A defined entry has an important place in design. It should be welcoming, give a little hint of whats to come beyond the door and above all functional.
When you move into a new place the possibilities seem endless and quite tangible, but then the newness wears off and you find yourself going day by day with things as they are. I think it takes a while of living somewhere to realize what problems there are to be solved and how to go about solving them. So its been a year and I have finally figured out how to remedy the little narrow hallway that leads into the house. (go here to see the paint before & after)
First I needed to understand what function the space had to serve…. storage, a place for shoes to go on and off, a spot for keys, extra light to shine into a dark closet and it all had to be 15″ wide or less.
So a year later and I finally have a bit of inspiration for the space!
tray, decorative boxes, lamp, console, storage, stool, basket
views from my week back east. I instagramed my way right through those few days but thought it would be fun to put them all together. It was truly a wonder time away.
Im on instagram @ cottagefarm.
On saturday we rounded up a whole group of friends for dinner. Since moving to san francisco almost 5 years ago I have been dreaming of having a big group gathered around the table with food and drink and lots of good witty banter. On St. Patrick’s day (with a bit of irish luck) it finally happened.
It was of course due in part to the fact that I finally have a kitchen and kitchen table big enough to entertain more than 4 (well the table is almost big enough, we had to bring in back up & borrow a few other things too!) and my stove is finally a full big kid sized too! So in my for real kitchen we christened it with a meal of corned beef & cabbage and ten great friends.
And it was perfect! Lots of fun – I can’t wait to do it again
a quick little before and after. The above two photos are the before and the bottom two the afters.
One of the things I hadn’t really considered moving into this apartment was the long narrow and rather dark hallway. The front is wonderful and flooded with light but the back of the house gets none of this.
So my plan was to give the passage some purpose. Drawing inspiration from the light blue paint that can be seen on the ceilings of many New England porches, I painted a pretty light blue above the picture rail – wall and ceiling –
I then chose a birch type color for the walls thinking it would give some warmth to the space but what I hadnt anticipated was the reflection of the blue paint onto the birch color. It just managed to turn everything a sour greenish tinge.
And so out came the “valspar delicate white” and the walls (and trim!) got a whole new coat. The white walls show of the grand architecture of the little passage in a way I hadn’t anticipated and the whole space feels much more open and airy. It was worth the work and though it looks like a subtle change in the photos I assure you it seems monumental.
It has been raining and raining here and so its very dark.. the colors in the photos may seem a bit off because I had to turn on the over heads. The ceiling color is not aqua as it may appear but a very soft pretty light blue.
a few scenes from the east coast
and of course the darling of it all, queen meabh
my morning in three photos. it was up and out before dawn for the flower market so a little treat when i got back home. swedish pancakes.
one of the things i love about living in apartments is their ability to change over time. I particularly love so many of the original features that still remain in this 1930’s era apartment. Almost all of the san francisco apartments built around this time had ironing board cupboards built in. Somewhere along the line the actual board in my apartment disappeared and when i moved in all that remained was this very lovely but quite shabby ironing board cupboard …. i thought it could use a little sprucing up. I love the little bit of farmhouse appeal it adds
i also started stripping the little knob on the front of the cupboard thinking it would reveal brass or some metal..but to my glee and surprise it revealed a very old little cranberry bakelite knob. i can only imagine its original to the apartment
sorry for the lack of flower post this week, I have a large wedding on monday and I know there will be plenty of flowers after that plus my flowers from last week as still looking cheery. instead today i thought i would share a few more goings on around the house.
sadly at some point the original kitchen cabinets (i estimate the building is from about the 1930’s) were taken out and replaced with generic white mdf cabinets. but the good news, this has created a few little places for me to introduce some open shelving. over the weekend we installed 3 of these ikea shelves in the kitchen. one replaced a tired shelf that was already hanging over the kitchen sink and the other two are in a little alcove by the doorway.
a little touch up is still needed around where the lines of the old shelf used to be but that will get done eventually.
I love that i can look at some of my pretty bowls and glasses while sitting at my table… what do you think?
i hope you all have lovely weekends. I will be whipping up some flowers for a wedding on monday, hitting the flea market and doing a few more house projects. see you monday
im feeling pretty lucky to finally a landlord that is open to paint colors and other home projects! this weekend i tackled the door out to the patio – it is also the entrance we will use when entertaining and its viewable from both the patio and the living room when we have just the screen door open –
it was in pretty bad condition and probably hadnt been painted in a few years (like 8) also, no one had bothered to paint around the door hardware so it was also covered in layers of grimy off whiteish paint.
first order of business was to get to the screws which were under said layers – a few goes of citristrip (*this stuff is miraculous and you can find it at lowes) and i could just about get to the screws to get the hardware off. after that was done i put the door knob and plate in a bath of stripper and just let it do its thing.
next i washed and lightly sanded the door to prep it for new paint & taped off the windows. its a bit of work but its worth it in the end. a few coats of benjamen moores exterior low luster finish in “blue note” & voila – new door!
oh! and i was thrilled to find nice old brass under all that paint, doesnt the doorknob look great – i sometimes feel badly about polishing old metal, like silver and copper, because the patina is so wonderful after so long but i never feel that way with brass – the older it is the more gorgeous and muted the color and texture – so a bit of brasso and a serious arm work out and the hardware was glistening.
what do you think? now im wondering if i should paint the screen door too? and im thinking those steps need a new coat of white