Valley House Tour: The Entry

I only have rough measurements of the new house, so this floor plan is not completely accurate, but it might help you get a sense of the layout. Here's the first floor (I'll share the second floor a little later, still working on that one):

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Like with every house, there are some funny quirks in this place, but for the most part I love how our new house is laid out. A part of me is dying to just get in there and get started, but we're really enjoying our last couple of weeks here in New York, so I'm not actually thinking about the new house too much. (PS some of you emailed about renting out the brownstone and luckily we found another family about 12 hours after we listed the house on Craigslist a couple weeks ago, which was a huge relief. I'm glad another family gets to enjoy this space and the yard we worked so hard on.)

So like I mentioned earlier, I'd love to share the new house with you in its before state, room by room. Might as well start at the entry. Here's the front door again:

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And as a reminder, I'm planning to rip out that faux balcony situation so you can actually see the front door from the street better. I might need to leave something up high for the roofline and for shade, but I'll figure that out later.

Wouldn't that green color from yesterday's post be so pretty on a new door? I'll probably have to keep this one for at least a little while, so I'm thinking I'll just paint it out and see how I like the color before committing to it on the new doors. 

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Then here's the front door from the inside. The previous owner, who is just about the nicest a person could be, actually spent a lot of money on the house, getting it just how she liked it before putting it on the market to move into her new-build home. The look is actually pretty tame for most of the homes you see in Arizona (which almost across the board aren't at all my style). The ceramic tile here in the front of the house is about the worst offender, but everything (including the tile) is an easy fix. The things that weren't easy or even possible to fix with most Arizona houses weren't an issue with this home. Things like having smooth, not highly textured walls, really high ceilings without plant shelves and good, but not super-scorcher light with north/south exposures - these were all here with this house. I feel like I won the AZ lottery in that the house needs work, but the work it needs is just perfect for us.

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You can see some of the gingerbread moulding continued on the inside of the house (awesome), but I'll talk about that when we get to the library post. Here's the view as you walk in the front door.

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This is one of the walls that I want to rip out and rebuild. I can't stand that picture window cut out above that low walkway. We're looking into how much we can change the opening there without having to do major electrical work. 

Also you can see here how the owner put in dark wood floors in the family room. The tile is just in the entry and hallway and the front common rooms. Probably only about 800 square feet of tile and the rest of the house is that dark wood, with the exception of the playroom/guest suite area on the other side of the house, which are carpeted.

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I'm going to do a separate post on the floors, because there's a lot to say there, but the operating plan is to replace everything now, before we move in our furniture. I care more about the floors than about putting in a new kitchen right away, just because it's so hard to change all the floors down the road while actually living in the space. And I think beautiful floors really just set the tone for a home. Anyway, more on that later.

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The stairs will get a fresh coat of black and white paint and I think that will go so far! I'm still debating whether or not to do a runner on the new wood we'll be putting down, but it's probably a good idea with the kids. (those are their bedrooms upstairs)

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I think the previous owner was starting a paneling project that was never finished. (see those two boxes next to the coat closet?) I'd love to do something similar on the walls in here, but with an even more dramatic moulding. Also all the moulding and floor boards will be replaced when we do the floors and I'd love to replace the doors while we're at it, but we will probably need to wait on those. I might just do my old trick of painting them black to take away from the hollow-core look.

So, a recap of my entry plans:

- Paint the front door exterior a fun color, like jade green.
- Replace front door eventually with a taller, more modern double door. Maybe something with glass to bring in more light.
- New wood floors on the stairs and to replace all the ceramic tile
- Maybe a stair runner
- Paint the stair rail black and the balusters and stair risers white
- New entry light (something really big and unique)
- Strip and stain the ceiling beams?
- Rip out and reframe the entryway into the family room
- Trim out the walls with paneling
- Replace the door frames and floor boards with more substantial mouldings
- New solid wood doors eventually, but paint the existing doors black until then
- Cool rug in front of the door
- Hang a mirror and maybe a small, wall-mounted console table next to the coat closet
- Paint the walls - maybe a glossy white on the paneling? Would help it feel brighter for sure.

What do you like to see in a home's entry way? I think it's such an important space! For visitors, it's like a little summary of your home style.

36 comments:

Bret + Nancye said...

Amazing! I am so excited to see what you do with such a great space! If I was redecorating a space like that, I think I would choose a dark wall colour with colourful and unique decor to make the home interesting as soon as you walk in. Something similar to interior designer Abigail Ahern's home! X

Michelle Panting said...

Wow. You are such a little worker bee! This house is going to be drop dead gorgeous by the time you're done with it!

http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com

jenstet said...

I am really looking forward to see how you make your house a home. I just love your aesthetic and your ability to DIY without it looking DIY. I can't wait to see you plans come to fruition. Congratulations!

Naz said...

I'm looking forward to all the changes you'll be making with the house. Is Heather moving there with you? You sure have plenty of room lol that's for sure.

Grace from AStoriedStyle.com said...

Jenny, that picture frame molding on your stairs is crying out for some wallpaper! See what I mean here:

http://www.astoriedstyle.com/index.php/2012/10/my-wallpaper-panels/

Maybe yours could be the same pattern or in the same color family? That could be fun to pick out. :)

Can't wait to see what you do with all of this!
xoxo, G

Rocky&SamsMom said...

Love the new place! I had a similar front door and was able to remove the moulding holding the inset leaded glass panel. Had my local glass shop cut a piece of tempered glass to fit and I popped it back in place. Totally new look for $80 bucks!

