Name: Mike and Sandie
Type of Project: Foyer renovation
Location: Saskatoon; Saskatchewan, Canada
Type of building: 2 1/2 story single-family home, built in 1919
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This week was all about painting the front door... and then decorating the finished foyer. Before getting frantic all over town, our shopping started at home. Because of the move 2.5 years ago and constant renovations since, most of our treasures remained in boxes up until a few months ago: unboxing more of them for the foyer was even better than buying new, like unexpectedly meeting an old friend on the street.
I (it’s the Lady of the house writing solo now) pack a mean car/suitcase/two-pieces-of-bread-into-a-sandwitch. My method works: lay everything out in one space that I have to work with, put on some messy jazz and a pot of “coffee”, get busy making the magic happen, then edit edit edit.
After getting familiar with and sorting what we have/don’t have, we strolled to the farmers market and wandered over to some neighbors' studios to fill in any gaps. Lastly, to the ubiquitous Home Depot for any remaining utilitarian things that were overlooked. The room will change over time... so we’re focussing on the big elements and working towards the subtle.
Painting the Front Door:
Why Hello there blue! With the walls neutral, we couldn’t help but play up the interior of the front door. The front door is a perfect plane to try something special, like a moody midnight blue gloss. It brings a note of colour to the mix, whereas certain other elements can get so darned serious (I’m looking at you gilded mirror). The oval window in the front door is clad in a frosted glass for the time being, with hopes to fall head over heels with an artist's vision to fill its shape one day.
The marble is the perfect medium for our landing pad. We can easily layer a hard-wearing washable mat in spring/fall to handle the wetter weather’s footwear, and perhaps something even more “durable” to soften the look in winter. There is the front porch that takes care of the narsty bits of boot-mess, so no worries on keeping the precious marble relatively clean.
The mirror was a secondhand find, sourced through local want-ads for basically free. It’s fantastic how the pieces the that cost the least can bring the most soul to a space (other than the house itself). We get that slightly superior warm judge-y feeling when we source things locally/secondhand. It helps the planet, so we’re cool with the egotrip. Not so sure how its curvy guildedness is going to jive with the rest of what we got going on in here... so we’re playing it out.
The absent Glass Waterfall Console:
It’s worth it to invest in a piece you love (even if that means you have to wait for it on back-order for 16 weeks = hence not pictured). We have this thing for transparency... we like to think it balances out our other 90% of weird choices. Its barely-there-ness provides a nice contrast to our modern-eclectic mix. On top the console will reside the landing-strip necessities: a key/clutter catcher, and an inbox for the post.
Completing the landing-strip is a cozy sitting spot; a place to sit and remove/apply footwear. We wanted to play up the modern/rustic element of our personal tastes. The hairpin legs allow the light feeling of a line-drawing, juxtaposed with sturdy geometric chunks of cedar fence-posts. To protect that precious marble, we wrapped the “feet” in twine. Baskets slide effortlessly underneath for cloth grocery bags, and hats. Perhaps we’ll top it off with faux-fur to further the eclectic mood mixing?
Love the look and practicality of the old suitcase. The item of the suitcase itself activates daydreams of mysterious adventures... where has this suitcase been? The nostalgia is delightfully thick! These babies have found a home storing our seasonal gear: a no-fuss solution as it’s all where we need it when we need it (no longer are we doomed to hunt through the garage/attic/basement).
We didn’t want to overwhelm the space with a cluttered-bohemian feeling, but we did want to make it feel warm and lived-in. A bold oversized painting adds funtime hues to the otherwise neutral palette. We love the tension of the work's huge scale and the fact that it overlaps the wainscoting: breaking the rules. Another art choice is the twin frames opposite the stairwell, sprayed the same colour as the wall, with changeable art within matted in white.
Our gallery wall (on our “dreams” list) will be located further up the stairwell/into the 2nd floor... so not a part of this project. Yup yup, that’s how these things can go; the process has it’s own experiential lessons of what the space can hold effectively, and it’s just our job to listen. Just call us the “House Whisperers”.
Oh beloved closet... we’re enjoying this addition immensely. After adding the bar and shelf to the interior, we added the 3 hooks (for our little guests, or for backpacks/purses), boot tray, and extra storage up in the baskets. We're feeling so lucky we had space to make the add, and went for it! Almost wishing for snow to try it out to maximum capacity.... haha... that was a funny joke... “wishing for snow”!
So... we’ve been tweaking and dabbling for a while, and played a lot of our favorite “rearranging the furniture” game (aka: “Foyer: 2” to the left”) to make the statement (to us) that we are indeed home sweet home. Stay tuned for the full reveal!
Estimated time for project: 10 weeks
Time remaining: 0 weeks!
This is the last week of work for Mike and Sandie's renovation! If you haven't already, check out the other posts in the series to get caught up — and join us tomorrow for the Big Reveal.
(Images and diary text: Mike and Sandie)