I know I said the stairs were the most complex project yet, but now it is for sure this wall! In our split level home (like most others), we have a wall between our kitchen and living room. It wasn’t the most annoying thing, as it provided a nice coffee nook in the kitchen and a nice entryway point in the living room, but it was small enough that it seemed to just get in the way, and we started to entertain the idea of taking out the wall and opening it up to have more space, host people better, etc.
Shortly after this talk, when visiting Titus’ family back in Boone, we were given a couple of old barn beams that were taken out of his Grandpa’s barn. We thought we could incorporate these into our house and tie it into the wall. We just weren’t sure how.
This is the longest we ever sat on a project and there’s a good reason why. Because the wall is load bearing, we couldn’t just start cutting without a plan. For months we’ve researched, talked to people who would know more than us, and thought about a way to open it up with incorporating the beams and keeping it structurally sound. And we did! While it wasn’t exactly the way I envisioned it (we had to alter plans for safety), I must say it’s even better than what I thought it would be!
I can’t believe how big our house looks now! Plus you can see everything in just one area of the house…it’s so nice. The project isn’t 100% done, as we still have a popcorn ceiling to fix and trim to add, but I decided to do the post before then… because who knows when we’ll finish that!
I tried to get better at documenting this whole process (more for myself than anyone), so keep scrolling to see this transformation!
1. Get a plan & materials
So first we obviously had to have an idea of what we were going to do. I’m a visual person and if I can’t see what the end result is going to be, it’s hard to picture if I’ll like it or not. But Titus had a clearer idea on how this would look and even though I had input, I was definitely trusting Titus on this one (and rightfully so)!
So while we were at Menards and Titus was getting supplies I didn’t quite understand, I was there to take photos! 😉
2. Take off cupboards
After getting our materials, the next step was to actually take off the cupboards. Believe it or not (you should believe it), I was a lot of the muscle behind this project. While Titus was at work, I took off the cupboards and the sheetrock by myself. Booya!
I know I should not have left the cupboard hanging like that, but I needed a picture lol!
Behind the cupboards, I found a ton of stuff from what looked like it belonged to previous owners that lived here two times before us! Such a ton of random, interesting things from the 70’s. Kinda disappointed because I thought I would find some secret treasure…hey that happens right!?
3. Remove sheetrock
After removing the cupboards it was time to remove the sheetrock. I was a little hesitant at first because I’d never done it before, and every time I hit the wall, nothing would happen. Once I figured out I needed to put a little oomph in my swing, oh man things started swinging!
Man, this was messssyyyyyy.
After removing the sheetrock and getting it somewhat cleaned up, we were able to get a little glimpse on what the openness would feel like…and we were getting excited!
There wasn’t much for me to do after this step because I know zilch about electricity (and bracing, and support…). At this point, Titus had to rewire our lights and create new lighting where there wasn’t any. This part took a while, but it worked!
5. Put up support
Next, it was time to put up our support to replace the wall. This took a couple of steps as we had to continue to support the wall before we put our own support up. It was quite a bit of moving braces around, but it was less time consuming than the wiring! Oh, and yes, that kitchen is now beige to match the rest of the house!
And of course, no project is complete without many late night trips to Menards to pick up supplies 😉
6. Attach beams
The project originally started off with the thought of using these beams as support. It ended up that the beams wouldn’t be strong enough to support the wall, so they ended up being just for decor instead. Our one beam wasn’t going to be long enough to reach the other end of the wall, so we had to cut up the other one to make it work. To cover the seam we got a simple metal strip and spray painted it an oil-rubbed bronze for a more rustic look. We then took the other beam and cut that up to add a cool corner look!
7. Finishing Touches
It’s almost done! The last step was starting on finishing touches. We painted, added some trim, put up sheetrock where it got taken off with the wall, and did a popcorn spray to match the rest of our ceiling (which did not work…back to the drawing board).
And now for the final result…
Like I said earlier, we still have some things left to do. We’re going to add more finishing touches and take off the kitchen floor and stain it to match everything else. In our future, we’d love to get some new wide plank floors, but the stained plywood works for now 🙂
But besides that, it looks so big. The best part is that it is open and you can be in one spot of the house and see/talk to everyone. No one is closed off! It was physically and mentally a big project (still is), but it was worth it.
The wall was a great project, but as you can see from the above photo we still had a lot of work to do house-wise. Check out the new posts to see the floors done, the hole above the kitchen sink covered up, and our new countertops and backsplash!