The Vestibule.

When we bought the house one of the first things that our contractor suggested was that we get rid of the vestibule.  I am so glad that we didn’t.  I love walking into the house and having a space to put my keys, hang my jacket and take off my shoes.   The vestibule also has the added benefit of keeping out any cold drafts from entering the house.  In the winter we shut the vestibule door which keeps out the cold air from the living room.

Since the vestibule is really small I opted to cover the walls in Moroccan tiles.  I have always loved the designs of the tiles but it would have been very expensive to cover a large area with Moroccan tiles.  We used Saltillo tiles for the floor.  I bought the Moroccan cement tiles online.  I wish I could remember the site but Berber Trading, Tazi Design and Casbah Decor all have similar tiles available.  Here’s a close up of the tiles:

The lamp is a vintage Spanish fixture that I purchased on eBay. 


The ceilings are really high and the space looked a little cold so I decided to cover the walls gallery style with mostly Kiran’s paintings and drawings.  I put the pictures up in inexpensive Ikea Ribba frames.

We have one rack for coats, scarves, and bags.  We also have another small rack for keys, mail, sunglasses, umbrellas and other smaller items.  These racks are for our everyday use.  When we have guests we generally throw everyone’s jackets on our bed.  My next project is  to finish the stairway to the basement and install a long row of coat racks so that when we have people over they have a proper place to hang their jackets.  Old row houses are notorious for having minimal storage space and ours is no exception. 

This is a wrought iron coat rack I bought years ago at Anthropologie. 

I bought the Triple Hook Up Strip in Olive (below) by Three by Three from Velocity Design a couple of years ago.  It comes with four small magnets which hold notes, checks etc.  The larger hooks are great for sunglasses and mail and  we use the smaller hooks for umbrellas, Kiran’s sweaters etc. 

In this picture you can (barely) see the floor tiles.  It took us forever to find Saltillo tiles.  Scott and I went to a dozen tile places and then we finally found a place on Washington Avenue that had these tiles.  I think that they complement the Moroccan tiles perfectly. 

The last thing that we need to do in the vestibule is to strip the varnish off the wood door, prime it, and paint it in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace which is the same white paint that we have used throughout the house on the moldings and panelling. 

When we bought the house the vestibule was covered in the ugliest brown, beige and cream tiles. Most of them were falling off and the space was just uninviting.  Unfortunately I don’t have a great before picture but this is what the vestibule looked like a few days after we bought the house. 


The Coral Pendant Light is up!

The old chandelier in the dining room was very ornate and a little bit too much for our dining room.  I have been admiring the Coral Pendant Light by David Trubridge for a long time.  I finally found a great deal online and bought it.  When it arrived it was  flat packed and the individual pieces had to be assembled like a giant jigsaw puzzle.  It took Scott about two hours to assemble the light.

Even though it is huge (it measures almost two feet in diameter) it takes up a lot less visual space than the chandelier because of all the open spaces.

We installed a dimmer on the light switch and when the light is dimmed the shadows around the room are fantastic.  Even with the light off it looks like an amazing sculpture hanging from the ceiling. 

"I See a Red Door and I Want It Painted Black."

 …well not really.  “I saw a white door leading to the basement and I wanted it painted black” would be a more accurate (and less poetic) title.  However,  this is probably the only chance I get to quote the Rolling Stones in my blog  so I went for it!

For a couple of months I was really busy at work.  I felt like all that I did was work, hang out with Kiran after his preschool and then work some more during the night (you may have noticed the lack of posts).  Sometimes even when I went to bed I kept thinking of things that I needed to get done at work.  Well during those days and nights I really needed an outlet for my anxiety.  Some people eat and some people exercise to blow off some steam…but I like to do house projects.  One day I called Scott and told him that he had to pick up some Benjamin Moore Studio Finishes Chalkboard paint on his way home from work.  Well that night instead of spending another sleepless night laying in bed thinking about all the things that I had to get done I spent a couple of hours cleaning the basement door downstairs and then painting it black.  I loved it so much that I decided to also paint the door to the downstairs bathroom black, before going to bed.  Scott and Kiran woke up the next morning to the black doors and they both loved it.

 Door leading to the basement.
A close up of the basement door.
A close up of the bathroom door downstairs.
A close up of my favoite door knob .

The next night I painted Kiran’s bedroom door and the second floor bathroom door black.  The next night it was our room door and the door downstairs that leads to the backyard.  Well now all the doors except for those on the third floor and the front door are black.  I love the way the doors look.  They are very dramatic and unexpected.  What do you think?

The door to Kiran’s room to the left and the bathroom door on the second floor to the right. 

A close up of the Kiran’s door (it is actually black and not at all bluish like in this picture).
The second floor bathroom door.

I had originally planned on using chalkboard paint so that Kiran could draw on the basement door but I may never let Kiran draw on any of these doors…I haven’t decided yet.

Color Therapy.

So this weekend I managed to fix this frame and paint it a very bright glossy red.  My father-in-law cut a piece of glass for the frame and it was very easy to transform the frame into something stunning.  It is amazing what a coat of bright paint can do to an old frame or even and old piece of  furniture.  I love everything about the photograph and the frame.  Now I just need to decide where I am going to hang it.  Click here to see what the frame looked like before I painted it.

Successful upholstery project.

My friend and I were taking a stroll through our neighborhood (with Kiran in the stroller) when we found a stool on the sidewalk.  I was pushing Kiran in the stroller so I made my friend pick up and carry the stool home.  My friend obliged but she complained the whole way home about how ugly the stool was!  I recently upholstered the stool, in some fabric from Ikea and I think that it looks fabulous.

The stool is being used as an end table in Kiran’s room.

Sometimes you need to hire professionals.

I have been working on re-upholstering this chair.  I started working on this chair about a month ago and then I ran out of staples and then I ran out of the motivation. Now I wish I had just taken the chair to get re-upholstered! You can see what this chair looked like in this picture (chair is to the left of the picture).

 I got the fabric from Ikea.  I love black and white fabrics and I have a small collection of Ikea fabric.  Sometimes when I am bored or if Scott is working late I get out the staple gun, pick out some fabric, and I start upholstering a chair or a stool that I either bought or picked up on the side of the road.  Clearly this is not a project that I should have started.