The Project House – Custom Trim update

January 25th, 2014

I should title this post “Mr. Project is the most amazing person, I’ve ever met. Lets see all the beautiful things he’s created for this house” But it got kind of wordy there at the end ;). But seriously, Mr. Project is so incredibly talented and hardworking, and I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to see his handiwork all around us in this new house. He did nearly all the millwork/trim/carpentry in this house, needless to say, he hasn’t been sleeping much.


When we designed the house, I wanted an entry way that had door portals so you felt you were actually inside of a room instead of a wide hallway. I also wanted a formal room right off the entry for a piano (which we don’t have yet), and a little seating area.

I thought about having columns built out to separate the spaces, but decided that columns were more formal than the look I was going for. I wanted to keep things simple, okay maybe simple isn’t the word, I wanted to keep all the lines very concise and all the trim work very flat. So a lot of detail, but simple detail. Instead of columns I went with trimmed out portals, so the trim work is all around you when you walk through. I carried this portal idea throughout the main floor, and all of the portals are 18″ deep.

Mr. Project installed all of the trim in the entryway, including the “tongue and groove”  ceiling. This tongue and groove has a big “V” groove at the seams.

Our front door is one of my favorite features of the house. We had seen a similar door in a home being built, but it had stain glass “X”s. I actually found that door at Simpson Doors, and I had my door provider price out the sourced door, and a custom built door, and the custom built door was about 25% cheaper than the pre-made one. The only difference was that the “X”s would be made of wood. It turned out so lovely, and so much a statement piece. I love it so much.

I wanted an perfect paneled wall  (no doors etc.) in the entry as a backdrop for my entry table vignette. I also made sure there was a plug so I could have lamps etc. there. theprojecthouse-paneled-entry-wall

Moving onto the formal living/music room – We had more time than we expected to finish up trim projects (due to Christmas and new years keeping subs away), and Mr. Project asked if I had any other trim projects I wanted done. I sheepishly said that I wanted a full paneled wall in the living room, and he was happy to oblige. I think this wall took him 3-4 hours. I’m super excited for this room as the paneled wall will be white (all the millwork in the house will be white), and the wood floor will be next to it, and on the opposite wall is a huge picture window that doesn’t get direct light. So it will be a very lovely place to take photographs. theprojecthouse-paneled-wall

Moving to the great room… We had our builder do most of the ceiling work in the house. They build this beautiful coffered arch ceiling. It turned out so beautiful, it looks quite formal now, but once it’s painted white, it should look a little more casual beach-house. Mr. Project framed out the doors with trim above, which I think will look quite striking once there are curtains on them. The doors will be painted black. I love me some black doors. Also from this view, you can see just a peek-a-boo of the kitchen windows being trimmed out. Those won’t be finished till the kitchen cabinets are all in, so I didn’t take a picture of that space.


Here’s another detail view of the ceiling. The planking is the same tongue and groove trim boards.

I pulled out my wide-angle lens for this shoot – so you get a much better view of the linen built-ins. These are going to be painted a very pale ice aqua color. Mr. Project built this unit, and it’s just phenomenal and really makes the space look incredible.

Here is one of the door portals that I was talking about. We recessed the bedroom doors and created this trimmed-out portal effect, complete with a light in the top. All of this will be white, but the door itself will be black. Mr. Project wanted these portals to look really unique and so he mitered all the outside corners. This was a considerable amount of work, but makes them look very clean, and different.


Here’s the master bedroom portalL


This is what the doors look like (and the regular casing) – and I snapped this picture because this door is a pocket door – the first one that was installed and it made me so happy!



The nursery got some board & batten. I wanted a more masculine skinny stripe for the verticals, and I think it turned out perfectly. This will actually be painted NOT WHITE haha, it will be a mid gray color, and the window trim will all be the same color. theprojecthouse-paneled-bedroom

This room has a little niche, so Mr. Project added these beefy shelves. I can’t wait to decorate!!


Mr. Project paneled out the master window wall. The builder did the ceiling planking, and there will also be some cool beam work that will make that portion of the ceiling look like rafters/attic floor.


Mr. Project suggested a planked ceiling in the master bath, and I was over the moon excited! I’m thinking about painting it a light gray color.



I’m so loving our master bathroom. The marble and mosaic floor turned out incredibly, and I love all the trim details (not done yet!).theprojecthouse-bathroom-trim

Mr. Project paneled out the bathtub (with waterproof/resistant material called Medex). I’m so happy we went this route instead of tile up the side. I think it makes the space look so romantic. He also paneled the window out (still missing the bottom trim piece). This space will have a pretty rectangle chandelier over it. (see Master Bath Style Guide)


I couldn’t resist a detail shot of the floor:theprojecthouse-tile-border-hexagon

Mr. Project paneled out this portal just a little differently than the others due to the tile placement. I LOVE it! He used this 3″x.5″ pre-cut trim material for this door, and I love the proportion. He’s also going to panel out a the mirror part of the wall with a space specifically for the mirror etc.theprojecthouse-door-trim

And the closet system all done and trimmed out.


I love all my drawers!


And then onto the basement family room… We created a similar room-divider space in our last house to visually divide two spaces, and decided that we loved the look so much, we wanted to incorporate it into our design here. Mr. Project made the base cabinets, and they have doors on both sides. He also used these gorgeous solid live-edge walnut slabs for the tops, and then built these beefy columns to reach up to the beam that we had the framers build. I love how it makes the space seem not so big and boring.


