Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Half Walls

I think almost every blogger has the impulse gene.

Here it was, Sunday night, and Aaron, Karl and I were sitting around the table talking about the fascinating world of freeze-dried foods.

And I was blabbering about what a horrible DIYer I am, since I did nothing of “blog worth” this weekend.  I had a sisters night, Orchestra rehearsal, and watched a whole season of One Tree Hill.  

Aaron jokingly said, “We could knock out the wall, and that would give you something to write about.”

Aaron and Karl looked horrified at how serious I took that comment.

We decided that if we had a lesson about “The Walls of Jericho” coming down, we could make knocking down the wall our Sunday activity.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

We buttoned up the furniture.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

Take note that this is NOT load bearing.  It is purely decorative.  And purely ugly.  And purely nonfunctional.  And purely on its deathbed.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

Not everyone is rich enough for a Bagster.  So… we each had a garbage bag station.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

We skipped the whole marching 7 times thing and dived straight into the demo.  And we probably shouted sang nicely “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho” while bashing hammers.  Quality.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

And what demo wouldn’t be complete without a dead bird hiding in the wall?

Removing a non-load bearing wall

Removing a non-load bearing wall

Karl took a sawzall to the top of the column.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

At this point, things were getting straight cray.  Hammers were flyin.  Dust was flyin.  House was rockin.  I had to put my real camera away to protect it from the Great Dust Bowl of ’58, and use my cellular devise for pictures.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

Removing a non-load bearing wall

Removing a non-load bearing wall

After the studs removed the studs, garbage bags were stapled up to protect the insulation.  That was naturally the classiest solution to holes and gaps.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

Now that the half wall is down, we can turn the table the OTHER way!   It’s like winning a game of Tetris.  And it also feels like we could fit at least 32 more people in here.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

The gap isn’t as bad as I expected.  We’ll be getting new flooring as soon as the pantry comes down.  We can live around this gap in the mean time.  I’m a Pitfall expert.  Atari skillz run deep.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

The ceiling feels so much taller.  Half walls are the meanest optical illusion.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

Here’s the big fat open.

Removing a non-load bearing wall

taking down a wall

taking down a wall

It opens up the living room like a christmas present.

taking down a wall

However, the view from the hallway is my absolute favorite.

taking down a wall

We obviously have a little bit of work to do patching the wall & ceiling.  And you know… finishing the unfinished basement project.  But that isn’t stopping me from enjoying an open living space.  Ain’t nobody got time for half walls!

And  just like that, Aaron, Karl and Kenz learned about the walls of Jericho on a Sunday evening.  It’s going to be an interesting day when we learn about Noah.

What spontaneous thing did you do this weekend?

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  • Emma (Broke Ass Home)

    I absolutely can not believe how big and open and bright it is. It’s a totally different room. And i almost peed my pants this morning when I opened my phone and saw this picture- not even kidding.

    I LOVE IT.

    Also, if I weren’t married, I’d totally date that DIY Man Child that tags along in all your adventures.

    • Kenz

      It is a stunning difference. I can’t believe it either. I’m just as shocked as you that we did it last night. And isn’t Karl great? He is. Us 3 and the dogs had a dance party after we cleaned up, right where the wall used to be.

  • THIS LOOKS MAGNIFICENT. It really makes everything look so much bigger… I love open floor plans. Also, I love One Tree Hill. I’m not so patiently waiting for the last season to arrive on Netflix so I can hole up for days and watch it all at once.

    • Kenz

      I’m waiting for the last season too! I’m all about Brooke & Julian. And thank you. I’m loving the open-ness!

  • I love that you did this on a SUNDAY NIGHT, CRAZY WOMAN!!!

    It looks fantastic! Totally changed your space. Love it, love it, love it.

    • Kenz

      lol, I know. They whole time we were like… “uh, are we REALLY DOING THIS??”

