If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been focusing my home improvement efforts on the main floor of our home over our first year here. I’ve done a little bit of painting in the basement and worked on the master bedroom (mostly because of our collaboration with Sleep Number), but aside from that, our money, time, and elbow grease have been focused on where we live the most… the kitchen, kitchen eating area, living room, dining room, my office and studio, and soon we’ll be turning our attention to the space that connects it all – the foyer (which also includes the stairs and half bath.)
I assure you, my house is not decorated for Christmas! This is from last December and it’s just the best picture I had of the foyer through the front door!
Yes. It’s too soon.
Anyway, here is what it looks like without the garland (that was beautiful for about 30 seconds and then shed worse than an entire herd of long-haired cats)…
Anyway, before I share our plans, let me point out what I love about this space. I love that it has amazing light and a beautiful focal point in those stairs. I have always wanted Gone-with-the-Wind-type stairs (you know what I mean) and this house gave me that. This house also has a “back staircase”, which I’ve always wanted as well. It’s not really an entirely separate staircase, but the main staircase splits halfway down and one side goes to the foyer and the other to the kitchen.
I also like that the central staircase gives the house a classic feel, which is what I wanted in a newer home.
Now, let’s get into the plans. The first thing that’s going to make the biggest difference is paint. Of course, paint! Right now, everything is the same pinky-off-white as the rest of the house was (and about half of it still is). Painting the walls, trim, doors, and stair spindles will bring some definition and tie the space into all of the other rooms much better.
I am getting a quote next week to figure out what portion we’re hiring out and what portion I’ll be painting myself. The bare minimum we’ll hire out is the “two story” walls that are about 19′ high. There is also a window on one of those walls, above the front door, about 15′ up, that needs to be painted.
The works would be hiring the crew to paint the entire foyer area, including the upstairs hall walls, trim, and doors, along with the stair spindles and all of the foyer’s walls, trim, and doors. We can also go somewhere in the middle of those two options. We’re going to get three quotes to see what will be the best way to go.
The walls will be painted in 50% Stonington Gray (same as the kitchen, eating area, and my office), the trim in the custom bright white I’m using through the rest of the house, and the doors will be Coventry Gray. (All Benjamin Moore) Matte on the walls, satin on the doors and trim.
While the crew is painting the two-story walls, they will also change out our chandelier. The one that is currently hanging is nice, but just not my style. (And it has really orange light bulbs currently, so we don’t ever turn it on.)
We are hoping to replace it with the antique chandelier from my Opa’s house…
It is a gorgeous piece and I’m so excited to finally have a place to hang it. It was originally a gas fixture, but was rewired to be electric. The chandelier was made for a pretty high ceiling originally, so when it was hanging in my Opa’s house, a couple of the tiers were removed. My dad and I are going to work on rewiring it and reassembling it with all of the tiers, so it fills the two-story space nicely. It will be a little smaller than the current fixture, but I still think (and hope) that the scale will work.
There are still some details to figure out to make sure it’s doable. I can see a few places we might get hung up, but that is the plan for now.
I am also waiting for a quote on getting the tile in the foyer redone. I am thinking something along the lines of slate. Just very classic and the dark blue/gray tone will work well with everything else going on. When we do the tile, that will also include the half bath and I’ll give that space a makeover while everything is removed for the tiling. It doesn’t make much sense to do anything in there until that happens.
As far as the staircase, I shared my detailed plans and inspiration pictures HERE. In a nutshell, I wanted to remove the carpet, paint the wood and install a runner.
I even purchased the runners for the job and planned to have the project completed by now…
But, there is an issue…
I started removing the carpet from a small section that the former owner’s cat made a snack of and, much to my dismay, the treads are particle board! Noooooo! I could work with just about anything but particle board. It’s crumbly and rough and just won’t paint up well.
So, we are going to have to replace the treads with solid wood treads. It would be simple enough, but there is a return on each tread on the staircase in the foyer, so we have to find a tread that will match the profile on the solid wood return piece. (See the wood under the spindles at the edge of each step in the picture below?) If we can find a match, then it’s just a matter of filling in the seam, sanding, and painting, and no one will know that it’s not one solid piece of wood.
Are you following me?
The next step (no pun intended) is to pick up a pine tread from Home Depot and hope that will be a match. If not, well, let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. A part of me wants to just rip up the carpet and figure it out as we go, but I decided to be a bit more reasonable than that!
So, those are the plans so far. Paint, chandelier, tile, and hopefully we’ll get the steps figured out. Down the road, I’d like to add more trim, but I think that will be one of the last things we do. That kind of finishing touch is the decoration on the icing on the cake.
The painting is scheduled to happen mid-late September and I’ll keep you posted on what option we go with. If it’s the bare-bones option, you’ll find me painting bannisters, trim, and doors for the better part of autumn! At least I like to paint…