It’s crazy that we’ve been in our “new” house for a year at the end of next month. It feels like it’s gone quickly, but at the same time it feels like we’ve been here forever – except for all the updates we still have to do. Though when I look back at the before photos, I’m reminded at how much we have transformed this place to be more us in less than a year’s time. Since it has been a year and I’ve only shown snippets of our house I thought I would finally start sharing, even though a lot of rooms aren’t “done” (but will they ever be??). Today I’m sharing our new and improved entry, since it’s one of the most finished – and maybe most transformed – room. And who am I kidding, the room I have to clean the least to share 🙂
The foyer was my least liked room in the house when we bought the house. In fact, I hated it so much I didn’t want to buy the house the first time we saw it. It was just so…I don’t know. Blah. Yellow. Open. Especially open. There was no delineation between the entry and the living room and it drove me nuts. (and don’t get me started again on how there is literally no definition between the living and dining rooms. Still not fixed though.)
So the very first thing we did after closing (like, same day) was tearing out a portion of banister, wall and floor in order to build out the stairway wall to give us more of a defined entry way. Things get worse before they get better, right? And when I say we, I mean Ryan and my very helpful Dad. He may have done more work than we did, coming over after work some days to drywall (while we were still living in the city) and stuff. #bestdadever Thanks, Dad! Once it was torn out, they built out the wall from the stairs, and dropped the entry way to a more respectable level. Ryan also replicated the trim work of the front door around the living/dining room entry way on both sides, and it looks amazing. It’s only primed right now, but it will be painted…some day. This freezing cold winter would have been a good time to get some painting done while stuck inside, but um, I didn’t. Also some day we will add the same moldings above the office doors.
The next order of business was the floors. We were not a fan of the honey oak color throughout the house, and we definitely were not a fan of the completely different wood and staining in the living/dining room. So the living/dining room floors were ripped out and matched to the rest of the floors, and then the first floor and stairs were stained an ebony (some day we hope to do the upstairs). LOVE the difference the color of the floors make. While it is true that the dark color shows a lot of dirt and dust, I’m still happy with it – and glad we have a black-haired dog. Wouldn’t recommend going ebony if you’re anal about cleaning or have a light-haired dog that sheds a lot, because you would be cleaning the floors every. day. But if you don’t mind that, go for it! And come over and clean mine for me too.
We also hired a painter for the living/dining room, foyer/stairwell and upstairs hallway. Best decision ever – there was no way I was going up two stories to paint and it got done so much faster than I would have. We would basically still be living in the jaundice house. For the foyer and upstairs hallway I went with Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl at 50% lighter. I love it, it’s such a great neutral. It’s very light but not almost-white so there’s contrast with the trim, and it’s gray but has some beige to it (though let me be clear, I hate beige, and it’s not a greige as they say these says. Definitely gray). It’s hard to capture the true colors because the lighting isn’t great and my photography skills are not professional.
Let’s see, I also painted the banister black, which I may have to do again since the color is still not black. Even though I bought black paint. Like, the blackest swatch I could find, and then even went back to the store to get more black added after the first coat. And it’s still a grayish black. Pretty sure it was the paint I used, but I’m not sure why/how (Ace Hardware cabinet & trim paint). The office doors are black, railing is not. Very frustrating. Ryan removed the turned spindles and replaced with squares spindles (let’s not discuss how long with lived on the edge, literally, without spindles). We’d like to replace the newel posts but that is a larger project we weren’t ready for…and let’s see if it ever actually gets done, it’s low on the priority list since just the spindles and black banister look 1,000 times better. We still have to fix all the nail holes in the spindles and then paint them, along with the risers and the skirt board; speaking of which, Ryan could not find it anywhere to match where we added onto the wall, so he had to custom make a router bit and it ended up matching pretty perfectly.
I also painted the office doors black, as I already mentioned, and the transom window white (which reminds me, it’s only primed right now…#typical). I’m in love with the black office doors and have plans to paint all the doors on the first level black. It just gives them such a pop and looks so expensive and pretty.
My favorite pictures from our travels were hung in the hallway after I spray painted the weirdly silver color I never liked to black, and I added the pretty popular raspberry and gold bench/ottoman from Target and my favorite mirror from West Elm to the little corner that I didn’t know what to do with. The bench is used for time-outs and for putting on shoes – pretty versatile 🙂 Speaking of the bench, there was literally one left in my surrounding area and none available online so I hightailed it to the store and bought it, loved it, but since then Ryan has pointed out that the legs totally slant and now I can’t unsee it. And it makes me angry, and it’s unfixable, and none left to exchange with, but it’s pretty so whatever. I *try* to ignore it. I love how the pink ties into the painting on the landing of the stairs, which is from HomeGoods. It was quite the decision of where to put it (over the living/dining room entrance? over the door?) but I’m glad I put it where it lives now. Oh, and the entry rug which is only really visible in like one photo is an indoor/outdoor rug from Dash & Albert, ordered from a store here in town. It really stays pretty clean, and if it gets dirty, I can hose it off or wash it, which was important for an entry rug I think.
Still to-do is replacing the hideous chandelier, painting/repainting all the trim, painting the front door and new door hardware. And adding a humongo gallery wall up the humongo staircase wall. But it’s come a long way, baby! From yellow on yellow sponge painting and too open to soothing and defined.
It’s pretty great to see a vision come together, and I’m so thankful for my husband’s, dad’s, painter’s (and my) hard work!
Paint: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl at 50% lighter
Rug: Dash & Albert
Pink ottoman/bench: Target (no longer available)
Mirror: West Elm (no longer available)
I hope you enjoyed an “after”, finally! I need to work on more for you…”some day” seems to be the phrase around here though.