And of course the focal point of the room, is the fireplace planking. All the corners are mitered and it looks awesome. Mr. Project just built a reclaimed lumber mantel for the space and it looks amazing. The wood here is going to be painted gray, with white shelves and cabinets.

theprojecthouse-wood-planked-mantleAnd last, but not least, my craft closet! Lots of shelves, and this bin/cubby hutch in the middle with a space for my big elfa drawer units (from the container store).


theprojecthouse-craft-closetSoooooo that’s the trim work/millwork/carpentry projects in the house. There are a few more little things, and the ceiling work has to be finished, but for the most part we’re really close to being able to paint! So so exciting! I’m loving seeing it start to look like the home I imagined, and I really just can’t wait to move in. Actually I don’t believe it’s ours, I’m going to have to pinch myself every morning when I wake up and walk through this beautiful home.

Post post notes:

*I posted about our built-in bench/shelving earlier this week, so it doesn’t appear in this post.

*More updates coming soon, so keep checking back. for daily updates subscribe to my Instagram and Facebook feeds. 

*To see past updates – view my Canyon View House Category.

*If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them, just leave a comment!


19 responses to “The Project House – Custom Trim update”

  1. Cari Skuse says:

    Looking awesome, Jen! I bet you are so excited to see it coming the completion. I know I would be!

    Will all the trim be painted by hand or sprayed?

  2. KJ says:

    Love everything! You two should design/build homes for a living. Too bad it will be done before The Parade of Homes, people need to see this!

  3. Tasha roe says:

    It’s all amazing! Hands down my favorite part would have to be the pony walls! Gah! So cool!

  4. Renae says:

    Looks fabulous! So. Much. Work. But it will pay off in the end. I love the planked ceilings and beams.

  5. Kimberley says:

    I found your blog a few weeks ago and have really enjoyed watching you navigate this process as my husband and I should be breaking ground on our house in the next couple of months. We are in CA so we have a ton of environmental hurdles to jump through but it looks like we are about through the county. I wish we had had a cost plus build option! We are acting as our own GC because everyone quoted such astronomical prices and it is a lot of work! But I know it will be worth it.
    My question for you is about your interior doors–it looks like they are 8 feet…who makes the 3 panel 8 footer? I’ve found 5 panel but I really prefer the 3 on that tall of a door and I don’t want to break the bank for it either!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the trim! My husband is super handy–we did all the trim in our current house ourselves, but we have 4 kids (4 months to 6 years) and he has a full time job so we’ll see if it happens–you know after he does the supply plumbing and all the electrical. 🙂
    And I can totally relate to your post about depression–living in limbo is weird.

  6. Jen Allyson says:

    Thanks for your comment Kimberley. I have a friend who is self-building in California and has all those same issues to deal with – check out her blog – Are you blogging at all? I’d love to follow along!

    Our doors are 8 feet. They are manufactured by Lemieux doors in canada and are surprisingly affordable – at least as far as 8 foot doors go. I love the 3 panel look too.

    good luck with your build!!! and have fun!

  7. Jen Allyson says:

    Thanks!! I’m so glad that we can do all this ourselves, it’s so nice to be able to do it at this point instead of little bits at a time later.

  8. Jen Allyson says:

    I know, right?? We’re so sad it wont be a parade home.

  9. Jen Allyson says:

    It’s going to be sprayed… I think the painters do a back-roll as well.

  10. January says:

    Jen. What material did Mr Project use to trim out your beautiful entry?

  11. Kimberley says:

    Thanks for the info and I checked out your friend’s blog…so fun to read about other families going through this adventure. I don’t have a blog but I have toyed around with the idea so maybe in all our spare time…:)
    I’ll let you know if we get one up and running. You’ll be able to see how people are attempting to copy your great design style! Our style is sort of modern farmhouse with a touch of industrial/steampunk just because we seem to have a lot of that stuff and now thankfully it is a ‘style.’ LOL!
    It is fun in that top of the roller coaster sort of way, but I did relate to your post about feeling depressed. I think it is really difficult for us nesting types to live in limbo with everything unsettled. But it is only a season, right?

  12. Sheila says:

    I cannot believe how talented Mr. Project is – I’ve been following on Instagram and can’t wait to see what your home looks like when all is said and done.

  13. Christine says:

    Found you via Pinterest. 🙂 How lovely. Just think. If someone had talked you out of this house, would what you would have purchased have been so beautifully customized?

    I love the fact that Mr. Project uses MDF for so much. I’m building many things myself & am just exploring that. It’s just so darned heavy! But if I screw up self-teaching, it’s only MDF & not $$ wood I’m going to paint anyway! 🙂

    I’ll be watching your beautiful work.

  14. Jen Allyson says:

    Mr. Project prefers MDF. Wood moves – shrinks and expands and causes lots of surface cracking on paint where the seams are.

  15. Absolutely jaw-droppingly gorgeous trim and cabinetry work! Cannot wait to see it all once it is finished!

  16. Camille says:

    Hello! Love everything you have done. Just want to check for sure that that I am reading it right that you did your front door through Simpson Door? Looking for something very similar. Thanks!

  17. Jen Allyson says:

    I had one similar priced through Simpson Door. But it was $$$$ so I had one custom made for $$$. Call around to local door builders/resellers and see what kind of price you can get on a custom door. The simpson one doesn’t have wood stiles like ours does.

  18. Camille says:

    Thanks! I live in the Salt Lake area…can you share which door company you used?

  19. Jen Allyson says:

    We used Ready Made Builder Supply –, but they just brokered the door, they didn’t build it themselves. YOu might find a better price having your custom door bid out.

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