Saturday, July 9, 2011

Come in; Make Yourself at Home

Welcome to Marcus and Anna's entryway.
The front door of their stone cottage
  opens into this foyer.
As you can see, the living room is on the left.  This largest room in the home measures approximately 12 by 20 feet. Bookcases bank the south wall, while a lovely fireplace holds court on the longest wall. During the daytime, windows on three sides flood the room with natural light. When Marcus and Anna originally toured the home during a realtors' open house, the staged living room looked like this:

After settlement, the young couple began imprinting their fingerprints on the room. First, they had crown molding added.  Many of the rooms already had this detail, but not the living room.  Next, the walls were painted Benjamin Moore Royal Flax (50 percent), a grayed beige that transitions from the gray entrance to the rose and camel silk stripe in the living room.                    .

Toward the front of the house, floor to ceiling panels warm up the north-facing wall.
Roman shades from the same fabric cover the back and side wall windows.  (Amazingly, all the fabric for these four windows used to cover the one window in their New York living room!)
At first glance, the fireplace wall seems untouched, but notice the details. The brick fireplace surround was painted white to match the mantel. Williamsburg sconces were traded for a more contemporary pair from Circa lighting. A rustic, mountain lodge fireplace screen was replaced with a more refined screen from Horchow. (Go to:  Click on decorative accents, fireplaces, fire screens.) Finally, the broken terra-cotta hearth tiles were replaced with a single piece of soapstone.
The home's small rooms left the couple in a quandary.  Where could they watch television? The only room large enough for a group was the living room. However, Marcus and Anna, like most people, didn't want to have a black screen as the focal point of their genteel entertaining space.  To remedy this problem, they had a box built to cover the television (!media-sreens).
Now, happily, six or seven people can view the television or simply converse in a comfortable room. A secondary benefit of having entertainment in the living room is that the space will be used regularly, not just for formal occasions.

When you are in the middle of settling into a house, it seems to be all consuming.  After a bit, you can begin to feel like you have fixated too long on "stuff."  Truth be told, you do have to remember why you are nesting--to make your house a home where you can nurture others.


  1. It is neat to see this home become personalized. I love the television cover.

    I have put the date you suggested on my calendar. We can decide on a time as it gets closer. I can't wait!

  2. Maury, I still love this charming home...but even moreso now, after seeing how beautifully they are decorating it, making it warm and inviting, and home! I could just move right in! :)