Since our board and batten project went so well, my mom decided she wanted to continue the beautiful wall decoration into the front hall and up and down the stairs. These rooms were more complicated to complete, due to the unhealthy amount of geometry we found ourselves (mostly Danny) utilizing to line everything up correctly. Thankfully Danny was able to use his amazing math skills to complete the project, but it took us about the same amount of time to do one set of stairs as it did the entire hallway (Danny spent A LOT of time staring at the wall, trying to visualize the puzzle pieces). We would still do it again, but the stairs were definitely WAY more complicated than anything we had finished already.
The Front Hall
My parents house is built to resemble an old farmhouse which means the front door does not open to a grand staircase. FUN FACT: Most farmhouses had additions built on as the family grew, which means the stairs were probably located somewhere other than right by the front door. The front door opens into a hallway, in the hall you can see into parts of the kitchen, dining, family, and piano room. We use the front door a lot because of the porch, so the updated wall decorations would for sure be appreciated due to the heavy volume of traffic through this main entrance. The hall has many doorways, which made placing the battens complicated. We started with the largest wall and then worked along the other walls so everything appeared to match. In the picture below, you can see all the tiny wall pieces we had to work with. Our largest wall is actually where the ladder is sitting.
Going down the stairs was extra complicated because we had to match the top board on the wall going down, to the top board of the hallway wall, and to the shelf that was built into the wall at the bottom of the steps.
This architectural feat required a 7 inch drop from the top of the board at the top of the stairs to the shelf at the bottom of the stairs (The top of the board and batten measured 63″ at the top of the stairs, the shelf at the bottom of the stairs measured 56″) Danny and my mom spent a lot of time deciding what would look best. The problem was the top board would either not drop enough to match the shelf board or the slope would not match the stairs and look like the hallway was gradually growing smaller the farther down the stairs you went. They finally decided to match the cuts to the way the baseboard had been designed. This kept our top board at the appropriate slope to match the stairs, but then stepped down so it would line up with the shelf. All this took lots of time (mostly filled with wall staring) and planning of which I was uninvolved because there were way too many boards and angles for me to try to picture at once. The battens caused some problems too because there was extra space in the corners on the landing with the shelf. We decided to add a batten to both corners to complete the look and make it LOOK RIGHT (remember: looking right is important).
2nd Floor Stairs
While we did not have to match the board height to a shelf going up, these stairs brought their own set of problems. Short story is, the bookcase has settled and shifted so it is actually on a slight angle. This was throwing our wall off because we were no longer working with a perfect perpendicular edge. The level and tape measure showed the boards were correct, but they looked slightly off because of the bookshelf. We decided there really was nothing we could do and placed the boards correctly on the wall. There was no way to get it perfect because of the bookshelf so we decided to do our part correctly and let it go.To us the final board seemed to be slightly leaning, but not so much that someone uninvolved or unobservant, would never know. It still looks great and we were happy with it. Both of these final projects had a clear stopping point (built in shelving) so we decided to use it to our advantage as a way to complete the board and batten project and make it the most visually appealing as you stroll down the hallways. Whew! There it is the whole project, tough, but the final product is totally worth it. Board and battens really make what may be a boring, unadorned hallway, into a fun and creative way to decorate your space.