Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Foyer - Before & After

We finally finished our foyer. It took over three years but it's done! It's just a tiny little space but it's been a major design conundrum for us since day one. The lighting is weird and the walls needed a lot of work.

Here we are in the foyer when we came to the house on our real estate viewing:

Blurry. That's because it was in the olden days.

Here it is on the day that we closed on the house:

Yep, the flooring was two different colors. Don't even get me started!

Here you'll see the Mister running from the camera. 
This is back when he had energy - as most of us do pre-restoration.

The wall sconce made me sad.  That's the original doorbell but I just don't know why they hung it over the heating vent. Cray-cray. 
Wanna see more of that ceiling light fixture?

Le sigh. I wanted to love that light. I really and truly did.

But even in the daytime, it made our foyer look like a spook house. 
Or a whore house. You pick. 

The walls in the foyer were painted over wallpaper. And not just any wallpaper but fuzzy, flocked wallpaper. It made for an interesting scene. We painted over it but the texture of it drove me absolutely mad. One day, I got the wild idea that I should try and peel it all off. 

Um, as you'll see. Boy was the Mister surprised when he came home!

Even Pip got in on the action.

As you can see, the wallpaper was once pink and green flowers. We also learned during the restoration that all of the trim in our house used to be dark green like the leaves on the flowers. Fancy! (and I'm glad that we weren't the ones that had to cover it with primer)

The walls stayed peeled as you see below - and what we liked to call "historic" for about two years!

I know. I know. I'm mortified now that it took us so long but as you may know, sometimes house repairs don't go as planned. This is what people saw when they came into our front door. Super classy! 

This Spring, we decided to bite the bullet and finally finish it all. We had a drywall guy come in and sand and re-plaster both the foyer and the hall. What a freakin' mess! I swear that Hell must be covered in drywall dust. After much clean-up and weeks and weeks of trying to pick colors (I'll spare you the details and the photos of dozens of paint swatches), we decided on one. We were almost done with the whole thing when I exclaimed to the Mister over dinner, "One more wall to paint and we'll finally be finished with the entire house!" We were as pleased as punch. 

And the Gods laughed. Within a couple of days,  the house flooded and the many months of the kitchen repair ordeal started. I'm pretty sure that I jinxed us. So today, I realized that I have never stopped to appreciate the "after" of it all. You know how that goes sometimes? We just zoom on to the next thing that needs to be done? So here it is. The after!

I know. It's hard to tell anything from photos of a foyer that is too small to photograph. But I thought that I should give it it's due. We found that massive landscape in the darkest corner of an estate sale house basement and purchased it before we even measured it. It had me at "knotty pine frame". We figured that "Sure! It will fit in the car!" but ha! it didn't. We ended up having to tie it to the roof and drive home at a turtle's pace. It's hard to tell here but that thing is about as big as my car. Thank God it even fit on the wall. The furniture piece is a Paul McCobb and the Mister inherited it from his late uncle. We got the 50's ceiling light for a quarter at a junk shop in my hometown. That horse clock was a birthday gift from my Mom. I've always wanted one!

We replaced the hall lights that made me sad with a pair of vintage lights that we found on eBay. I tried to take photos of them for you....but to me, taking photos of lights while they're lit is like trying to get blood from a turnip. And I'm a quitter. There! I said it.

We painted the hall yellow to separate the spaces. There was a lot of debate on the whole "one color? two colors?" issue but in the end, we went for it. We still have the old doorbell but are planning to do some work to it to make it fit in better. Mr. Kitten Pants likes to reach up and swat the chimes, sending the rest of the nervous Nellies hiding for cover under the bed. 

The attached hall was all white before and peeling. At last, it's a nice place to hang my collection of anonymous portraits. I won't go into the details now but I think that this hall is haunted. I once heard a medium say that when we bring home things belonging to other people, they carry residual energy - so we need to be careful. I'm pretty sure that one of these portraits has some serious residual energy!

It would also be a safe bet to say that this looooong hall gets some epic kitty cat raceway action! 

I was getting ready to say something about how we are NOW finished with the restoration but I know that it would be a fool's bet to even go there! Let's just say that home ownership is always a work in progress. An evolution, if you will.

Until next time,
x's and o's,


Sara In AZ said...

YAY!!!! for the foyer and hallway completion - it looks amazing!

And yeah, we don't want to jinx anything..... so we'll just go with the house being a "work in progress"! :)

nancyworegreenstockings said...

