A long time ago, my mom told me that I should write a book. And I clearly remember telling her I couldn't write a book because I didn't have anything to say. It's been kind of like that with this blog. I haven't had much to say (though I did consider boring you with several rambling posts about my foster kittens...which still might happen). Overall, life has been really good. Really full, happy, hectic at times, but mostly status quo. Laura's and my interior design company has continued to be a dream come true, with steady projects and sweet clients. (The problem of course with a business blog is that there's plenty to say, but no time leftover to say it!)
Now, all of a sudden, it's December and Christmas is upon us, and I have much to tell you. So unless life goes off the rails, you can expect a few posts this month!
The first bit of exciting news is that I feel like we're actually making progress on our Entry project! We are not nearly finished, of course, but enough construction is done or underway that it's starting to feel different. Like, good different.
Here's a look back at where we started:
That's how it looked in progress, and here's the current state:
We have replaced the ugly brown bifold closet doors with a single door, and completely remodeled the interior of the closet. You may remember I had hoped to use a single panel door style, but through a series of unfortunate events (i.e. ordering and returning multiple doors), it became clear that Home Depot couldn't match the detailing of our 5-panel doors in a single panel style. So, we just stuck with the same door used in the rest of the house.
You may also remember I was in love with unlacquered brass doorknobs from Rejuvenation. But, the rational side of me and the reality of our bank account won out. The style throughout our house is $30 per knob and the Rejuvenation knobs are $180 each. It was really no contest. We still have to install it.
The new inside of the closet is so wonderfully functional! We have two glorious rows of hooks, 12 in total, as this is our main entry to the house and our main dumping ground for winter coats, backpacks and boots.
Inside the closet is a small section where hanging coats are tucked away. I love how the coats don't hit you right in the face when you open the door. Plenty of shelves and these cute bins give us tons of storage. Organizing the bins when they first arrived was such a happy day!
And we got a new rug! The last one was pretty, but it was very thin so it slid around like crazy no matter the rug pad. This one is sturdy and durable for all the heavy traffic.
I also worked with my mom to have a couple pieces from her house shipped to me from California. My wish list included an antique dresser with drawer space for hats & mittens. It dawned on both of us that my old childhood dresser, an antique passed down from a great aunt, was exactly what I'd been looking for. And my mom generously offered to give me one of my favorite items of hers, an elaborate Ethan Allen mirror, along with the dresser. For $200 I had the two of them shipped, which was less than I would have spent on Craigslist to find something with none of the sentimental value. Not only do I love the mirror, but it's sooo my mom with the gardening motif on top. She used to own a landscape design business. So, mom's stuff for the win!
I'm excited for the day I can style this surface with something other than tools.
I've been in the throws of another wallpaper crisis, as I realized the Caitlin Wilson buffalo check I had my heart set on would clash badly with my office rug (which is visible from the entry). Having two overly similar bold black and white geometric patterns together would be a huge no-no. So, I tried a long time to find a wallpaper I loved as much. In the end I just can't shake my need for the buffalo check so I bought a new office rug! At the time we did the office, I knew the IKEA rug would only have a trend-life of like 6 months, so it's way past time anyway. The new one is not here yet so fingers crossed it works. I'll show you when I have it!
The remodel of the staircase is underway. I ripped up the carpet on the lower stairs to reveal--get this-- treads! What luck in a 1991 house! So, that's a huge money savings. Unfortunately, the landing is plywood so I'm stalled at this point until I can research what needs to happen there.
We'll be replacing the entire railing with a more historic (and beefy) style, staining the treads a bit darker and painting most everything else white.
And speaking of paint, we need a lot of it. The whole entry and ceiling still needs to be painted. But that's a long way off.
Still on the to-do list is to complete the trim and baseboards. Here's a close up look at the incomplete trim on the playroom side of this doorway:
I'm sure by now you're wondering what that giant blue cross is on the ceiling. Well, at some point Ryan mentioned to me that our light fixture was "off-center." How did I not notice this? It's not only off center, it's off everything! He now wishes with all his heart that he'd kept his mouth shut, because he's going to have to move it. The X marks the spot where the new fixture will be located, and it will be centered on both the front door and the closet door. Ah, yes. That will be much better.
As for fixtures, I've searched high and low for just the right thing. It had to be flush or semi-flush thanks to our short 8' ceilings. Are there any more unstylish lights on the planet than these? The answer is no. After hours of scouring I was able to find several options I actually liked, but almost all of them were $500 and up. Blerg! But, I think I have a solution and it's in the mail...fingers crossed and more on that another day.
What else can I tell you? I think that rounds it up. Feels like the finish line is in sight but there are still so many little things to do. Not the least of which is tearing out a ceiling to rewire electrical and completely rebuilding a staircase. So you might not hear more on this until next Christmas (oh I hope that's not true...)
A couple more views before I say goodbye. This is the view of the entry from the other direction, when you're in my kitchen's eating area:
That's the basement door above. You can see what the doorknobs look like. Here is a look at the same hallway but at the wall opposite the basement door:
There's my office to the left (where the plant is). The basket holds shoes, and the light switch and doorbell need their covers back. And it all needs paint. So. much. paint. Here is the view of the entry from my office:
Ryan and his trusty helper...
Doorknob under way!
Whew, I thought this was going to be short and sweet. Guess I had more to say than I even knew! Thanks for reading - I know this is going to sound weird since these conversations are kinda one-sided, but I really feel like we get to catch up when I write them! The last time I posted so many of you wrote to say how good it was to hear from me, and you will never know how encouraging and wonderful that was. I truly love you for reading this, whether we've only met once, or still have yet to meet. THANK YOU for hanging out with me here, however sporadic I may be about writing.
Talk to you soon!