Many stories, when done well, will often have a place that is personified (the setting), having so much personality that it almost becomes an additional character in the story. Like New York, in Sex and the City, or Mystic Falls in Vampire Diaries. These locations are just as important as any character. This little writing quip has always influenced my fiction, so much so that it rippled into my daily life. We've been calling our new home Pleasant House on the Prairie like it's another member of the family. We live on Pleasant Road, right in the heart of the prairies, so the name sort of accidentally happened one day.
I thought I'd change gears and show some of the things we're working on over at Pleasant House on the Prairie, especially since so many of you always ask how things are going over here, commenting on the new photos on instagram (#pleasanthouseontheprairie).
Beginning with... the foyer! Let me preface with - when we moved in, everything in the house was a nasty olive green colour. Like, a-bucket-of-olives-left-out-in-the-sun-to-go-rancid, green. Gross. I've done some serious painting, turning the mushy olive doors a glossy black and the walls bright white and toasty grey. But since there are so many angles in the house paired with some really striking cedar ceilings, it's been a huge task and is still incomplete. Turns out the walls to a vaulted ceiling are hard to paint. Who knew!
But the foyer is seeing some serious progress. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I don't have any snaps of the mushy olive green walls before, but I can show you where we are currently at, white walls and glossy black doors included. It feels like with every house that has a cabin-esque feel, the owners decide to paint the walls or decor objects army/olive green. But that's overkill for us and I'd much rather a Scandinavian, modern, rustic cabin sort of feel, with a dash of farmhouse chic. And yes, I realize I've just name a bunch of competing styles but it will look good.
Since I'm a feng shui aficionado, the front palace of our home is extra important since it sets the tone for the entire mood in the home. We're south-facing, north sitting, and the lighting is just right.
This was our front door, and while I'm usually a fan of this bright green, it was extra jarring paired against the mushy olive green. Those two greens have never gone together! Who does that!
See those pretty black shiny doors? They used to be olive too - everything was olive - and they had cheap plastic white knobs. Anyway. There is a giant crack down the centre of the front door that was exceptionally drafty all winter. So when the door finally stopped latching, we knew it was time to make the replacement.
It's also worth mentioning that that bold green on our front door is also the trim on the entire house's exterior. It even outlines the stone and flower beds in the yard. But the trim on the inside of the house is that mushy olive. No. Green and brown are not my friends when it comes to home decor. Never in the history of design has it been OK to pair army green and kelly green. I can maybe be swayed by the right shades of brown and green, but I mostly think it's not for me. The plan is to paint all this true green trim warm white in the spring. And while we're on the topic of green, Ralph Lauren Constantine is an acceptable shade, in my opinion.
Here's a better shot of the door's drafty crack, that you can actually see through from the inside. The inside of the door is still brown and was never painted, and I'd argue it probably never should have ben painted since the door's bones we so good. Look at those beautiful grains ruined by that crack! There will forever be that "to paint or not to paint" notion when it comes to wood, hey? I go back and forth on the topic all the time.
We've also got a smattering of that late 80s early 90s brass throughout our house. It's on the doorknobs, the ceiling fan, the plugs - even our fireplace. And while I'm trying to embrace it - hey, brass is making a comeback - there are some things that simply need replacing, like this gold handle. We knew we wanted a dramatic handle, preferably dark, with the idea that we will eventually swap out all our doorknobs in the house to a dark finish in a modern style. To me, modern means square. I love square.
We've debated about the screen door, but I think we've decided to keep it. It'll be nice in the warmer seasons to just leave the door open, let that amazing light in (which Rogue is sure to nap in) and listen to our babies playing outside. Though it does hinder my dream of hanging a beautiful wheat and lavender wreath, sometimes I have to think of the rest of the family's needs and what makes sense for us. This is where Derek and I are a good pairing. I'm all, "Ooooo! I love XYZ! I want it!" and Derek reigns me in with practicality. It makes for a good match in who can strong arm the other.
We're going to spray the brown on the screen door glossy black like the interior doors, and paint that exterior green trim white, which you can see above. This little porch is also the only deck we have, and since we are outdoor deck people, we plan on expanding it to wrap around the house.
Ahhh. Look how much brighter and airy this new white door is! I was pretty determined about having a door with windows since there are no other windows in the foyer and I'm a big fan of bright natural light. But I wanted windows on the upper third of the door, not the upper half, which is more of a farmhouse look. I had originally wanted to thrift a really cool wooden door, but when Derek and I went to look, the doors in question were in pretty rough shape. Derek's practicality checked in, warning how he didn't think these thrifted options would be any more efficient. And since we had that whole furnace debacle, and we need knew windows, and we live in a cold climate... he won that design challenge. New door it is.
This door is actually from Home Depot and was the cheapest exterior door there. Win! The door handles I liked were as much as the door, so we settled on a $45 set that was on sale instead of forking out $200. I was a twinge disappointed at first, but actually, I'm really happy with how the handle against the white door turned out. I think it's a vast improvement. And I still got my square-look even though the actual handle itself is more ornate.
There is no door on the basement (on the left of the photo) which is a pretty big hazard for a little bambino who will - hopefully - soon be mobile, so we have a temporary baby gate up. The plan is to get a french-style door (windows to the floor, not the double door style) but we'll see who wins that design decision between me and Derek since he would rather no glass; I've just got to decide if I want that door white to match the front door or the glossy black of my closet doors. Then I need some black, negativity absorbing crystals for the front palace, and a great intricate Persian-style rug.
Despite the door being white, it does need a coat of white paint just to protect it. So I plan to do double duty and paint the door the same white as the trim outside. And since our house is swarmed in green - so much so that sometimes I think things still look green - I'm going with a white with a red base to counter it. Don't even get me started on different shades of white.
Here's the inspo:
I'll post updates as we keep working through it.