Saturday, January 3, 2009

Entry Way

It was killing me that the first thing people saw in our home was nasty, peeling wallpaper, broken plaster, and grungy carpet. Right before Halloween, I decided I didn't want half the neighborhoood seeing our ugly entry way again this year.

After steaming off the wallpaper (that is my other half, Steven, working on the stairs), I repaired the plaster over the pocket door and all over the ceiling. Steven replaced the missing trim over the pocket door and updated the electrical. Now here is where I will make a few people cringe... I liked the existing light fixture, and it was original to the house. They are gas/electric lights and very pretty... only I wasn'r grooving on the finish. So, Steven painted them flat black and I picked out pretty etched glass shades. (We don't have a full set of the original shades).

After priming with Kilz, I mixed up some sand texture in a light grayish ceiling paint (Valspar "Irish Mist") and rolled the ceiling. The walls were painted Valspar's "Dockside Haze," an airy light blue with a hint of gray. Finally, the carpet was removed (ask Steven how much he enjoys using a screwdiver and vise-grips to pull out staples!) and shined up.

We have yet to hang our artwork, since it is a complete pain to locate studs and pre-drill the holes in plaster, so you can see a few of our pieces leaning up against the wall. Steven's mother gave us the beautiful metal trunk in the corner that we will use for the boys' hats, coats, etc. The wooden painted umbrella holder I found at Goodwill for $4. The little plant stand to the left of the door was also from Goodwill. I left the metal alone and painted the shelves white. I chose new hardware, curtains and sheers from Bed, Bath and Beyond. The rug is from Target.

Here is a nice close-up of the push-button switches we are putting in through-out the house. The original switchbox was hanging outside of the wall and butted up against the door jam. Steven moved it over (and into the wall), and I patched the plaster.

Here is a close-up of the front doorknob. It is pretty and original to the house. I hung a jingle bell for the holidays. Can you believe the flaming on the wood? I suppose you HAVE to have a 100 year old door to get wood that pretty anymore.

Here is the pocket door all fixed up. We were told by an appraiser that to replace this door would be $3000. I think we will take really good care of the one we have!

Until my office/studio is completed in what is now our backporch... I have set up my desk in the entry way. Here is a shot of my black desk. The top is just wrapping paper and Steven cut a top out of plexi. I lined the drawer in the same fabric I used for the sidechair (which my cat has totally destroyed and already needs recovered). The sidechair came from Goodwill and was painted in a BRIGHT pink to match the Tina Givens fabric. My desk chair, again from Goodwill, I left in the original gloss black. The rug I got on super-clearance from Pottery Barn Kids. The piece sitting on the desk is a portait of Robert Smith (The Cure) which I did in watercolor. Sitting on my desk is a watercolor I did of our house (pre-remodel, of course). The lamp was on sale at Hobby Lobby.
Let me take a moment to justify my obnoxious chair and desk... Eventually, these will be going into my office/studio in the back porch. The back porch walls are made out of the same stone as the front of the house. It has small conduit for wiring (rustic!) running along one wall. Currently, it does not have any windows or door. (When we get to it, windows, awnings and a door with a doggy-door will be added. The door from the kitchen to the office will be replaced with a dutch door.) With all that dreary stone going on, I thought a nice pop of girly color would be nice. And since it will be my creative space, I should be able to "do it up." Until then, I will be forced to camp out in the hallway that runs from the entry way to the dining room. Grumble grumble.


Blue Muse said...

Hi Puck!

WOW! I love, love, love your cottage, and what you are doing with it is wonderful! I'm going to keep up with you and I can't wait to see everything unfold!

Thanks for visiting my little world and for the paint advice. Milk paint is the exact look I want! You hit the proverbial nail on the head! :) Do you have a brand and color that you like best for that flat black and poly? The cabinets I have are already painted (several times!) in 3 shades of white and are currently glossy white. I wasn't going to prime them, but maybe I should?

Come back and visit anytime! I love the company :)
Happy New Year!
xo Isa

Axxman said...

What a gorgeous cottage!! Where is it?

I can't wait to free the world from tools that aren't designed for pulling nails and staples! You'll hear a lot about the Nail Jack and Nail Hunter in 2009

puck said...

Blue Muse:

My dad is a pro painter and always swears by Sherwin Williams. I used their paint on the outside of the house since I figured I would not want to be climbing a ladder again anytime soon.

However, for my inside work, I used Behr (Home Depot) and Valspar (Lowe's). Whenever I shown a Ralph Lauren color, I have them color match it and mix it in Behr paint. I have found Ralph Lauren takes a million coats to get the kind of finish I like.

The polycrylic I used was Minwax. I have had really good luck with their sealer and I like that it goes on milky and dries clear... that way I can SEE if I missed a spot.

If you are not painting stained wood, or trying to cover a darker color, you can skip the priming. If you feel the paint is super glossy and your new paint is not sticking, you might want to rough it up a bit with sandpaper.

Hope that helps!

puck said...

Axxman -

We are located in Baldwin City, KS. A sleepy little town near Lawrence, KS (home of KU) and just half an hour from the 'burbs of Kansas City.

My first posts are all about the community and whatnot if you would like to read more!


puck said...

I got an email asking about the poster in the frame, leaning up against the wall...

It says "Cannons don't sink ships, Pirates with cannons sink ships." It isn't a NRA statement or anything. I just like pirates! (much cooler than ninjas).

Anyway, I got it at:
I also like the missing limbs one.

jerseygirl211 said...


I saw your post on Isa's blog and thought I 'wonder over.' Oh, how I love your home, it's fantastic.:) I'm sure when your finished with it you'll be as 'proud as a Peacock.'
I started out years ago, with SW paint, but have since changed to Behr. I love the way it goes on and holds up. Sad to say, that a Home Depot didn't open up in our area until most of our painting was completed. But now it's Behr for anything else we do.

Well....happy house painting, decorating etc., I'll be looking forward to droping in on you again soon.


niartist said...

Oh, the joy of old houses, huh? My partner and I live in a bungalow in Niagara Falls, NY built in 1924. So I know all about the plaster wall situation - and I don't envy you ONE BIT! But I do love the transformations you made in this space. Painting that chandelier was a good idea, and I agree that it fits well with the house - I'm glad you decided to keep it. Off to read more! Oh, and love the wrapping paper on the desk idea. Genius!