What an amazing after! Seriously, it looks so great! Every piece looks so excellent together, and the wall colour is perfect. said...

wow!! i love the color!!! i want to hear more about this haunted hall!! :)

Rae - Say It Aint So said...

it looks great! i love the blue color. isn't it funny how you get SO MUCH done when you first move in, then lose steam and it takes years to finish? i have so many projects ive been meaning to do for 4 years!
i'm so glad you got that big print too! i hated leaving it behind in my basement, but i didn't have a big enough wall space!

susie said... all looks so beautiful. All that hard work is really paying off!

Lisa said...

I love how that painting in your foyer looks like it just came with the's perfect! So neat to see the space in all its stages and now in its awesome completed state. You give the rest of us hope! :)

Dana@Mid2Mod said...

The colors are fantastic together, and I'm lusting after that Paul McCobb piece! Great job!

Unknown said...

Love the restoration work and that is a fabulous Paul McCobb piece! He is one of our favorite designers. We have lucked into two of his pieces (a desk from the Planner group and a low table from the Linear group) at thrift stores over the years. :)

Laura said...

Don't feel bad, I've got a kitchen painting project heading into fourth month.....sigh. Two years on a foyer doesn't seem at all unusual to me. The paint colors look very calm and lovely, and you did a great job. Hope you got the kitchen settled back in and your stove fixed too. You've had a heck of a year, homeowner!

Dani said...

It looks great, I was at my Aunt's this past week and she has the same horse clock. My dad told me it belonged to my Grandma.Neat to see another one.

Unknown said...

I like this hall story. The flood story made me sad for the flood we once had too, RIGHT after refinishing our 1955 oak parquet floor. Houses. The wallpaper peeled off reminds me of the TV show "The Middle" where the wife is getting the house ready for a wedding and randomly starts peeling off wallpaper hours before it starts. They stapled/taped it back, and it has remained so stapled in all future shows. I love that dumb show.

Librarian Tells All said...

I'm drooling over the Paul McCobb piece and the paint color!! Um, especially the McCobb. JEALOUS. I really like your style! Can you point me toward other house tour type posts?

jaymie said...

That yellow and blue --amazing! love! one of my favorite color combinations.

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

I love it! The giant landscape and horse clock are so fantastic.

sherree said...

I love it all ! Hope you are feeling better :-)

Unknown said...

It looks fantastic! I kinda love the whorehouse lamp- but I can understand why you wouldn't want that vibe in your entryway! No wonder you were scouted by Nashville- your house seems adorable.

BEESTLYproducts said...

not that i disliked the peeling wallpaper, but it looks great now!

Dakota said...

This is the most perfect foyer!! The landscape painting is SUCH an amazing find!!

We have one bedroom at my family home with the ol' partially-peeled wallpaper thing going on. Luckily it's a sweet vintage floral and looks pretty OK in its "historic" state (or so we like to think ;).

Atomic Auntie said...

Oh, man! I can't wait to hear the full scoop on your haunted hallway someday! I totally believe in that "epidural energy" thing. I love your foyer makeover, and the colors are divine.

Kate H said...

Do you think the haunted hallway is a mish-mash of ALL the risidual energy, or just one portrait? I guess you could see by putting each portrait in the garage for two weeks, like figuring out what you're allergic to by going through an elimination diet. KAte H

Kristine said...

Oh my golly, Eartha, I lu-huh-vvvv it! I was laughing so hard I had tears but then a little teary thinking of the flood and how you two are still together and still doing such amazing great work on the house. The entry is retro, artistic, and oh so welcoming. It just suits the place. Hope all the portraits with good sense decide they are lucky to be there. Has the cat been zipping down the hallway and inadvertently hit you like some atomic bowling ball yet? Looks like a feline speedway. We're on year 2 of our third kitchen remodel (house 3 of 3), and you are providing reassurance of a rare and wonderful kind. -Kristine

jason said...

love this! Love that painting.

The Curious Holts said...

Oh my gosh!! It's GORGEOUS!!! Really, really beautiful and classy.

Can I have that whore light?

Rita said...

I am so late to this party, but small pics or no: I love it! Love the color, love the furniture, love the painting, and especially love the horse clock. And your portrait hall! Since I picked up our painting of Edgar, I've become smitten with the idea of portraits. Am on the lookout for them all the time now. Don't care if they haunt my house!

And happy Thanksgiving to you. Finding your blog was an online highlight this year.

Brittany said...

I love it! That huge landscape is AWESOME!

Sparkleneely said...