  • Hi, Kenz
    Looks so much better. It really opens up everything in the room. Love it! By the way, did you finish the basement yet? : )

    • Kenz

      Thank you. I can’t believe what a difference it is too. And… of course I haven’t finished the basement yet. Project ADD! We only have a few finishing touches, so hopefully soon 🙂

  • paigetopus.wordpress.com

    that looks awesome! it’s so much more open 🙂 I love open concepts like that.

    my parents have taken down walls in the past and no matter what they did or how many large plastic sheets they put up, there was still a fine layer of dust over the entire first floor of the house. and they live in a 160+ year old Victorian house so the walls are filled with horse hair and old newspapers and baby shoes. 🙂

    • Kenz

      haha! There are always interesting things in walls. I’m sure if we ever build a new house, I’ll hide a treasure map in the wall, just for funsies.

  • Bethany @ The Sepia Puppy

    This is so awesome and amazing! I love love love it! It looks like that whole room grew by 10 ft! What’s the plan now about the wainscoting on the dining room, are you gonna carry it over? are you gonna leave the rooms different colors? I’m so excited to see what happens next! I love seeing all your decor, it gets me so excited about owning a house someday (hopefully soon, fingers crossed). Also it’s not entirely impossible that that bird was placed there on purpose. some builders in the past used to trap something living inside the walls when building houses to bring luck. look it up. I read it in a Chuck Palahniuk book once. I did crack up when I saw that though.
    <3 as usual
    B

    • Kenz

      Really people used to do that? I’m going to have to look into that. Because we had a dead bird in our basement wall as well. Hopefully you get a house to knock down walls soon! It’s liberating. So we’ve been planning a big living/dining/kitchen reno for awhile. This was just the beginning. All the wainscoating is going to come down, and a new pantry is going to be built on the far wall of the dining room. Where the current pantry/coat closet is will become countertops. It will all be the same paint color in all 3 rooms, and hopefully we do a 2/3 wall height board and batten. I’m assuming it will take us til the end of the year to get through it all 🙂

    • Kenz

      That is so interesting. I’ll have to look into that for sure. Our basement wall had a bird in it as well. The plan is to build a new pantry on the far wall of the dining room, and knock out the pantry closet and add counter space by the stove. All the rooms will eventually be the same color 🙂 I can’t wait for you to have a house to knock down walls in. It’s liberating! xo 🙂

  • You guys are pretty wild!!! You amazing me with all of your projects!! Simply amaze me!!!!

    • Kenz

      haha thanks Aunt Becky. It’s mostly a result of my boredom. 🙂

  • Caitlin J.

    I appreciated the atari reference 🙂 You are the coolest cousin ever! The room(s) look so spacious now!

    • Kenz

      Playing Atari as cousins (Keystone Kapers & Pitfall particularly) are in the top 10 of my favorite childhood memories. Such great times 🙂 Love you C!

  • I LOVE your blog! I have been known to take out a wall or two. Also have been known to paint three days before christmas eve, buy new furniture in less than a year for the same room that was “done ” the year before. It is crazy but we love it! I love the new view you have too, it is perfect!

    • Kenz

      Hi Elizabeth! I’m happy to meet you. I’m glad you and I love taking out walls. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who randomly takes hammers to walls before bed. Do you have a blog? I’d love to follow along your projects!

  • Heidi Selover

    It looks so good! I love how much more open it looks. And I REALLY love the color you did in the dining room, even if it’s just temporary. I feel like there’s probably something really satisfying about hitting a wall with a hammer. I should try that sometime. 🙂

    • Kenz

      Hi Happy Heidi 🙂 Thanks! I like the color too. How about this, you and Lindsey J come to my house and help me hit the walls with hammers. We’ve still got a couple demo projects lined up!

  • Amber @ Wills Casa

    You are crazy, and I love it! The space looks so much better with the wall gone.

