After demoing the built-ins, round two of opening up the foyer involves finishing out the un-finished 16 sq/ft they previously occupied. This is the space I'm talking about:
Staining the concrete, after removing the carpet, is not a good option for three reasons. One, there would still be a space in the living room with a different floor finish (like the carpet square now). Two, we would have 4 types of floor finishes in our house - carpet, tile, hardwood, and stained concrete. And three, the stained concrete would be a step-down from the already in place hardwood. Not good. Stained concrete is quickly crossed off the list as an option.
That only leaves replacing the carpet with hardwood - which I am excited about. Hardwood floors was one of my must-haves on the house shopping list, and now we will have hardwood throughout the open living space! Let's rip that carpet out!