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The Entryway, Painted and Updated for Fall


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I nixed the teal idea for the entryway and went with a dusty blue/green/gray. Teal would have played beautifully with the wood, but I felt like it was going to be too much in the context of the rest of the house. Subtle is a bit better in this case.

Victorian Entryway and Staircase, Making it Lovely

The color is Sherwin-Williams’ Comfort Gray. It continues up the stairs and down the second floor hallway. It’s also in our bedroom, and when I chose the color, I wrote “before we moved into this house, I did tell Brandon to slap my hand away from the paint if I start trying to put gray on all the walls. But! This is more bluish!” I still stand by that because while gray is lovely, but I get tired of seeing it again and again. So then of course I used it, again. (Ha. But this is bluish!)

Making it Lovely's Entryway

I’ve had that lamp for almost a decade (here it is in our old apartment, just before I started blogging), and I picked up the sideboard shortly after moving in to store our shoes. I’ve since added a boot tray below for wet shoes and boots that we can pull out as needed. The rug is vintage, as are the Thonet chairs, and the painting is by Jenny Vorwaller.

Making it Lovely's Entryway

The lamp adds some much-needed light, and the bowl is a great drop spot for Brandon’s wallet and keys. We added a desk to the library, so our mail is being sorted there now instead of in the entryway, leaving most of the sideboard top to serve as a pretty display surface. So I prettied it up with a few new additions!

Fall Flowers and Candles

I love that gold polka dot vase. The house’s architecture is formal, so it’s nice to inject a little levity here and there. And please do forgive the flowers for not looking their best. They were much prettier four days prior to being photographed, but then, you know… I went into labor! By the time I was out of the hospital and able to set my camera up, the pink dahlia had just about had it, and I had to pitch most of the dusty miller entirely. (Blame baby.)

Making it Lovely's Entryway

The black vase is vintage, and the Charley Harper owl was a gift. I added a few art books and a few candle lanterns. Those are pretty now for fall, but they’ll be great for holiday decorating too.

Victorian Entryway and Staircase, Making it Lovely

This was super fun to play around with when I was going nuts with nesting energy. It’s also really nice to come home to.

Making it Lovely's Entryway

Teal for the Entryway?

I like the way open-concept homes look but I prefer to live in a house with separate rooms, and Victorians are certainly known for having lots of rooms. Ours has the entryway, double parlor, and dining room all open to each other with wide doorways (the pocket doors of which are nearly always open). If you sit in the center of our teal sofa, you could see all four rooms, and into the kitchen too.

I See Everything!

I like thinking about the design for the first floor as a whole, since you do see multiple rooms at once. The dining room will likely get Fornasetti’s Chiavi Segrete wallpaper once we can afford to do it. (The nursery and second floor renovation is getting top priority right now.) It would look a little something like this.

Dining Room

Now that both parlors have been painted and I know what’s likely going in the dining room, I’ve been trying to decide on a color for the entryway. The window and door face East, but the porch and large tree out front block a lot of the light for much of the day. And there’s a whole lot of oak paneling and trim. I’ve had it in my head all along that I want to bring in more teal to that side of the house to reference the sofa, but I was going to do it through accessories and keep the walls neutral. Maybe teal on the walls is the way to go though?

BHG Teal Paints
BHG Teal Paint Colors

Another option is Sandberg’s Raphael wallpaper in dark blue.

Sandberg Raphael Wallpaper

I have a sample and it looks perfect, but it doesn’t work with the other wallpaper. I think that between the two, I’d rather go with papering the dining room — which brings me back to teal for the entry. I’ve been playing around with my design boards in Photoshop (you’ve seen them in various stages on the blog before), virtually rearranging things and trying out different combinations. I shared this screenshot on Instagram the other day.

I would probably go a little deeper and darker than the paint colors in that BHG palette above, but not so dark that it competes with the black in the back parlor. What do you think?

What’s Here, and What’s Staying Put

In animated gif form! I figure it’s the easiest way to give a bird’s-eye view of things.

What's Here, What's Staying

When I talk to people, I’m in the habit of saying “we just moved in to a new house…” but we’re at about six months here now, so I think I’m wearing that line out. I shared the first and second parlor recently, but they are definitely nowhere near done. Not that I’m complaining, mind you! This house has been the most fun project to work on, and I’m enjoying taking my time with it. Here’s what’s working, and a little of what I think is to come.

The Entryway

Making it Lovely's Victorian Entryway an Wooden Staircase

Awesome! Done! Bang. We had a million people over last weekend for August’s party, and that hardworking entryway was holding its own just fine.

The Dining Room

Dining Room

I love my table. It was part of a vintage set (reportedly Henredon, though I’ve never found an identifying mark). I have six matching wooden chairs in the basement (you can see them in the old house), but the kids were forever spilling on the fabric seats and my metal chairs are a better fit for us right now. Color on the walls and some great art will go far here. I’d like a rug under the table, but is that the best idea with said messy kids? Maybe not. We did have gray FLOR tiles in the last house because we could theoretically pull a tile up to clean it, but we always ended up spot treating in place. That shade of gray is not making me happy in this house though, so it might be time to let them go.

The First Parlor

Built-in Bookshelves Sketch

Poor little neglected room. You’ll be great soon, I promise! When we first moved in, I thought we’d watch TV in this space, but after living here for a few months, we like the television better upstairs. Our media cabinet moved up to a room on the second floor that would have been our library, and now the first parlor is going to get the built-in shelving treatment. It’s going to be amazing, as I’m sure you can no doubt see from the sea of brown in my sketch above.

I’m not sure what color the walls are going to be yet. Olive green, or emerald? Coral pink? A gorgeous blue, or a pale bluish gray? Ask me today and I’ll give you a different answer tomorrow. I’ll likely wait until after I’ve painted the second parlor and the bookshelves have been installed. Beyond that, the room needs more furniture. A rug. A whole lot. But it can wait.

The Second Parlor

Blue Sofa in the Second Parlor #makingitlovely

When I wrote about it, I mentioned that there is a lot of placeholder furniture in the room. I don’t mean that I’ll be getting rid of it all, but it might get shuffled around and repurposed. I love the sofa. Love my fancy blogger tree (a.k.a. fiddle leaf fig — thanks for coining the phrase, Lindsay). Everything else? Not set in stone yet. The floral chair might stay put, or it might move into the library when that’s done. The rugs? That angled fireplace is definitely throwing me there. One thing to come that I’m sure about: the room is going dark. I’m narrowing down my paint color choices now.

I saw this room today, which has a lot of the elements I’m going for. Dark walls, botanical print, boxy chairs, wood, and brass. My taste has definitely changed since I started on the first house in 2007, and the apartment before that (which was before I started this blog), but I’m excited to see where it leads.

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