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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.

The Entryway (Again), with its New (Old) Runner

Let’s forget about the not-so-pretty photos from yesterday, and instead look at a runner that IS working.

Making it Lovely's Victorian Entryway an Wooden Staircase

Saving on the sideboard meant I could put the extra money toward the proper-sized runner for the space. It’s a vintage Persian Koliaei rug, about 50 years old, that I bought from eSaleRugs after Jenny’s recommendation. It seems like they have 50% off sales pretty regularly, the shipping was fast, and my rug arrived in great shape.

Koliaei Persian Rug Runner #makingitlovely

I like that the blue randomly changes midway through the rug. I laid it the other way at first, and it seemed off — like the lightest part should be nearest to the light source of the window and front door.

Victorian Entryway and Wooden Staircase #makingitlovely

Frye Boots in the Entryway #makingitlovely

The runner called for switching things up a bit, so I’ll find places in the house elsewhere for the pink and coral painting, Heath Ceramics pottery, and blue dhurrie that you saw here before.

Victorian Entryway with Wooden Staircase #makingitlovely

Also, I swapped out the off-white plastic outlet cover on the floor for a wood one, and it blends in much more nicely now. A small detail, but it’s nice to have it done.

Wooden Outlet Cover on the Floor #makingitlovely

I saw this painting pop up in Jenny Vorwaller’s Instagram feed and I scooped it up right away, but I had to wait a few months because it turned out she was about to hang it in the downtown Seattle Anthropologie. Isn’t it gorgeous? The name is “Warp and Weft” — very appropriate to be talking about it in a post about rugs. I like it in the entryway, and I’m perfectly fine with it not being completely matchy-matchy. I do kind of want to steal it away for the bedroom though, so I’m not sure if this is its permanent home.

Jenny Vorwaller Painting in the Entryway #makingitlovely

Vintage Scouting Trophies #makingitlovely

Can you imagine how awesome it’s going to be when the weather gets nicer, and we can have the front door open with a view of the pretty Victorian screen door?

Victorian Entryway #makingitlovely

This is the first space people see when they come over, and the first thing we see when we come home. It took a few months, but it finally looks and functions the way I wanted it to.

Making it Lovely's Victorian Entryway an Wooden Staircase

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