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.