Floors, Before: The entry and gallery floors were tiled in a color my Nana would've called "titty pink." It was very hard to decorate around that color! Here's Pao, taking a last sit on the cool tile:
(This photo makes them look pretty beige; they were pinker.)
Floors, Before: In place of the pink tile, we chose this beautiful, durable flooring by Armstrong. It looks like reclaimed barn wood in a sort of silvery, brownish-gray. Unless you bend down and touch it, you wouldn't know it's laminate:
(Dog owners will recognize the marks on the patio door: That's where the pugs scratch when they want to be let inside.)
Floors, During: Workers spread a thin layer of...something or other...to fill in the low areas where the grout lines were:
Floors, During: New flooring is laid, baseboards still awaiting installation:
Floors, After: Flooring, baseboards, and the strips that make the transition from indoors to outdoors all in place:
Then we tackled the lighting.
Lighting, Before: The entry had a dark, ugly ceiling fixture that gave out a feeble amount of light:
Hello? The eighties are calling. They want their fixture back:
Lighting, After: Ugly fixture gone, now we have a more light-spilling, beautiful ceiling fixture:
I love the splotchy patina on its glass panes:
Then we tackled a series of odd little places in the long gallery, which used to be an outdoors patio. Previous owners enclosed it, making it part of the house. But it has some kooky angles left over from when there used to be an outdoors, in-the-wall barbecue.
Oddball Corner #1, Before: This awkward corner, which used to be the outdoors barbecue, is located halfway down the gallery. The ledges held my collection of bird houses and cages, because I just didn't know what else to do with all those corners:
Oddball Corner #1, After: Embrace the awkwardness! But this time, we filled the area with an assortment of curvy things to help counteract the straight lines and right angles:
Gallery, After: Here's a long shot down the gallery, showing the oddball corner #1 in the upper left-hand area of the photo, below:
Gossip Bench, Before: To the left of the old BBQ is this "gossip bench." It needed a fresh coat of white paint and a proper cushion:
I toyed with making a cushion out of one of these fabrics, which I used elsewhere in the house:
Gossip Bench, After: But ultimately, I went with this beautiful Marimekko fabric my designer found:
(It has three different varieties of polka dots!)
Gossip Bench, After: Here's a more pulled-back shot of the area now. We still have to hang the little landscape that's currently sitting on the top of the bench:
Seasonal Table, Before: On a short little piece of wall halfway down the gallery, there used to be a pale-pink oval table. I used it to display seasonal bouquets--roses in the spring and summer, branches with leaves in the fall, and bare sticks or pine cones in the winter, like this:
Seasonal Table, *Mostly* After: I relocated the oval table to our bedroom and introduced this twisty-legged beauty, which I found in an alley. It's from the 1930s, or perhaps a bit earlier, according to the manufacturer. For the final "After," I plan to paint it a glossy, very dark blue-black. And, of course, hang the picture back up:
On top of the table, a painted Tole tray echoes the flowers on display:
Oddball Corner #2, After: Yet another odd little corner in the gallery. What used to be there? An umbrella stand and the watercolor of the fisherman (sorry, no picture for this "Before."):
Now the corner is more functional. It has a place for me to put my keys, sunglasses, and hat as I come in or go out the front door. My mom did the oil-pastel landscape years ago; I love it. Ultimately it will be hung up above the little table:
The green adds an unexpected note in the mix, to keep things from getting too overwhelmingly blue-and-gray. I learned that trick from my artistic mom; always put something a little off kilter in a room, to give it visual interest.
Here's a shot of the gallery, looking away from the old BBQ spot:
There are still a few things to do. Hang a few more pieces of art and tone down the brassy gold patina on the mirror in the entry with some Rub-n-Buff:
And re-paint and re-upholster this oddball chair, below, that I found by the side of the road. It's a great place to perch when putting on or pulling off shoes as I enter or leave the back yard. I love its one-of-a-kind looks:
So that's the entry and gallery, 90 percent done!