Updated: Dec 26, 2020
When we started the process of restoring our entryway to reflect a 1940's farmhouse, there were quite a few changes we wanted to make. The first order of business was taking out the coat closet. Although the closet was in the entryway where guests would come in, we never actually used it for coats. It became more of a catch-all for small appliances, extra egg cartons and all the things that I had every intention of posting for sale on Facebook. Those things were re-homed to a closet in the basement to make way for brick paver flooring and white planked walls. Not only did I want this entryway to look its age, I wanted it to function better for when we do host guests, which is all the time. Taking out the closet freed up a whole lot of space to have a bench where moms can do the shoe shuffle with their littles. An old coat tree I found at an antique shop holds all the coats, and a side table catches keys and purses.
Out came the closet, and up came the floors. I spent the next two weeks cutting bricks into tiles. I've never lost so much sleep over a project in all my days. When the Carpal Tunnel subsided and I drifted to sleep, I dreamed about cutting bricks. When all was finally cut, I laid cement board over the subfloor. The seams were covered with mesh tape and mortar, and I began the tedious task of laying out the herringbone pattern. It was really helpful to do a dry fit. I ended up finding a mistake in my pattern, luckily before securing anything to the floor. I worked in sections, about 2 feet at a time; stacking the bricks out of the way, spreading mortar, and returning them to their spots. It took me 3 days to lay the brick, and I let the mortar dry for 24 hours before piping in the grout. I wanted an aged look, so after smoothing the grout into the cracks, I smeared it over top of the brick to leave behind a white haze. I intended to seal the floor, but when I tested a spot in the corner, it started to wash away the haze. I'm thrilled to say, they've held up amazingly well under wet, muddy boots with no sealer.
Once the floors were dry enough to walk on, I was able to put up some new trim. I used a simple 1x8 for the baseboards and created my own window trim using a combination of 1 by lumber. This photo is labeled with the dimensions of each board. Each piece is cut to length based on the actual dimensions of the window, and I always paint the pieces with a foam roller before installing them. This is way easier and gives me a cleaner result with no brush strokes or cutting in. Then I attach them with a brad nailer. The color I use on all the trim in my house is called Coastal Fog by Benjamin Moore.
After I attached the trim, I installed the "shiplap". These planks are made from 1/4" plywood and ripped to about 6 inch planks. Again, I painted the planks first and I marked all the studs on the walls. I started at the ceiling, making sure the first row was level, not necessarily even with the ceiling. I used a nickel for a spacer and made sure that none of my seams lined up in any sort of a pattern. I personally like a more rustic finish on my walls, so I didn't bother filling nail holes.
Next up was the planked ceiling. You guys, this ceiling is a showstopper. It all of a sudden made the room feel warm and finished. These planks are tongue and groove bead board and I found them packaged in 8 foot lengths at The HD. My ceiling is only 7 feet and some change wide, so I was able to run them straight across with no seams and hardly any waste. And guess what I did. I stained them before they went up. The staining took the most time of the ceiling project, and with my mom's help, we were able to check this off the list in a weekend.
In reality, this room took over a year to be completely finished. I knew from the start what it would look like in the end, but time and resources (and want to) made it drag on probably longer than it should have. Do you take forever to finish projects too? Tell me I'm not the only one.