win! Thank you for taking that extra step for us :) it all makes sense now

  8. Meghan says:

    This is not only going to improve the form in the space-it does wonders for the function as well! Well done you guys!!!

  9. kelsey says:

    Wow, this will use the space so much better! I’m always amazed at your vision.

    Curious – if you had known you were eventually going to do this, would you have centered the music room arch straight in from the front door? Does that make sense? It looks to be a little off center.

    Can’t wait to see how you guys finish this off!

    • Julia says:

      Unfortunately the music room doesn’t extend that much farther to allow the doorways to line up but that would be cool! We were able to line up the other doors, including the dining room one which feels nice

  10. Miranda says:

    The new orientation makes WAY more sense – AND gets you a close in the office?! Win.

  11. Emily M says:

    I can see your vision! This is really coming along nicely. Since you’re doing the work yourselves, will you be documenting and sharing how to frame and build the wall? And the doorframe?! Please say yes! My husband and I are hoping to add a wall in our home but don’t know where to start. Would love a CLJ tutorial to follow!

  12. Brittney Ball says:

    I’m thinking of doing something similar in my entry with weird angles! But how do you tell if what you want removed is structural support beams that can’t be removed?

    • Julia says:

      If you’re not sure, definitely call a professional. When we were renovating previously, we had an engineer identify what exactly was structural.

  13. EP says:

    This will look so much better! How much of what you’ve removed is structural? I believe typically the walls under the top of a stair are load bearing (ran into this issue with a prior remodel!)

  14. Ella says:

    Hi—isn’t there also an expense for studs/framing materials, the plumber, etc? Looks beautiful and streamlined—just curious about the actual expense. Seems like it would be more than just drywall!

    • Julia says:

      We have studs on hand. We’ll need drywall and finishing materials. We did hire a plumber to cap a pipe and an electrician to move wires but it was a small fee.

      • Ella says:

        That’s awesome! I feel like every time I hire a plumber it ends up being more than I bargained for. Great! :)

  15. Debbie V. says:

    I just love it when things just make sense, and this closet area reno makes sense! It’s going to be so much more streamlined.

  16. Bethany says:

    That diagram helps alot! I was having such a hard time picturing it. And that closet looks huge! Good call moving access to the office – I’m sure you’ll get good use out of it there!

  17. Wanda says:

    Just brilliant and will look so much nicer! I really need you, at least your vision.

  18. mary says:

    The foyer is going to look great! From the office side, did you try turning the door 90 degrees to get rid of the jog in the floorplan (i.e. on same plane as arch into music room)? Then closet could be bigger, I’m picturing double french doors with beautiful closed and open shelving inside. But maybe your couch is in that space or something. Just a thought.

    • Jan says:

      My guess was that they didn’t want to be able to see the office from the front door, especially if it is busy inside. And I think the arch for the music room lines up to the front door?

      Can’t wait to see it come together!

  19. Ashley says:

    I hope you guys share the process of rebuilding the actual structure of the wall! It’s going to look fantastic!

  20. Caitlin Rose Low says:

    Thank you for posting this! I was sooo confused what was happening! I needed the floorplan!

  21. Sara says:

    This is going to look great! I’m sure you’ve addressed this elsewhere before, but do you have another coat closet somewhere? I feel like you’ve mentioned in the past but can’t remember.

  22. ewa says:

    Oh, man! I didn’t realize how much waisted space that arched corner door generated. Good call for straightening it up!

  23. Sarah says:

    This will be so much more functional, and look less busy from the entry. Good idea!

    Glad you are posting this here, as I removed Instagram from my phone so I don’t see those updates.

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