When I decided to remove the archway by the front door and extend the foyer deeper into the house, space was created for two separate furniture vignettes: the narrow console table and mirror immediately off the front door and a second grouping in the main artery of the home where entrances into the kitchen, dining room, basement and power room and closets all converge (formerly the kitchen).
For the first vignette, I needed a surface for stashing keys, mail and unloading parcels when going in and out of the front door. I found the perfect fit in the vintage greek key florentine console from Decorum Decorative Finds. Besides the obvious presence of my favourite neoclassical motif, I loved the ivory and gold tones which coordinated well with the vintage gilded mirror from FOC IT that I already had in my old apartment. The original marble top that came with the console was wasn’t in the best shape nor the right colour, so instead I used a remnant of calacatta marble leftover from our kitchen island.
The second vignette was more about filling a blank wall with something pretty, so I turned it into a moment to show off some of my favourite collections, including cloisonné vases from my grandmother and favourite design books.
I connected this second space to the first by using another gold-hued console table and the exact same lighting. The bamboo console was a craigslist find that I had gold leafed by Beresford Inc. (recognize it from this cover?)
When it came to choosing the lighting, I had my heart set on vintage but couldn’t find a matching pair of crystal fixtures at the right height within my budget. The flushmount crystal fixtures I ended up choosing are from Universal Lighting. The Schonbeck design had the same antique look I was going for but in a semi flush version, which worked with our shorter ceiling height, plus buying new meant I could get the matching pair I was after. Simple plaster ceiling medallions help link and punctuate each vignette.
Because there was already a mirror in front of the door, I used one of my favourite pieces of art by local artist Joshua Jensen-Nagle “Basking in Polka Dots.” which used to hang above my setee in our apartment. The pink bench cushion helps pull out the bright dots from the piece and can be easily switched out to add another accent colour.
Another element I have to point out from the second vignette are the wall registers. Rather than go with a simple white metal grille for the air return and supply vents, I chose antique-looking wall registers from Antique Door and Hardware that reinforce the traditional vibe of the home. I had considered cast iron models, but went with lighter MDF registers instead that could be inset into the wainscoting and painted out more easily. The result is a seamless look that is decorative yet functional.
Finally I have to mention one decision that I literally agonized over for weeks: the stair runner! I had my heart set on an exotic cat print, but eventually decided to play it safe with a solid rug that wouldn’t fight with the graphic harlequin floor. I chose a simple black carpet and at the suggestion of the fabulous Brant Brown at Reznick Carpets, had it bound in a chic leather cording. The look is subtle but adds a couture-like detail that I admire every time I go up and down the stairs.
That’s it for the foyer…next week look out for some looks into how the living room came together!