It’s time for the new One Room Challenge — and I’ll be tackling my entry and stairs for my first one! For those of you who are not familiar with the One Room Challenge, it is the brain-child of Linda at Calling It Home. Twice a year, 20 invited designer/bloggers and a host of guest participants complete a room in 6 weeks, with a weekly blog post to update on progress. Featured designers post on Wednesday and guest bloggers post on Thursday. Hence, for the next 6 weeks, Home Glow’s Saturday Blog will post on Thursdays. If I find some spotlight inspiration for Saturdays, I’ll do a quickie short-form post for you. 🙂
(And for anyone in my locale — if you’d like to enlist my services for the Spring ORC, let me know! I might be looking for a project.)
Without further ado, let’s get started!
The Entry Inspiration — It’s All About the Art
For those of you familiar with Home Glow Design’s Saturday Blog, you know that I live in an OLD house, 225 years old in fact. I have been making it over one room at a time in a fresh, classic style — I love to use classic silhouettes that feel natural with my home’s architecture and infuse them with color and pattern to reflect my family’s vibrant (well, with two little boys at home, EXUBERANT might be a better word) character.
I’m also a budding art collector, much to my handsome husband’s dismay, and I can’t help shopping auctions for things that strike me.
Last spring, I stalked this piece:
My husband is a Florida boy. He grew up at Disney, played in the orange groves and surfed with his friends, and vacationed on the Gulf Coast. Then our family started going to the Florida Gulf, too. With the boys, it is such an easy going vacation. Play at the beach, play in the pool, cocktails on the deck (for me and my man, not the boys) — perfection.
This piece, which Stacks painted of a Florida beach, crystallized that beauty for me, both the beauty of the setting and of our family time together; the brilliant turquoise and swirling colors captivated me. It was for sale from Sarasota Estate Auctions. I watched the auction on LiveAuctioneers.com (I’ve written all about the ins and outs of auction buying here and here), but couldn’t afford it. But then it didn’t sell because it didn’t reach the reserve set by Leon Stacks’ estate. I called later and offered the reserve, it was accepted, and I had it shipped to New Hampshire. Not a steal, but for a sizable and GORGEOUS work of art and a treasured family heirloom, it was worth it to me.
I love it when art is the starting place for a room design. The only place we possibly had room for Cloud Towers was in the entry hall. So here we go….
Studying the Masters
I want my entry to feel open and happy, fresh but also historically-inspired by the architecture of our house. Classic lines, inspired colors. It also has to transition our downstairs library and dining room and the upstairs bedrooms. That’s a lot to do.
I started studying how other designers might showcase art in an entry.
The Pink Pagoda chose a white backdrop for jewel toned art.
Mandarina Studio went for a gallery wall and lots of pieces playing on the same colors. I’d like to bring in another work of art, but I also don’t want to lessen the impact of my Cloud Towers.
Loved the saturated turquoises against the pale background in the above, especially in the Murano chandelier. Blue glass to bring out my skies in Cloud Towers is an idea.
White with pops of color is good, but I’m still searching for a backdrop for my art that’s a little different than white. Hmmmmm…. But I like the leaner art on the mirror. And of course the turquoise.
A much-pinned entry by Collins Interiors. I love this one for the juxtaposition of impactful modern art and a vintage chest with lots of patina. Something like this would work for my old house. Now we’re getting somewhere.
I definitely want a mirror to bounce the light around my small entry and a vintage/antique console much like this one above — less formal and more in character for my modest-farmhouse-meets-Federal-details home than the veneered beauty that Collins uses.
Wow. Coral LOVES turquoise. There is pretty much nothing Steven Gambrell does that I don’t like. He’s a genius, and color is one of his many, many strengths.
Eureka. Ladies and gentlemen, we have it. Art, turquoise accents, super pale coral walls, vintage console.
The Starting Point
Here is what our entry looks like now — well, last week. Not horrid, but very, very BLAH. Please pardon the night-time pics. I forgot to take these until midnight before the plaster guy was supposed to arrive at 7 AM the next day.
I already have a vintage Craigslist console that fits the space perfectly. Anybody want a happy Swedish rug? I’m not kidding, just email me to discuss a price.
Three boxes of pictures and books that haven’t been unpacked since we moved in 4 years ago — pretty horrible.
The front door that is never used because we have no outdoor lighting. It was midnight when I took these, and my autofocus is broken, hence the blur from my sleep-deprived-unable-to-focus eyes. I’ll try to get that fixed!
My Victorian banister and taupe-ish carpet. When we paint, this thing is going to look even more dingy.
Dilemma — how am I going to visually shrink this narrow, double-height wall?
Upstairs landing — single light source, non-working phone and thermostat that needs to be moved into a bedroom.
Single light source crowding attic hatch, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
The To-Do List
- Repair plaster walls and ceilings
- Remove rug up to where boys’ bedrooms start
- Install new stair runner
- Install new foyer lights, stair lighting, and second floor landing lighting
- Have window treatment made
- Frame Cloud Towers
- Take apart and rewire lamp (eBay find I already have)
- Get lamp shade made
- Order bench for beneath console
- Accessorize with entry accoutrements, stairway art, family pictures, and throw rugs
Will it get done? I think so! Will it look great? I hope so. Check back next week for my inspiration board and the start of work!