…that we put an offer in on this house was the layout. It was, arguably, exactly what we were looking for (with one extra wall and a slightly smaller upstairs hall). One of the things we began really wishing for in our old home was a foyer. Sound silly? Well, maybe. But when you live in a 12 foot wide house and only have a 12’x12′ living area that also functions as a foyer and hallway, you too, might long for a true, defined, wide, entrance foyer. You can make fun, I don’t mind. When we walked into this house, in all it’s disarray, we both loved the foyer space and the stair and the window. It was a great first impression to the rest of our tour that day.
As work progressed on the house and the drywall began going up, the entrance space really started taking shape. It has some great little details, the lower ceiling at the doorway with 4 inch reveals really defining the ‘entrance’ and the original arches into the living room really frame the stairs and window space. Having two windows in the stairway really brighten everything up, especially the upstairs landing.
When it came to paint color, we weren’t sure what we wanted. Originally we thought a light green or yellow, but couldn’t find anything we really loved, especially since it had to look good on the first floor AND second floor of the house. We painted the living and dining rooms a cool grey but wanted something a little warmer for the foyer space. We tested two samples that looked promising in the store, both in the tan/brown family – one with some yellow undertones, the other with some red undertones, and after putting them on the wall, thought we had found a good balance of neutral and warm in one of them. Out I went to purchase 2 gallons and the minute I got home, we both decided it was the very wrong color! As the sun changed through the day, the yellow-ish one got very bad yellow and greenish. The red-ish one- was too mauve and then dark brown. Neither was good (I won’t tell you which one we have 2 gallons of now, just sitting in the basement!).
We were back at square one. We wanted this house to feel different from our previous home (which was tan, blue, and brown) but with nothing else jumping out at us, we went back to investigate a cooler color. Something tan with some grey. We found two colors that seemed to fit the bill, one a little darker than the other, so we bought the sample size and painted some more squares on the wall. G even helped us out a little. She LOVED ‘painteeeee-g’ and did not want to stop, ‘dippie-dippie’ the brush into the little can to create her masterpiece on the wall.
The choice was immediately clear- it was a no brainer for us. Why had we not just gone with something more neutral sooner? And, yup, it’s one of the same colors we used on our old house- no wonder it felt so comfortable! Now the tedious part of cutting in and painting this large, multi-corner, multi-trimmed doorway, two-storey space began.
It took a long time to finish this – basically only painted for an hour or two a few nights a week after G was asleep. Most of the space was finished a few weeks ago, but cutting in the ceiling line of the stairwell required the 12′ extension ladder which made it nearly impossible to accomplish quickly after work when G was sleeping so it got pushed back until just last week when I left work and headed straight home with the sole mission to finish painting the stairwell.
Here are some before and afters:
We still, of course, need to paint the trim and doors, but that’s small potatoes compared to the rest of the space. The door on the right is the original coat closet that we turned into a half bath. Since we lost the coat closet function there, we want to build a custom cubby/bench/hook unit for the left side wall next to the front door. In the meantime, we found this bench up in the attic from the previous owner and it works great. We might paint it a bright, fun color just for kicks.
We are also on the hunt for an entry table to go in the little nook by the stairs. Currently Riese’s toy chest is there but something fun with a little lamp on it where we…ok, where ANTHONY, can throw his keys and wallet down instead of on the TV console, or dining table, or kitchen island, or… you get the picture.
We continued the same color down through the basement stairwell since it is now open to the hallway. This helped make it feel like a continuation of the house and less like, ‘just the basement’. (now we just need to finish the basement, itself, and paint the trim!)
Some artwork has gone up, but we still have ideas for more. Our family photos found a new home between the two windows.
We love having them back up in the house and Gabby LOVES being able to say ‘hi’ to everyone as we go up and down. They are also right at her eye level from the upstairs railing so she can stand there and point to everyone and practice their names. This really makes it start to feel like home for us!