Updated: May 13
When Jan first called us to help her re-design her home, we jumped at the chance to work on such a complex and detailed project. We got to collaborate with some amazing carpenters at Southfen Residential Construction who specialize in old homes as well as Mary Veiga, an incredible local artist. We all saw the potential for her space to be much bigger and brighter, and her foyer became this project’s priority. When we first walked in, the ceiling was very low, the paint color was dated, and the floor details needed to be refreshed. The stair railings and bannister were both loose and in need of repairs and updates. Finally, there was potential to add some new furniture and light fixtures to the space. (See before pictures below).
The first thing that needed to be done was rip out the ceiling to see what was underneath the plaster. Once the demo was complete, we could see what we had to work with. In front of the stairs, we realized we would be able to raise the ceiling an extra 2 feet and create a mini coffered ceiling to gain more height and light and give the foyer a more open feel. On the other side of the foyer, there were original wooden beams. We proposed that we wrap the beams and finish with a trim detail similar to other beams in Jan’s house (see picture below).
From here, the wooden beams were cleaned up and old wiring and pipes were either reworked or removed. A small amount of drywall was then placed at the bottom of the ceiling with just enough room to allow for recessed lighting electrical boxes. All door and window trim in this area needed to be re-constructed to match existing door trim and ornamentation in the house. Because the ceilings were originally so low, there was no top trim or detail. But with the new height, the trim could be made and installed to look like it was always there (see picture below). We also discussed the coffered ceiling trim details and decided, after chatting with Jan, that keeping the trim simple and stunning would work well with the 1800’s era of the house.
We also came up with a plan, in collaboration with Mary and Jan, for updating and refreshing the floor. We decided on a light bronze color that would be timeless and fit in with the rest of the house. A small bronze statue of a duck’s head (pictured below) was used as an idea for the color. Placing the statue on the floor allowed us to see how the color would look with the wood and black diamond detail on the floor. Mary then HAND PAINTED all black, bronze, and shadowing details on the floor.
For the last phase of this project, the trim detail on the beams, ceiling, and around the windows and doors was finished. The recessed lights were installed, all woodwork was primed in preparation for paint, and sample paint colors were placed on the walls.
Everyone who collaborated on this project, including Jan, was extremely happy with how the foyer turned out. The home’s original low ceiling back entryway was transformed into a sophisticated, elegant foyer. This foyer, and the rest of Jan’s beautiful home, is such an inviting space! We are grateful for Jan, Southfen, and Mary for making this project a very special one.