I’m used to getting strange looks from Hardware Store Paint Guys when I bring my oddball color chips to the counter for them to mix.
So I expected a little pushback when I said I needed one gallon of a color called Carbon—the blackest-coal-black I could find—and I needed it in a shiny satin finish.
The Hardware Store Paint Guy wanted to know what I was painting.
The ceiling in my entryway.
“Oh wow!” he exclaimed. “Nobody is doing that around here!”
I’m painting the walls white-white, the ceiling and trim black, and hanging The Most Fabulous Crystal Chandelier You Have Ever Seen.
My husband isn’t crazy about the idea either, I confessed.
“Oh wow!” the Hardware Store Paint Guy said again while all that black mixed together in his paint machine. He showed me photos of the black-and-white rooms that popped up when he Googled my idea and then he said something I couldn’t wait to go home and repeat to my husband.
“That is going to look so cool!”
* * *
This is what our foyer looked like when we moved into our home five years ago.
I have a feeling it is very similar to how it looked when the home was built in 1980—right down to the amber-colored plexiglass windows on the front door.
When we completed our HUGE kitchen renovation in 2011, we extended the new black tile flooring into the foyer and added a tile inlay that I love. The floors looked amazing! The rest of the space still looked rather blah.
Then I started painting furniture and the space quickly turned into a storage spot for half-finished paint projects.
Who wants to come home, walk through the front door and trip over half-finished paint projects?
To tell you the truth, that part didn’t really bother me.
What bothered me was the hall closet jammed with a stroller that tumbled out and banged my shins every time I opened the door, six different jackets piled onto the same hook, and a big cardboard box taking up half the space on the floor where my vacuum should go.
The box contained The Most Fabulous Crystal Chandelier You Have Ever Seen.
In a box.
On the closet floor.
For 4 years.
I bought the chandelier right after our kitchen reno, which is also right around the time our son Joey was born. We just never got around to installing it and it ended up in the closet.
I knew it would look amazing against a black ceiling.
My husband G wasn’t convinced. He thought a black ceiling would make the room too dark and feel boxy and cramped, like the ceiling was closing in on you. He didn’t like my idea, but he’s a good guy and he painted the ceiling for me anyway while I was teaching our Learn How to Paint Furniture class at All Things New Again in November.
It was stunning and elegant and dramatic—exactly what I wanted.
We also painted the entryway walls the same white as our living room and painted the doors and trim black. The space doesn’t feel dark or boxy or cramped. It feels glamorous, like the lobby of some elegant vintage hotel. Even G admitted that he liked it when we were all done. (Victory!)
And The Most Fabulous Crystal Chandelier You Have Ever Seen …
I am so so sorry it sat in a box at the bottom of the closet for four years.
It is spectacular.
Even the front doors seem elegant now, more like vintage glass you would find in a restored Victorian mansion than amber-colored plexiglass from 1980. (OK that is a stretch, I know, but that’s what I’m going to believe until I get new doors … eventually.)
We also added a few finishing touches:
- Replaced the boring brass knobs on the closet doors and doors to the office with fabulous oversized crystal knobs my mom had up at the shop
- Updated our mini family photo wall at the bottom of the stairs with Joey’s new school picture and replaced all the electrical outlets and switches
- I went “shopping” in my house and brought in my ridiculous LED cherry tree that is so amazingly impractical that we never had a good spot for it. (Don’t say anything against my electric cherry tree! I LOVE it!)
- Brought down a black-and-white damask chair and little table from my bedroom’s mini-makeover. Repainted the tabletop from turquoise to black to match the entryway.
You know how you update one area and everything around it suddenly looks really shabby? The first two projects on my 2016 To-Do List are to paint the bannister black and paint the wall going up the stairs. I’m thinking soft yellow. Oh yeah…and we really, really need new carpet upstairs.
There are always more “to-do’s” but for now I am really happy with how this space looks—especially compared to how it started. From Granny to Glam!
Now that all of the half-finished paint projects are out of here, we realized we do have a lot of space here. So we set up our remote-control Christmas train right smack in the middle of the entryway floor.
Who wants to come home, walk through the front door and trip over a remote-control Christmas train?
It’s only for a few weeks. And besides, glamorous hotel lobbies are nice places to visit, but we live here too!
All Things New Again is a family-owned furniture and paint boutique located in Leesburg, Virginia, about an hour or so west of Washington, DC. We offer painted furniture, home decor, several lines of eco-friendly paint for your next DIY project and a Learn How To Paint Furniture class every month. Stop by and see us the next time you are in town!