Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Foyer, Entrance Hall and Stairs

Well after stripping the final layers of glue off the stairs to the third floor, for 4 hours yesterday, I decided to skip a day! So here it is, I am finally getting down to the business of design choices. I'm thinking the easiest way to do this is to just walk you through the "before and afters" of our restoration and let you know the "hows and whys" of my choices.

While I worry that the word Restoration could make this blog seem a bit snooty, I want you all to know that ultimately my disign style is all about color, comfort and affordablity! That is one of the reasons I want to write this blog. I want everyone to know you can create a beautiful environment for yourself, inexpensively, but you have to be patient and wait for that right piece of furniture, rug, color, etc. to speak to you. Most things in our home where purchased off line, at discount clubs, in big box stores, at garage sales or given to us, second hand.
Dare yourself to come up with a design plan and have fun watching it come to life.

Our foyer all is all of 4'x5' and when we moved in it was completely covered with an oriental, foiled wall paper (even the sliding doors to the minute closet). As a Mother's Day gift my daughter, 12 years old at the time, started stripping the paper for me. It was another 3 months before we could change the small sliding doors on the closet to bifolds. NOW, I am by no stretch of the imagination a fan of bifolds but sometimes you just don't have a choice. This closet was built some time in the 1960's and as there are no other closets on the first floor; it was not something we could demo. So in picking a bifold we tried to find a wooden one with panels that would fit in. It was then another 2 months before I got around to painting and rewallpapering!

Our Foyer, Entrance Hall, Stairs and Second Floor Hall colors were all inspired by the stairs. The black and white stairs where a jumping off point for me. Even before we moved in, I envisioned these stairs covered with an oriental runner in a rich black, taupe and gold colors.

This made choosing the wallpaper a snap for the foyer. A very traditional black and taupe stripe to add height to this tiny space. The only thing we saved in this space was the wonderful light fixture!


I love these black handles.
By placing them in the center of the bifold doors 
a viewer could think these are regular doors that open out.
They are also large enough to be knocked around in this high traffic area.

When we moved in, the livingroom, dinningroom, entrance hall, stairs and secondfloor hall were all painted the same sage green with cream trim. The shade of green had a grey hue and made the space feel too cool.  Now, just the entrance hall, stairs and second floor hall are a warm shade of taupe with cream trim, black accents and oriental carpets.



As a lover of the arts it would have been great to be able to afford several large pieces of art for the stairs. Facing many more restoration projects in the house I chose to group black and white photos of our family in black picture frames. I placed the groups as if placing a larger piece of artwork and they fill the wall nicely.

We were lucky enough to be in the house, working, several days before we moved in and we were able to have the floors refinished. The floors are beautiful Arkansas Red Oak and once refinished many people asked if we had new floors laid. You can see the difference in color here. The original light fixture in this entrance hall was very small and hung to low for all the men on our family.  I was able to find this pendant at Lowe's that had a much better scale to the space and was at leat 2" shorter that the orginal. The shape, finish and etched glass make a much better statement about our style and the stle of our home. I also found an octagonal oriental rug (the shape mirroring the light fixture) with colors that not only relate to the stairs but also to the adjoining living and dinning room.

That's it for today! Looking forward to sharing more!

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