Expanding Doorframe in Den

Second Floor Den Door Expansion

We are back to working on our second floor den. Greg finished up stripping the paint from majority of the wood. I need to go back and clean up the details, sand and prime. He expanded the doorway into the tiny little side room. I battled expanding the doorway for months.  I was afraid the room would loose it’s symmetry. But the small room really had no purpose and seemed like it needed some connection to the den. The expanded doorway gives both rooms more light. Soon we will re-frame the expanded section to match the the other side of the door frame.

Our next step is to remove the ceiling. Parts of the ceiling have poorly done patches from water damage and have sagged. Greg took out a chunk late Sunday night. We’ll have to take the whole thing down before we decided if we want exposed beams or not.

Below a peek of the beam we discovered in the wall. The wood beam still has the bark on the wood. Crazy, right?

Looking Through Doorway Into Den

Wood Moulding Stripped

wood beam in den

Removing  Ceiling

Removing Ceiling in Den

Front Windows Looking Out to Street

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Wood In Den Striped
Stripping Walls in Den

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  1. …we all rant don’t we? Yeah Katy, I think it all works fantastically and my husband did the impression of you guys when you woke up next morning to such glorious sunshine, “Greg, quick, where’s the camera? Greg? GREG!” My take on the expanded doorway is that by not having even a small return on the corner, the fireplace looks more solid and relates now even to the smaller side room. Great decisions and easy does it.


  2. Katy,

    Thank you for the update, and sorry for the late night rant. It’s just that I’m fond of your little old house.

    Thanks again, and keep it coming,


  3. HI there, I found this site via Bohemian Hellhole. I love the work your doing! Will watch for more and enjoy the older post for now.
    Kind regards, Lynea


  4. I do like the expanded doorway very much. I think if the door on the left went to a room, rather than a stairway, I’d be more in favor of the symmetry.

    The main beam in our house still has barnacles on it – it was pulled off our beach.


  5. Hi Nick,

    The section of the door was already ruined by a previous owner. The moulding had been removed and the wall had been hacked into.

    The area had to be fixed. If the expanded doorway doesn’t work we can always go back. Don’t worry we save everything.


  6. I’m sure you will, but I hope you save the removed molding and paneling somewhere safe in the house, should you or someone in the future have a change of heart…


  7. In general I’m into your renovation, but I must voice dissent here. Not into the widened doorway. I think the room does lose some balance, and wonder how much more useful the little room will now be with a wider doorway. And it looks like you had to remove some of that lovely paneling … it looks out of place to my eye, too wide for a mid eighteenth century house of your type, and a weird compromise. It doesn’t really look like what you wanted, but an odd middle ground. But maybe it will come together in the finishing, and ultimately, it is your beautiful house, not mine.


  8. sigh. i love old houses. you will be so proud when things start to really come together and i can’t wait to see.


  9. The expanded doorframe is a huge improvement – I can see why you did it! I could really see that cozy room as a library/ office space. Good luck with your ceiling project. At least now you will be able to add some insulation up there.
    I wouldn’t recommend re-plastering it – you could always sheetrock and skim coat the top with plaster – it looks the same and it will be much easier to do. :)


  10. The 2 rooms looks so much more appealing with the doorway opened up. You’ve done such a nice job with the interior space
    already. The light is so much better!

    Good luck to both of you!


  11. We definitely need to cover the ceiling with something. I’m taking it down because it never looked right. It had been damaged by water and had a poor patch put in place. The seems didn’t line up well and it showed through in the joint tape. I’ll probably regret this when I’m half way through, but it’ll keep me busy. I wonder if the old plaster can be recycled/reused by grinding it and mixing with water.