    • Kenz

      I am definitely living on the cray-cray side these days. I don’t even know what got into me 🙂

  • eranfaraway

    What a facelift! I lean towards the exact same compulsions. Suddenly, something MUST be done, and I’m beating at a piece of wood with a hammer before anybody can suggest maaaybe later. Also, I love your furniture tetris reference 🙂

    • Kenz

      Erin, I’m SO glad you understand what it’s like to not be able to wait AT ALL! haha, it’s awful! And I’m glad you picked up the tetris reference. You’re the coolest 🙂

  • Wow….it looks great–you had quite a weekend! I think you should fill in that gap with pickets from your fence 😉

    • Kenz

      Hi lady! You know, the weekend was pretty mild up until last night after dinner. If I were smart, I might have worked on SATURDAY and rested yesterday. Because now my body is incredibly stiff. I need to do SOMETHING with those fence pickets. There is no such thing as too much reclaimed wood.

  • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

    Bahaha! I laughed out loud about 12 times in this post… you witty little thing. 🙂 Tetris is my fave BTW.

    Additionally, how is it that you remove a wall in 24 hours and it looks FABULOUS, and it takes us, oh I don’t know… SIX MONTHS to finish ours? Officially jealous!

    • Kenz

      Your wall was so much more difficult than ours. You should commend yourself! You had a load bearing wall to deal with. And the cutest babies in the world. And… ours was a wussy half wall. I’m LOVING your arches!

  • This was amazing. I love the “shouting” that occured while knocking down the wall. Oh. And the dead bird. Good times!

    • Kenz

      haha, thanks Linds! It was a great time! I’m sure that dead bird had also had a great time in its day.

  • Katja @ Shift Ctrl ART

    It took me a while to get past the dead bird. Could we have some back story? Feel free to make something up. I want to know more about that bird, or maybe I don’t? Next: WHOA what a big difference. I am so with you on taking down that half wall. Great decision. It looks fantastic.

    How excited are you going to be to hear that we (un) spontaneously did our yearly accounting and filed our sales tax form? Riveted?

    Ok back to that bird…. what’s the scoop? 🙂

    • Kenz

      That dead bird. It was basically dust, feathers and a beak. Its story is that, some contractor back in the 80’s thought it would be HILARIOUS to put a bird in there to be discovered 30 years later. How kind. Your taxes do sound riveting. I hope you get a great tax return 😉

  • Heather

    Oh don’t you love that feeling when a wall, paint, or anything actually starts taking place and you know it’s gonna be awesome!! It is! Love it! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. I found your blog after I saw your bedroom on betterafter. You are awesome, can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    • Kenz

      Hi Heather, I’m glad you were able to find my blog 🙂 I love making blog friends. I’m so excited about having the wall down. It’ll be fun to see it all come together!

  • Whoa – totally opens everything up! It looks fantastic! And seriously, that dead bird? Haha I’m half grossed out/half weirdly curious about it.

    • Kenz

      Thank you! I’m quite pleased by the open-ness. That bird is so gross. So many questions! I still feel pretty guilty about not quite keeping the sabbath holy… but thanks for not judging us!

  • megan Vaughn

    What a fantastic idea to transform your space! Looks great! 🙂

    • Kenz

      Thanks Megan! I’m pretty thrilled about it.

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  • Kate

    That wall was seriously useless! Looks much better without it :))

  • Cindy

    Would you mind sharing where you bought your loveseat? Love the design and color.

    • Kenz

      Thank you! We got the loveseat online from Home Decorators. One of my FAVORITE places to buy furniture!

  • Renee_Parnell

    This place looks awesome. One question: I’ve been contemplating taking this wall down in my house, but hubby keeps muttering “it could be load bearing.” How did you know yours wasn’t?

    • CrowderSoup

      Hey Renee!

      My advice is that if you’re not sure it’s best to ask a pro. Most contractors will charge a small fee to come out and take a look for you. At the end of the day, the small fee is worth it when it comes to peace of mind.

      They’ll have to look at the structure of the home above the wall. For us it was up in our attic. I could tell by looking at the trusses that the weight of the roof wasn’t resting on the wall we took out. If the wall you want to take out is connected to a vaulted ceiling like ours, chances are that you’re in the same boat as us.

  • Eman

    This was so inspiring… and what a difference! I am considering taking mine down. How did you deal with the floor gap? I have an angled high bar that is not functional and was hoping to remove it if it wasn’t too much to fix.