Sunday, August 24, 2014

Enhancing the Entryway

Have any of you ever fallen into the (sometimes-false) train of thought that you should paint a small, dark area in a light color? Well, that's exactly what I had done in my very small, very dark entryway. I painted everything white, thinking that would be the solution. And it stayed white for almost 10 years.

Yes, it was lighter, that's true. But, oh my, it was still SO boring...and sad. So I did some brainstorming. Since our entryway opens to our living room where the color scheme is neutrals with pops of green, I decided to go bold and paint the front door green (and believe me, this is not a quiet shade of green.) Actually, the outside of the door is already a bright, fun green, so why not paint both sides the same color? Brilliant! And NOT boring ;)

I took some inspiration from one of my favorite bloggers. Jennifer at Dimples and Tangles has infused her home with beauty, personality and color (including some gorgeous shades of jade and emerald. Check out the dining room hutch in her home tour!)

Because my door was white, I had to apply several coats of paint to cover it. (OK, it took 5 coats...but who's counting?) And now I am loving this choice! What a difference it has made in elevating the personality of the space.

Well, I couldn't just stop there, right? I also decided to zhuzh-up the little vignette on our stairway landing. I moved a photo of our favorite dancer ;) and replaced it with a frame that had been gathering dust in a closet. Since I believe that every area of the house benefits from the natural color and texture of greenery, a wreath seemed to be the perfect addition to the frame. See how it breathes life into the hard surfaces?

And I brought in some hydrangeas from the garden. They will look even better as they start to dry and wear their Autumn colors. Even though it is still as hot as ever here in the Midwest, I pulled out my gilded acorns in anticipation of cooler months ahead.

This tray was a Homegoods gem that I snatched up as soon as I laid my eyes on it. It will likely move from room to room in our house, as it will work well in so many settings. The fleur de lis finial was a tag sale find and will also relocate in time, no doubt.

The candle sconce has been with us for at least 12 or 15 years. When I bought it, I thought it was really artsy and chic. I guess I'm still not ready to part with it. And the greyhound sculpture...well, what can I say? Do other dog owners buy replicas of their "best friends" too? I just couldn't resist when I spotted it in an antique shop. It was probably over-priced, but as a greyhound mom, I just had to have it!

I'm pleased with this area so far. But you know how one project almost inevitably leads to another?

Yeah, so stay tuned for more entryway soon as my husband gets over the shock of this new door color!

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Conversation Pieces

Sometimes a piece of furniture or accessory just speaks to you and you have to buy it. If your husband asks why you "needed" it, there is no answer. You just know that it's special...that is is absolutely perfect. And sometimes you have no idea where this perfect piece will fit into your design scheme. But when you get it home, you'll walk through the house, examining the rooms...and that perfect spot for that perfect piece will present itself.

This happened to me last weekend. I was on one of my tag-sale excursions when I found this...

At first glance, it's downright ugly, right? The face is a little creepy, and the material it is made of (fake wood/resin something-or-other) is pretty bad. I picked it up and turned it over and around a few times. And I contemplated. I almost set it back down and walked away. But something about it just really intrigued me, and I knew I could do something with it. Also, at 50 cents, what did I have to lose?

Since the whole world seems to be having a love affair with gold lately (including me) I whipped out my Design Master Antique Gold spray paint and transformed this mask.

The back of the mask was equipped with a chain hanger. So I looped it onto the doorknob of our inherited antique china hutch from my late mother-in-law. She used to display her collection of teacups and saucers in here. The piece isn't in pristine condition, but it's very sentimental, and I like its clean-lined, masculine design.

Obviously, I am using it to display cherished family photos.

The placement of the mask could be interpreted wrongly. Does this make it look like I'm "making a face" at my family or poking fun at their precious faces? Haha...I'm totally not! In fact, the main reason I chose to hang it here is that it is right next to this antique chair (with a face!)

I found this treasure at an estate sale last summer and had to have it. I could imagine it staying with us for many years and transitioning to our future retirement home.

Once it found a spot in our living room, I set out to do a little research on its history. If I am interpreting the information accurately, this design is known as "North Wind" or "Old Man North" and the chair was probably produced in the Gothic Revival period during the late 1800's or early 1900's. The face, also known as a grotesque or gargoyle, was said to have blown evil spirits away. Typically carved out of oak, these chairs were often used as decorative pieces in parlors.

There is your furniture history lesson for the day :)

My design style doesn't generally incorporate lots of antique pieces, but I definitely enjoy a good eclectic mix of styles blended together. I really like the heavy carving and drama that this piece brings to my room.

Do you use unusual, conversation pieces to enliven your rooms? I'd love to hear about it!

Sharing with DIY by Design, City Farmhouse, Ivy and Elephants, Share Your Cup Thursday, Lamberts Lately, Well-Groomed Home, Nancherrow, Paper & Fox, French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique, Redoux Interiors, Pieced Pastimes, Share It One More Time, Life on Lakeshore Drive, Amaze Me Monday, Between Naps on the Porch, Domestically Speaking, StoneGable, A Stroll Thru Life, Cozy Little House, Confessions of a Plate Addict