We have quite an unusual 1970s brick ranch home that features a deep courtyard entry. In summer, enormous bright chartreuse hostas take over the shady side of the area. Naturally, it just made sense to my color-loving brain to paint the front door the same shade of green.
Entering the front door you can look back and view the wing of the courtyard where four of our five bedrooms are.
Seen from the kitchen, you can see our very unusual wide, long hallway that runs from the kitchen all the way into another hallway into the bedroom wing of the house. In most homes, you step into a vestibule, or small room from the outside. Not in ours. Moving here 30 years ago, before my interest in styling emerged, I was just clueless about what to do with the space.
Years after I began my career as a full-time decorative painter, I troweled creamy white Venetian plaster onto the walls, and burnished them to a soft sheen. I love the reflective quality this finish gives to the walls. It makes everything appear to glow.
The next step in the design process was to create three giant canvas art pieces using holographic and brightly colored foils.
Over time a collection of old ladders evolved. I dragged them home from picking adventures, and hubby discovered a few on construction job sites. Voila! The light bulb went off and I began to lean them against the wall here and there. The important factor in this hallway styling is that nothing can protrude far from a wall, right?
I walked around the house and gathered up lots of baskets to nail to the wall, draped Moroccan wedding blankets and African mudcloth on the ladders, and added giant strands of beads.
The gallery theme continued to evolve when I traveled to Puerto Rico on family vacations. The traditional Puerto Rican painted coconut face topped bright abstract North Carolina pottery.
This lovely aloof lady by a Puerto Rican raku artist is a fave. It seems silly, but I view her so many times per day, and think of this mystery woman a bit like the Mona Lisa. What is she thinking?
Gracie Lee spends a lot of time “holding up” the wall right here near the lady. I’m thinking maybe they chat about the joys of fish since she is sitting on a dock.
Below the wall art is a little chest that I found at the High Point Furniture Market. It had fallen off a truck at the dock, and the vendor let me have it for practically nothing. A little repair, some soft silver and gold paint and heavy glass pulls made it as good as new.
The chest nestles perfectly into the niche that was originally a doorway into the living room. Now, there is a permanent French door, a sort of window looking into the living room.
Further down the hallway I used even more baskets on the wall and pottery filled with a succulent that drinks up sunshine from the sidelight. A tall clock sporting lots of shelves is the perfect depth to place a happy pothos plant, raku zebra, and architectural salvage corbel elements.
At the far end of the hallway, hubby make three narrow ledges where cherished photos and artwork get re-styled on a regular basis.
Years ago I painted the bedroom wing hallway deep grey, and stenciled a huge metallic gold pattern that I think I will love forever. The rustic narrow cabinet comes from my former enormous decorative painting studio. On top, a gilded round mirror and a folk art wooden bunny rule along with an ornate lamp and mirrored stars.
To the left of the old cabinet are nine little chunky shelves where I can add and subtract old books, baskets, pottery, or whatever suits my fancy. As usual, I had the idea for the project, but hubby was the magician who figured out how to make them flush to the wall, and carry a lot of weight if need be. Want directions to do them yourself? Click here to a recent blog post.
What do you think of our odd hallway, and my styling solutions? Although in my mind this ongoing project is done, I always welcome suggestions.
Gracie Lee’s suggestion is that I go outside and get her that dragonfly that has taunted her all morning. Well, maybe not the kind of suggestion I had in mind. Perhaps a nice kitty treat.
Stay tuned for more styling ideas from around the Hayes house.
So cool that FindingSilverPennies.com featured my home office post last week! Hope you’ll hop over there and meet Danielle who I met in my early blogging days at the Haven Conference.