In my last post, I mentioned doing a current-state-analysis of each room in the house. It will be nice to have a room-by-room documentation of what it looked like upon move in, what it looks like now, and what changes are rolling around in my head for it.
The entryway is the first interior part of the house that guests see, so it makes sense to get started there. It is a bright and functional space, with a transom over the front door and a wall niche. But I thought it was ugly when we moved in. The same rancid-milk yellow color that was on most walls in the house were present here, together with an oddly warm-toned tan below the chair rail.
I didn’t like how the dark-stained chair rail cut across the light-colored walls.
The niche was outlined with what looked like a free-handed scrolling design in metallic gold paint. Yes. Metallic gold. This is a view of the niche from the living room.
The light fixture was all wrong: super contemporary and flush with the ceiling.
It looked like an invading spaceship.
Few changes have been made so far. Today it looks like this:
The walls went white (Olympic Premium No-VOC paint in Creme Cookie, flat finish) as did the chair rail (untinted Base #2, semi-gloss finish). Whiting everything out was a controversial decision in the Hipp house. My husband was worried it would feel like we’re living in a rental property. I was going for airy and Scandinavian…I don’t think it’s there yet, but the all-white definitely shows off the dark trim work and makes the space feel clean and bright, which is always a challenge in a narrow Victorian house.
The spaceship light fixture was replaced with a $50 iron chandelier from Craigslist. It had been a gas fixture; the seller wired it for electricity and it hung in her mother’s home in Richmond Heights until she passed away. I added new candle covers since one of the old ones was cracked. A ceiling medallion was also added to ground the chandelier; still need to putty over the screws and paint it and the ceiling (oh, I feel a headache coming on…) But I am in love with the how just altering the light fixture has changed the feel of the entryway!
A small dresser sits in the niche and provides great storage for dog leashes and winter caps, scarves, and mittens. I am thinking of painting it and changing out the hardware, but haven’t made any firm decisions on it. The gold framed mirror is from Craigslist. I’d like for it to hang just a tad bit higher, but haven’t gotten around to it.
A large silver-toned bowl holds our mail. The blue vase was won at a fundraising auction for my husband’s college. The carved ebony hippo was a gift from my mother – she found it in Kenya after climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. With a last name like Hipp, we are almost obligated to collect hippopotami and this hippo does a good job of looking dignified while still allowing for a few giggles. The green vase was from my husband’s grandmother; it used to sit on her parents’ mantle in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The branch from a tree in the front yard.
A boot tray lets us leave wet or snowy shoes to dry. We don’t have a strict no-shoes policy in our house, but do tend to take off our shoes as soon as we come inside, regardless of the weather. It reduces the amount of dirt tracked in (the dog brings in enough dirt, thanks) and it’s just way more comfortable.
The half-round rug is a $5 steal from the Soulard Market. It’s 100% wool and super durable. A regular rectangular doormat would have covered more of the HVAC vent in the floor (that black square to the right of the mat). I’m still on the hunt for a better solution, but this works for now.
Simple hemmed rectangles of painter’s drop cloth act as privacy curtains for the front door’s glass panels. Right now it’s acting a nice, plain background for holiday cards clipped to a ribbon. Down the road, I’d like to switch these out for something that lets in more light while still providing privacy.
So there you have it – an entryway in progress. Gracie the cat seems to like it so far.