Room Evolutions

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
-William Morris

Today marks the first Room Evolutions party at Jenny's fabulous blog, Evolution of Style!

We have been working on this house non-stop since we moved here eighteen months ago so it would stand to reason that even one room might be completed, right?  Especially since we've owned three other houses before, and came into this one with lots of furniture and belongings!  Well, I've come to the conclusion that evolution doesn't happen overnight.

Mark and I took our most recent move as an opportunity to make our home feel more like US.  Our previous homes had somehow come together as traditional spaces; perhaps the result of young parents feeling the need to be "grown ups"?   But as we aged along with our kids, we realized that while we like traditional style, our house didn't feel like it represented the family that lived there.  So we sold our formal dining room set.  Our heavy drapes stayed with the last house.  Instead of going for "traditional" or "contemporary" or "country" we instead purposefully decided that we'd take our time creating a vibe that felt good to us.

About a year into trying to pull together what works for us and feels good for our family, I read this post by Darlene at Fieldstone Hill and it nailed exactly what we'd been trying to accomplish in this house!  Darlene encourages you to identify your personal style with adjectives and descriptive words about how you want your home to feel, how you want your home to look and the purpose(s) you want your home to serve.  These are some of the words that we want our house to reflect:
Pulled together

The idea to is to identify what you want out of your home, and then use this as a springboard for pulling it all together.  Every design choice or purchase that we make should reflect something on our list.  And the key to all of this, I've come to find, is something I don't possess a lot of:  patience.  Making this home cozy and meaningful and organized is a process.  But if the end result is a home that we love, that we created with intention and thought, then it'll be worth it.

For Jenny's first Room Evolution party, I thought I'd share the evolution of our foyer - before, now and someday.  Like all the other rooms, it is slowly but surely evolving into our vision!

Here's the foyer at our home inspection, July 2010.

Fall 2011:  the treads and rails went dark and all the trim white, and board and batten was added to the stairwell and foyer walls.

{The board and batten project deets.}

Why the dark stain on the stairs? 
Eventually we will replace the ugly 80s tile with medium-toned hardwood floors to match the rest of the house.   After stripping the treads I discovered that they were badly stained from the previous owner's pets.  Our options were to either replace them or stain them dark, like this gorgeous photo that shows dark treads and rails contrasted by medium wood tone floors.  
{We also love all the molding and woodwork in this inspiration photo!}
This Old House Stair traditional hall

Way off in the distant future we'll replace the foyer and kitchen floors with hardwood to match the other rooms on this floor.  This year we'd like to install a natural runner on the stairs.
Reading Nook from Southern Living traditional living room
{Southern Living}

EW Renovation  staircase
{Atlanta Architect Castro Design Studio}

I love how a natural runner adds some warm tones to balance all the black and white.
{Landry & Arcari)

This year I am also planning to move the doorbell box or replace it with a wireless system, and add crown molding.  I absolutely love this ledge for leaning artwork but I think we need something a little more interesting than the haphazardly placed S.  I see a lot of Pinterest in my future!

Thanks for checking out my foyer and be sure to visit Evolution of Style's Room Evolutions Party today!

Also, this Friday, February 3 is the BEFORE LINK UP for February's Before & After Parties!  I can't wait to see what projects or goals you have for yourself this month!

Shine Your Light

**Edited to add:
After publishing this post, I came across a wonderful party at Pancakes and French Fries that coincidentally is an ode to the quote above by William Morris, and invites you to link up a post of how you are decorating your home with intention.  A perfect fit for my philosophy for our new home!  I am delighted to find this lovely blog.  Be sure to check it out.


Jenny said...

Thanks for the shout out and for linking up Lisa! I so appreciate it, and as always, I continue to love what you have done with your stairs and SO want to add that character to my own home!

Carmel @ Our Fifth House said...

It already looks beautiful! I love the dark stairs with the white trim. I'm like you - taking my time decorating my home. It takes A LOT of patience but I think it'll be worth it!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

this looks like fun! i am going to check it out!

Kelly @ View Along the Way said...

Wow, it's come so far already! And I totally hear ya on not having any rooms done. :)

Maury Kilgo said...

Gorgeous! I love the dark stain and the board and batten. I completely agree that every room (even after it's "finished") is still a work in progress. it takes a long time to find just the right piece for the wall or whatever you're looking for. Keep at it!

Andrea said...

I love your foyer! The dark wood stairs are gorgeous and I'm a sucker for board and batten.

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

I've loved watching the progress you've made in your home over the last couple of months. I'd say you are well on your way to achieving your vision!

Andrea @ Decorating Cents said...

I like the dark stained stairs.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting. You've lightened and relaxed your home. I peeked at a few posts. Love the dark stairs and white contrasts.

Dana Frieling@ Make Them Wonder said...

I bet your brain never turns off...so full of great ideas and visions!

That's Ms. Amy to You... said...

The board & batten is lovely, and that ledge seems like the perfect place to layer some large photos. That might kill 2 birds: adding interest & covering the doorbell box.

Four Flights said...

the board and batten is fantastic - makes such a huge difference. And I am finding myself in the same exact boat as you when it comes to decorating this house. I like traditional, but don't want to just stick within that realm. I like eclectic items mixed in and even a bit of modern. The adjectives exercise is so smart!

Alice Almighty said...

Those stairs look fantastic! What an amazing transformation, nice work!

May said...

Love the dark....very sophisticated.

husbandwifebaby said...

What a transformation. Loving that dark stain!

Lais said...

The board and batten plus the stair stain is gorgeous. Our house has dark brown trim and I have been toying with the idea of painting it with a lighter color...your project makes me think I could actually do it, one day in the future. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to follow your progress!