Monday, July 6, 2009

My Entryway Update

I recently discovered Metamorphosis Monday on 'Between Naps on the Porch', which is inspiring me to reveal a few of the updates that have gone on in my own home. I have shown bits and pieces of my entryway over the past year - the Scott's Antique Market chair that I updated, and a small glimpse into my front hall in a post I did on flowering quince. Here is a little bit of background on my entry and its progress over the past few years.

My front door is on the left side of my house, and because of this my entry actually has two good sized walls in it. I also have 'light on two sides' - the sidelights of the front door, and the fan light above it, as well as windows at the base of the stairs and the top. I truly enjoy having nice wall space in the entry, as it has enabled me to decorate the entry with both art and furniture.


For many years, my entryway had a French provincial style chest of drawers, an average looking mirror, and some Anna Weatherly plates hanging on the wall; unfortunately, I can't find a picture of this arrangement, as it was in my pre-digital days. A few years ago, I was ready for a change. When I bought the Niermann Weeks beaton mirror (pictured above), I decided to re-do my entry around this new piece. Of course, as is typical when I am doing a project for myself, it took a long, long time. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that my entry looked like this for over a year!


OK, now a bit of progress has been made! I have some samples of sisal rugs, and I got a chest of drawers for the front hall - the Murano chest by Hickory Chair, with a limestone top. Here is a cautionary tale - I went to my Hickory Chair representative and told him that I wanted to order a chest 'just like the one in the picture' of the catalog. I meant same color (parchment), with a stone top. I did not realize that Hickory Chair painted finishes come in three levels of distress - weathered, vintage, and rustic (rustic being the thickest and crustiest application). If I was aware of this, I would have ordered the weathered finish as I prefer a smoother look. When the chest arrived, I was quite dismayed as it was in the rustic finish (which is lovely, just not my style). The dealer offered to take it back, but I would have had to pay a huge restocking fee - so I kept it. The error was absolutely mine, as the picture in the catalog was of the rustic finish; however, since it was not a close-up, I did not see the details of the finish. I absolutely love Hickory Chair products, and overall am very pleased with the chest. Next time I order Hickory Chair, though, I will be certain to specify the weathered finish! Live and learn.


Here is the picture from my 'flowering quince post'. Some more progress has been made! I ended up ordering an area rug for the front hall, a sisal called 'Siskiyou' made by Fibreworks, color #777. I also had sconces installed - they were custom made by Julie Neill, a wonderful lighting designer out of New Orleans. For those of you new to my blog, I devoted quite a bit of blog space to my love for the sconces on the show 'Gossip Girl'. I searched high and low for sconces that had a similar style, to no avail. So, I contacted Julie, and we worked on the design - I had a specific look and feel I was going for, both with the sconces and the shades. Julie, a master at scale and proportion, provided wonderful guidance for the size and overall design of the sconces. And here they are! I smile every time I see them, even though I think the electrician hung them a little high (I had requested 60" above the floor, and he suggested 64"). Why did I agree to this? Another live and learn.

Here is a picture of the entryway on this gray, rainy day in Atlanta (not a lot of natural light for the pictures, unfortunately). The crystal Simon Pearce lamp has returned to its original place in the family room, and now the Baker pleated murano lamp in peridot has taken its place (from the Barbara Barry collection). I purchased it at Mrs. Howard; Phoebe Howard suggested it after I showed her a picture of my entry, and I really love it - it looks like a little glowing jewel in the evening. A small crystal bowl filled with hand painted paper mache eggs (purchased in London 12 years ago) sits atop a small stack of books. I have added a Target seagrass basket for my kids shoes - it makes life a lot easier in the morning, since they are all in one place. Since flowering quince is only in season for a short time in the spring, I usually put seasonal flowers on the left side of the chest. My long suffering orchid has has the place of honor right now since we are traveling so much this summer - it often goes for weeks at a time with no water, although it looks a little worse for the wear. And there is Ben the dog - my walking and house hunting buddy. When he is not out exploring Atlanta neighborhoods with me, he spends most of his time sprawled out on this rug.

Here is the other side of the entryway. One small detail, I changed out the old brass doorknob a few months ago, and got a lever style handle in a oil rubbed bronze finish.

Here is a view of the entire area from the stairs, to get a perspective on the layout.

Here is a view up the stairs (Ben is used to me taking pictures of houses, so he is unperturbed). I used to have a cream colored carpet runner, which was not practical and looked absolutely awful after a few years! I looked and looked for a good carpet to use as a runner; I wanted a different look than sisal.

Once I saw this carpet, Sotheby made by Masland (in nickel), I knew I had had found the perfect runner! Green is my favorite color, and I think green makes an excellent neutral for stairs. This carpet is a wool/polyester blend, and it has held up beautifully. We had it installed 18 months ago, and still looks new. I would like to use this pattern again in my next home! Notice how the shapes in the rug echo the shapes in the Murano chest.

I hope you enjoyed the slow but sure metamorphosis of my entry! I am very open to constructive improvement suggestions, particularly when it comes to the tablescape (I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to tablescapes).