That late 1970s/early 1980s disco song keeps rummaging
through my head.
You see, we just installed this darling marine bell at the beach home of a family member.
We installed it to relate to the door, without being too close to interfere
with normal comings and goings.
It has the nicest, most welcoming cling-clang.
Adorable anchor-motif backplate.
Genuine marine-grade rope pull.
So much more “beachy” than a regular electric doorbell.
A few days in Charleston is all you need to get hooked (for the fourth time or the fortieth).
Here are a few peeks from a random stroll down Church St. All images by Color Calling.
Now, this is what I call an outdoor room!
Before, a tin-roofed cottage painted a non-traditional minty green by the previous owner.
Which stuck out like a sore thumb in a transitional neighborhood of sidewalks lined with
classic Craftsman bungalows as well as some brick houses.
After, classic Craftsman paint colors selected for the new homeowners, newlyweds.
Minty green does not belong in a classic Craftsman palette.
Greeny-grays are perfect. Great with a tin roof as well.
Grays in the mortared stone columns are reflected in the choice of color for the house body
and the darker grays accenting the trim.
Think of the earth colors of nature and there you have a pretty complete Craftsman palette.
“Georgian Brick” (Benjamin Moore) front door, which echoes the exact color of the next door
neighbor’s brick (very close by) as well as the brick High School across the street.
The young wife liked my color palette, explained to her by her husband after my initial consultation.
She was busy performing surgery and could not attend the original color consultation.
There was just one thing.
She had her heart set on a REALLY RED front door.
But, once I explained “WHY” the more muted red I selected was picked out
(it is better for a Craftsman palette;
it reflects the adjoining neighbor’s red brick;
matches the brick of the high school very visible across the street;
honors some similarly colored decorative brickwork set in their yard, etc.).
And, with this color selection system, there is ALWAYS a WHY.
She immediately understood.
She is one smart cookie. Beautiful, too.
The system works.
And, this is it: Evaluate the FIXED finishes and go from there.
Doesn’t have to include the neighbors, but when you can reach out and almost touch their brick side wall from your front porch, better to take into consideration. Think existing stone, brick, roof, etc., that will not be changed. That is what a fixed finish is.
Felt a glow of satisfaction when a passerby walking down the sidewalk told me, “Wow, the house looks great. What a difference!” as I was taking the ‘after’ photo shot.
We all know curb appeal is important. When I do exterior color consultations, I always look at the big picture.
Many times, I will recommend that my homeowner consider upgrading the main doorway light fixture(s).
Think about it, your home is being most often viewed from street distance. Make sure your light fixture is proper size.
Now that your eye has been shown a good proportion, take a look at the following lighting scheme:
Don’t you prefer the 4:1 ratio of door to light? Doesn’t the above lighting scheme look dinky now that I am pointing this out?
The house below is a tad busy, but the main front door lighting has nice proportions. By the way, better to be a bit big than too little:
What about this one?
If you said too small, I agree. (I am not loving the huge sidelight to the right of the door, which would be the correct place to have a light).
What about this?
Did this visual exercise help you determine the correct size for your lighting? Does your own exterior lighting have enough presence?
Do you agree with my proper proportions guideline?
We’ll look today at interior entries and foyers, and the importance of repeating shapes, colors and motifs for unifying the space.
So, let’s look at what works with interior entries/foyers, from grand to humble. And for clarity, I’ll mention a few things that in my opinion don’t work.
ALL YOU DÉCOR BUFFS WHO LOVE GRAY RIGHT NOW, DOES THIS, below, DO IT FOR YOU?
SIMPLE AND BEAUTIFUL, above. A great example of good design that probably didn’t cost a fortune. What is repeated here?
WATER REFERENCE: See the subtle reference to the ocean in the coral print pillows and the jaunty black and white photograph? Both repeating the reference to the water. Just enough.
VERTICAL LINES: The slats on the settee repeat the vertical lines of the tongue in groove panels and the vertical border of the rug. Also, the center pillow has a strong vertical motif.
BALL/CIRCLE MOTIF: The circles on the two end settee pillows repeat the balls of the little sconce. Are you seeing that when things are repeated, they are more pleasing to the eye?
COLOR HARMONY: The pale blue wall is perfect with the pinky-beige paver tiles. No clashing undertones in this humble but lovely space.
NOW, I’ll BREAK DOWN THIS “HIT AND MISS”, below:
THE MILLWORK IS NICE, AND THE PAINTING MAKES A BEAUTIFUL STATEMENT ON THE LANDING. THE HANDRAIL IS PERFECT.
However, they should have repeated the black, on the door. The ash finish of the wood door is off, it needs to be black.The countrified rust and beige check coloration on the relaxed-Roman shade comes out of nowhere, do you agree? I think a cozy ebonized settee with a soft cushion covered in a rich emerald green (cue color from the oil painting) would be much prettier and more welcoming than the oddly place round table, and would have kept your eye away from the A/C return vent. And, if I were styling this entry, I would certainly add a rug. Additionally, I find the flooring a tad busy since it is stained a different way than the stair. P.S. I hate rounded door hinges. See prior post on Does your Million Dollar Home have $2 hinges?.
NEVER OBSTRUCT YOUR STAIRS, but otherwise love this rustic rear entry, below. Can you name the two main repetitions used here to nice effect?
FARMHOUSE PERFECTION, below. Repeating the color black again here. I could just die over the iron door strapping and original hardware. The arch of the bookcase references the ellipses in the transom, and repeats in the lantern as well. The strong vertical lines of the tongue in groove paneling, stair spindles, and bench spindles work perfectly. The rug has motifs which reference each of these.
According to the latest research, a first impression is formed in 1/10th of a second. Make the first impression of your entryway a good one.
The stunningly beautiful entryway above, which belongs to my fellow True Colour Expert Andrea Brooks of Arkansas, speaks to guests long before they arrive at the stoop. Any guesses as to what it is saying? This has to be one of the prettiest front doors I have ever seen. Welcome, how do you do, and please come in, is what it is saying. Wouldn’t it be exciting to walk up to this beauty and ring the bell?
And, speaking of bells, if you have a doorbell, does it work? Do you have your door freshly re-painted or re-varnished every two or three years? Or do the dogs’ claw marks and muddy run-off rule the day?
When is the last time you or whoever helps you trotted out the metal polish and worked on the door hardware? Are your stoop and steps swept regularly, and power-washed occasionally? Do you have your windows professionally cleaned at least every one to two years?
Is your door mat (think simple, natural material, and with a size relating to the actual front door frontage) in reasonable shape?
If you have planters and pots nestled close by, do they look of high quality and are they tended? The easiest gardener’s formula for a pretty planter: use a thriller, a filler, and a spiller.
In less than 30 minutes a week, and an annual call to the painter or the pressure-washer, your entryway will make a good impression. It will tell me that you are glad I’m here, even if you are not at home!