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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

Sources for the Entryway

Get the Look: Making it Lovely's Entryway

I put together a guide for my entryway that I’d posted last week! I love making these boards.

Making it Lovely's Entryway: Get the Look

  1. Antique Thonet Chair, One Kings Lane
    Mine was a really nice hand-me-down from Brandon’s mom, but you can always find a similar chair one by searching for antique “Thonet” or “bent wood” chairs.

  2. Abstract Painting, Kurth, Michelle Armas
    This would bring in the blue I wanted for the entryway, but the painting I already have there is also by Michelle Armas.

  3. Oak Hall Tree, Oak Hall Tree
    Ours is opposite the stairs, and came with the house (we negotiated for it).

  4. Rope Basket, Target
    I bought two of these. Eleanor claimed the other to use as a nest for her toys and stuffed animals.

  5. Vintage Scout Trophy, eBay
    I have a girl and boy trophy, one for each kid. I picked them up for a song at a local antique shop.

  6. Single Stem Vase, Heath Ceramics
    This was a souvenir from a trip to San Francisco, city of my heart.

  7. Bud Vase, Heath Ceramics
    Same. The colors on these are always changing seasonally, so mine are a smidge different (more coral).

  8. Pothos, photo from Plant Care
    A cheap houseplant that’s easy to care for.

  9. Porcelain Wood Bark Planter, Throwback Artifacts
    Mine is a small tree stump that was painted silver, and I picked it up at a local flower shop a few years ago. This is a good match.

  10. Square Lacquered Gold Tray, West Elm
    I picked this up last year when I was all in OMG-Christmas-magazine-photo-shoot!! mode. Now it’s nice for holding mail.

  11. Jayne Glazed Ceramic Table Lamp, Lamps Plus
    I bought mine at least 10 years ago, but they’re still available in a slightly different shade of brown. (Plus a few other colors, too.)

  12. Kabuki Cotton Dhurrie Rug, West Elm
    Similar in feel to my vintage dhurrie, and the runner’s only $34 on sale. More alternatives at the end of this post.

  13. Stockholm Beige Sideboard, IKEA
    Check your local store, as it’s not on the site yet.

  14. Antler Melody Knob, Anthropologie
    These look fantastic on the sideboard! I’m including a few other choices below, too.

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Personalizing the Sideboard

The doors on that sideboard have a mechanism that opens them when you push, but I added knobs for more detail. These were four options I had considered.

Knobs and Pulls to Update Furniture

Flushmount Ring Pull, House of Antique Hardware • Antler Tusk Knobs in Cream and Neutral, Anthropologie • Rope + Metal Knobs, West Elm

I decided that the jute was a little too casual, but the brass ring pulls were a strong contender. I went with the Antro knobs because I was able to see them in person first and I liked their scale and dimension. The lighter ones with brass are pretty, but the darker color looked better in place. I am a little concerned about the durability of them, as noted in some of the reviews, and if they don’t hold up I’ll probably get those brass ring pulls as a replacement.

In case you’ve never drilled to add knobs or pulls to a piece of furniture, here are a few quick tips. Use an inexpensive plastic template to get the spacing even, make one out of paper, or just measure and mark with a ruler. A piece of tape on the front protects the surface of the furniture and also makes it easier to see the pen/pencil mark you’ll make with your template. If you’re concerned about the back of your door chipping (common with particle-board), clamp a scrap piece of wood to the back and drill into that while making your holes. To find the proper drill bit size, test out the knob you’re going to use in each bit’s empty slot (you want the smallest one that will fit the screw/post). Drill, remove the tape, sweep or vacuum up the sawdust, and insert your new hardware.

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Rug Options

I love the design of the vintage blue dhurrie that I have in the entryway now, but it is the wrong size and shape. I’ll find a new spot for it in the house as soon as I find a vintage or antique runner that fits the space better and isn’t too expensive, but that I like just as much. In the meantime, here are a few options that have with a similar look.


Kabuki Cotton Printed Dhurrie, West Elm • Grayfriars Wool Kilim, Sundance Catalog • Semi-Antique Tribal Moroccan Rug, eBay

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