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Our Open Stairway Split Level Entryway Remodel

Today I am sharing our open stairway split level entryway remodel and how you can easily modernize your split level!  A split level house entryway is a fairly simple remodel project that you can accomplish in approximately 3 hours depending on how long your demo of the existing wall takes. This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.

Modern Split Level Entryway

A modern split level entryway typically consists of a wall railing and simple black iron balusters. Black iron balusters are inexpensive and can be purchased on Amazon with next day delivery. We used these black balusters and they added the modern look we were going after. We opted to add the baluster shoe at the bottom of the baluster but you can eliminate the shoe for an even sleeker modern look.

open split level stairway with black metal balusters, blue walls, vaulted ceiling

Step 1: Open Stairway by Removing Half Wall

Here is the split level entryway staircase wall before we started remodeling.

1970's split level entryway, living room and hallway

I don’t know why Jim is sitting on the floor in this picture below wearing a mask (ha) but you can see the dated entryway with the closed off 1/2 wall below.

1970s split level entryway

Here is what the entryway looked like after we removed the 1/2 wall. Thankfully there was not any electrical outlets on that wall so it was just a matter of removing the sheetrock and 2×4’s.

As you can see below, the ceiling was opened up below creating a vaulted ceiling, shiplap planks were added to the ceiling, new windows were installed, the floors were sanded and refinished and a fresh coat of paint was added to the walls and trim. The blue gray wall color is called platinum by Behr and the trim is called bright white.

open entryway staircase split level house

Step 2: Drill holes for balusters and staircase rail

Jim measured and drilled holes approximately every 4″ for the balusters on both the handrail and floor.

Here are the drill holes on the wood handrail.

wood handrail with 4

Here are the drill holes on the floor.

wood handrail with 4

Step 3: Cut balusters to 36″ and add staircase handrail

We used the chop saw to cut the black metal balusters to 36″ each.

cutting metal baluster with chop saw

If you are using baluster shoes on the top and bottom of the baluster, be sure to add those before placing the baluster into the handrail and bottom floor drill hole.

black metal baluster and black shoe

We applied Loctite adhesive to the floor and handrail drill holes to keep the staircase balusters in place.

We then added the metal black balusters to the floor holes and added the handrail to the top of the balusters.

This is definitely a two person job as getting the handrail to sit steady on top of the balusters while inserting into the drill holes is tedious!

Be sure to wipe any excess adhesive that may spill out around the balusters.

As you can see, we slide the baluster shoes to the bottom and top of the balusters. The shoes will hide any imperfections around the drill holes which is nice!

Split Level Entryway Before and After

The open staircase entryway is absolutely beautiful and cost under $200. The black metal balusters can be found here.

The wooden oak handrail can be found here.  The balusters shoes can be found here. 

open stairway split level entryway remodel

Pretty big change from the original entryway and stairway right?

open split level stairway with black metal balusters, blue walls, vaulted ceiling

open split level stairway with black metal balusters, blue walls, vaulted ceiling

open split level stairway with black metal balusters, blue walls, vaulted ceiling

Here is another look at the entryway wall before.

dated 1970's living room, entry way, kitchen with walls

If you want to learn more about how we removed the kitchen wall and opened up the ceiling check out these posts below by clicking the title of the blog post:

Cute Split Level Remodel before tour, opening up a kitchen wall, installing a load bearing beam, kitchen remodelinstalling shiplap ceiling

open split level stairway with black metal balusters, blue walls, vaulted ceiling

So what do you think about our open stairway split level entryway? Are you inspired to open up a stairway interior wall in your own home? It truly amazing how opening up walls and staircases can really change the look, flow and floor plan of a home.

If you are looking for more inspiration, click through this post how we updated our basement stairway with iron balusters, baluster knuckles and shoes for under $2.

We decided to the leave the existing metal handrail on the other side of the staircase wall that we removed and painted it black. It coordinated nicely with the new stairway balusters and was in good shape. I personally love the open staircase look in this house and the overall open kitchen and living room with vaulted ceiling is a drastic improvement from the original split level floor plan. If you you would like to see all the remodeling projects in this home, take a look at our dedicated split level house remodel page.

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3 Comments

  1. Cheryl Johnson says:

    Great remodel!! What color paint is the wall and trim, looks so bright and clean! Thank you… 🙂

    1. Hi, thank you! The wall color is Platinum and trim is bright white by Behr

  2. Looks awesome! Definitely open up the space!

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