Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Welcoming Entry

When you open the front door to our home, this is your welcome.

I don't know about you, but I always like a foyer that allows the guest to see straight through the house to the outside. I also like a light, bright entries, because they are welcoming. We transformed our warm raspberry foyer to a bright neutral space, when our house was reconstructed after our flood.

When our house was waterlogged, the floors needed to be replaced. So Bill and I decided that as long as the home was being overhauled, we would go ahead and cover the cost of having the entry walls updated. The fifteen-year old, tonal striped wallpaper was stripped.

In its place, a lovely Ralph Lauren damask wallpaper was applied. Standing alone, the paper was elegant. Unfortunately, it clashed with the adjoining rooms, especially in the evening light when it took on a purple hue. Oops, that was a mistake! 

How do you explain to your spouse the brand new wallpaper is a disaster? Well, I first pointed out the clash. Then, our daughters, unprompted, repeated the sentiment when they walked in the door! After a bit, Bill agreed to let me have the foyer painted. I chose the new high gloss Benjamin Moore paint.  Can you see the shimmer?

The entry is on the north side of the house and tends to be dark, so I chose a color a shade or two lighter than the dining room on the right,

but a perfect match to the wallpaper on the living room walls to the left of the entry.
The high shine is a good foil for both rooms--the gloss contrasts with the grass cloth in the dining room and the fabric wallpaper in the living room. 

However, without the wallpaper pattern, the glossy walls seemed to be crying out for some artwork. Fortunately, about the time I was trying to find something for the space, I won a Wally Ames  painting from a blog give away sponsored by Loi Thai of Tone on Tone Antiques!
(By the way, if you don't follow Loi's blog, you should! It is my absolute favorite.  His shop, Tone on Tone Antiques in Chevy Chase, MD has a wonderful collection of Swedish, Danish, Belgian, English, and French antiques--well worth the trip!)

I was thrilled to get the painting by the New England landscape artist! Furthermore, because I had been seeing gallery walls all over blog-land, I decided I could start one in my entry. 

With the Ames painting, I had two for a start, but I had two empty walls. So, I ventured up the road to Adamstown, Pennsylvania, "the antique capital of the USA." Weekly, hundreds of dealers open their booths at one of several antique malls. (Stoudt's Black Angus Antique Mall,  Renningers Mall, and Adamstown Antique Mall are three of the favorites.) 

First, I found a wonderful old frame for the Wally Ames painting. Sometimes an ornate frame can detract from a painting, but in my opinion, the landscape's bold colors do not allow it to be overshadowed. 

At Stoudt's, I found another landscape. Actually, I was attracted by the lovely, old gilded frame, but the Swiss scene pairs well with the Ames.

Those two paintings took care of one plain wall. 

Next came, the other empty wall just inside the front door. For this space, I already had a painting I purchased years ago from the Philip Bradley, Company in Exton, PA. It is another landscape in a worn, but beautifully-carved gilded frame.
(Bradley is one of the remaining very fine antique dealers in the area.) 

At Stoudt's Black Angus Antique Mall, I found a companion painting to hang below the Bradley landscape.

As you can see, I have a penchant for outdoor scenes. In my opinion, they never look dated. Here is how this pair look together:

Now, I know, "two paintings do not a gallery wall make", but it is a beginning.

Actually, the entry is still a work in progress. All over our house, I have been trying to put our antiques in a more contemporary setting. So, I like the glossy walls juxtaposed to the antique furniture and frames, but I think some contemporary lamps would add to the mix. I have my eye on two Barbara Barry lamps.
Pleated Lamp (Peridot/Large) - Baker Barbara Barry Lighting and Accessories

However, that's another story, maybe for Christmas... :)

Over all, I am pleased with my entry. I feel badly my first choice of wallpaper did not work out, but the new bright entry presents a pleasant welcome and leads guests into the rest of our home.

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