Foyer to kitchen pocket door, part 1

by brae  

I wasn't opposed to putting in a regular swinging door from the foyer leading to the kitchen, but I've wanted to try making a pocket door for some time now.  I had originally planned one for the bathroom of Baxter Pointe Villa, but there wasn't enough room for it with the roof angles.

There are two excellent blog posts on dollhouse pocket doors that I found while researching.  First, a fine set of pocket doors at Myrtlewood Manor where an upper track was used to keep the doors in place.  Second, KathieB's single pocket door where extra wood was attached to the door and foam core used to create the pocket.

I ended up choosing Kathie's guide to follow since it seemed the easiest for me to figure out and I already had the materials on hand.  It was also exactly the type of setup I wanted with a single door.

I added the extra pieces to the door and cut two outer wall pieces from 1/8" thick plywood.  I'll use 1/4" foam core board as the inner layer, just as in Kathie's example.  I've started painting the door Vintage White by Folk Art to match the trim I'll be using.

Putting in a pocket door wall also allows me to tackle another problem.  My parlor ceiling will be a different height than my kitchen ceiling.  However, the board for the second floor is a single piece that spans the entire area of the house.  By having a wall made from various layers, each outside layer could be built to act as a support for its adjacent ceiling and I could cut the floor board into two separate pieces.  :D  Oh, that sounds so simple on paper.  Ha ha.

My parlor wall is 9" tall to accommodate the new Houseworks narrow stairs.  I have the stairs as close as possible to the pocket door while still allowing for proper trim around the new doorway.  If it were back much further, it would encroach on the bookcase and leave very little at the top of the stairs on the second floor.

My kitchen wall is 8 1/8" inches tall as intended for the original kit.  The pocket door will be hard to see in this room with Keli's fabulous Hoosier cabinet next to it.  As you can see, there is just enough room for the Roper range, the Hoosier cabinet and the door.  :D

There are two remaining issues concerning the second floor board: the interior trim around the front door will hit right at ceiling height and the placement of the stairs presents challenges for fitting in a door to the bedroom (the room above the kitchen).  I knew these would be issues to address when I chose the new front door and decided to place the stairs in the middle of the first floor.

My plan is to have a two-story foyer to address the trim around the front door.

It seems a grand element to add, though it might not be possible since there is an exact area where the bedroom door must fit - in the space toward the front of the house.  There wouldn't be enough room at the top of the stairs toward the open back of the house.

This door would have to sit right on the edge of the overhang, with just enough room for a railing.  It would also leave a rather small stair hole in the parlor ceiling.  That's not necessarily a problem, though I don't want the space to look awkward.  I briefly thought about leaving the bedroom door out altogether (GASP!), but I'm a stickler for realism and prefer having a door.

I could create new trim for the front door and eliminate the two story foyer.  Now, the pitch of the roof on the second floor also dictates where the bedroom door would need to sit but it would give me an inch or so of flexibility.  But, I really like the idea of a two-story foyer.  :D

In keeping the two-story foyer, one option would be to use a Houseworks narrow door instead of the regular door in the same place shown above, which would open up the stair hole in the parlor ceiling a little.  If I used a narrow door for the bedroom, I would likely use one for the bathroom across the hall for continuity instead of having one thin door opposite a regular sized one.

Or, I could try to squeeze the narrow door in at the top of the stairs or even put in another pocket door at the top of the stairs.  Either of these would allow me to open the stairway ceiling into the foyer and make for a larger two-story foyer.  How grand!  :D

My decision?  To just forge ahead and worry about all this when I get to installing the second floor board!  :D  It'll work out, one way or another.

7 comments

Comment from: Norma [Visitor]

Thanks for the links to the tutorials on the door, I’ve thought about how to manage it myself from time to time but not actualy tried it ‘in the flesh’, both the suggested methods are interesting.

11/22/11 @ 21:39
Comment from: dale [Visitor]  

What a challenge to do a pocket door. I remember seeing the one at Myrtlewood Manor.

I admire you for taking on such a challenge!

11/23/11 @ 08:51
Comment from: Lucille [Visitor]

LOL! Nothing sounds easy, Brae. There are times like on this post when I need to do a lot of visualizing when I visit your site and I don’t see anything easy about what you need to do. Thanks so much for those links. That vintage white is very nice. That must be a new colour because I’ve never seen it.

11/23/11 @ 09:10

Your place is coming along so nicely! I love watching you work! Your work is magnificent! I’m going to (almost) build a house from scratch from a Greenleaf kit. Its former owner painted walls and put on a little wallpaper. Do you have experience removing wallpaper put on with tacky glue? :-) I want to either remove the wallpaper or paint over it. Any suggestions? :-) Thanks!

11/23/11 @ 09:56
Comment from: brae [Member]

Thanks for the support! I’m going to be thinking, thinking, thinking on this one. :yes:

Jennifer - I’m not sure about removing wallpaper. If you paint over it, it might buckle or the texture might still show through. I’ve not done a remodel requiring the removal of wallpaper.

11/23/11 @ 10:49
Comment from: Heather [Visitor]

So cool.

11/23/11 @ 18:25

Thanks, Brae! I appreciate what you’ve shared! :-)

11/26/11 @ 18:56


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