Welcome Home: The Importance of Your Entrance
Happy official summer to everyone! The new season coincided with completion of a house project I’d been chipping away at all spring — a new look for our front hall. We’ve been in our house for 10 years now and it’s funny but I just stopped noticing the front hall. In a busy house full of kids & pets & seemingly constant Amazon Prime deliveries (why??), the front hall is often our favorite dumping ground for backpacks, packages & yes, suitcases. Other rooms in the house have been completely rearranged, done, redone & modified over the past decade as our needs & tastes changed, but the front hall felt like this inocuous kind of lobby, not worthy of much attention. Au contraire, mon frere! It took display expert Bill Hopper for me to realize what a key role a front hall makes in the feeling you have when you first walk into a house. Let me show you some of his magic…
Phase IA— Before
I say 1”A” because the real Before would have had a black door. I’m obsessed with blue so when we had the house painted last summer it seemed inevitable we’d get a blue door going — so there’s that, below. (I changed my mind on the color a couple of times but I think we ended up with Benjamin Moore “Newburyport Blue”)
The cottage chest was my mother’s & she had helped me set up the hall a few years ago as kind of a “placeholder piece” as she would say…but time went on & I forgot all about that! So with fresh eyes, I realized the more informal style of it belonged in our guest bedroom, where it now lives very happily.
In search of a more sophisticated piece that would tie into the Living Room in front of it, I found this Swedish table circa 1840 (below) from Loi Thai’s shop Tone on Tone. You might remember his name from a post I did a while ago about his AMAZING style!
I mean how could you not fall in love with the table’s little carvings??
The little bench underneath was a great affordable buy from Chairish.
The mirror from The Kellogg Collection was added to the space to give the hall a little more scale. Spatial relations are SO not my forte, so thank you to everyone at the Kellogg Collection (Mary, Becky, Michelle, & of course Bill) who helped by just looking at my little photos on my phone!
AFTER — Ok, now we’re cookin’ with gas…below:
A little tray that I got in Venice on 10th anniversary trip there with my husband…a putti angel knocker that I’ve still got to hang on the door….a feather in the lily pot from a recent walk...
With the right pieces now in place for form and function (my husband makes liberal use of the drawer in the table for keys & glasses, etc. which I LOVE because there’s no clutter on the table:), I could focus on the part I like and have more confidence in: picking the artwork. As some of you know, my dad (below) is an artist in Connecticut and I loved growing up on the water, so his paintings are like air to me - I need them to be everywhere!
Gayle Asher, with his painting of Lower East Side/NY at Yale University gallery
Bill Hopper rightly noticed that the watercolors (my dad’s favorite medium) I had on either side of the mirror were quite small for the space. “What if you framed them as triptychs and included some references about them to be more of a conversation piece?” he asked. So the fun began!
I’m still working on pulling this together - will show you the real FINAL “After” when I get there! In meantime, you know I really like and trust you because I’m going to show you this embarrassing little video that Bill posted on his site about our project….It gives you better sense about the paintings and their backstory.
Last but not least, the stair runner had survived years and years of rough traffic and at least 3 puppies, so it was time to refresh. Thanks Samantha for getting this process going -- Necker Island Gray carpet coming next week!