Cheyenne said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing the magic you work on this house! The predominantly tan stucco and tile that is so popular here isn't my style either but, this house is sort of atypical (SCORE!) and I agree there's a lot of potential.

G said...

This is just my personal opinion, but I'd cut off that scroll thingy (technical term there, folks) on the top of the door frame and replace the glass in the door and side windows with plain, heavy glass. It's relatively inexpensive to have new glass cut and it's fairly simple to install...especially since you're going to repaint the door anyway!

Holly Robinson said...

Oh my gosh! You have a cupboard under the stairs! My kids would already be planning Harry Potter's bedroom there.

alison g. said...

I love that you can hate on something in a house you still really like - I'm the same way with our new place! In fact, your projects already parallel several we're doing up-front before moving in. Our house is 95% hardwood floors EXCEPT the area from the front door down into the kitchen. My thoughts are, if there's ever a place to make a good first impression with nice floors, it's at the entry, right?

Can't wait to see your ideas evolve!
alison g.

Barbie said...

This is going to be a fun transformation! Your plans sound great. My family and I are moving into a rental with wood stairs like yours and I'm worried about my kids (7, 5, and 2) traveling up and down them. Wondering if I have any options for a temporary fix?

Kristen Katz said...

Have you seen Windsor Smith's blue limestone foyer? I adore it. Definitely on my bucket list. Can't wait to see your transformation!

sarah said...

why don't you like the dark hardwoods? i think they are gorgeous.

Sarah said...

Soooo excited to see what you do with this space. So full of potential. I always love what you do with your entryways, and mine could use a re-do too so I will be stealing your amazing ideas for sure. :)

Emily said...

I'm so excited that you get to decorate a big home! We moved to a Midwestern state from the East Coast last year and I'm having a terrible time decorating these gigantic open rooms. The require so much more furniture and artwork! It's almost easier to be forced to work within a confined space. I'm interested to see how you handle the large spaces. Can't wait!

Tanya said...

So much potential; can't wait to see what you do! Are you planning on demoing the walls when you do the floors so you don't have to deal with the floors again? Congrats!

Jennifer Flores said...

I love the orientation of your house, with the stairs tucked off to the side. Once you open up the wall to the family room, your foyer will feel so welcoming and graceful. It really feels like a family home. Can't wait to see you bring it to life!

Alana in Canada said...


That's a lot of house!

Could you have a stained glass window lit from behind and installed in that picture window space? Something Mondrian-ish perhaps?

Stephanie said...

That house is huge! I wish my house ad smooth(er) walls. At least you have squared corners, I am seriously hating on my rounded corners; it makes trim work so much harder!

The flooring choices aren't too offensive for AZ, at least it wasn't those horrible 'terra-cotta' tiles I always see.

Can't wait until it starts getting worked on!

-Stephanie

Emma said...

Wow! I'm so excited to see your progress. We just bought our first house(!) here in Austin and it has a couple of the problems you're about to tackle. Like ceramic tiling. Yuck! I can't wait for your post on flooring.

Jenny E said...

I am really looking forward to see how you make your house a home. I just love your aesthetic and your ability to DIY without it looking DIY. I can't wait to see you plans come to fruition. Congratulations!

Karen at Home Sweet Hollywood said...

I'm so excited to see how you transform this home...I know it will be fantastic, and so much fun for you!

Dina said...

I like that "a lil summary of your home style"-so you better think it through and make it count, right?! Ha ha! PS I chose a decorative sisal runner up our stairs in our last home and loved it, such low maintenance and made a nice lil statement in the foyer, plus no slippery steps! Your home is going to be beautiful!

kstyle said...

Hi Jenny,
I absolutely love your new house and cant wait to follow your progress. There is something so fun about tackling a " house project" with unlimited potential. k

bridgette said...

All that space, Jenny! You are going to have SO much room to play with in that big house; no doubt it will be amazing when all is said and done. Cheers to you and the fam; wishing you all the best as you embark on this exciting new adventure!

Jill said...

Congrats on your new house!! Am super excited for you and your family to explore new things and tackle new decorating challenges and adventures! I will admit, however, I'll miss the decor updates on the brownstone and can't help but wonder if your landlord was a little blue to see you leave! Good luck with the move!!

Andrea and Kara said...

I'm with sarah! Those dark hardwood stairs are gorgeous, and i'm assuming the matching floors are too! I know there are other things more trendy right now, but dark hardwoods are pretty much timeless. . .and man that's a lot of money you'll spend to change them out. Such a shame!

Amanda said...

Your house is so funny! It's like such a random mix of super awesome and super weird and then quirky Arizona things. I can see how it has loads of potential though. It's gonna be super cool... eventually. Ha! My in-laws live in one of those Del Webb communities outside Phoenix and their house is just so blah. It's like, it's really nice? But it's so boring? I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Kimberly Hannon said...

Thanks for sharing the floor plan. I know I will be refrencing this post and that plan for all your project. I agree with teh previous posters. I think the dark wood floors are beautiful and timeless. I would spend the money on a new set of bannisters and railing instead of just painting them and upgrading the floor. Dark wood floors retain their value and work with most design styles. I trust you do make it beautiful (I have never been dissapointed) but I have to say I love them as-is.

Daphne said...

Congrats on your new home! It's going to be a real treat to see the transformation. Best of luck with the move.

Unknown said...

Jenny - So excited for you guys to be moving back to Arizona. I can't believe how much space you're going to have for your family and I love some of the things you're talking about changing. Seems that the house has four different styles going on - Tudor roofline, Victorian trimwork, Colonial front door and Arizona interior. I encourage you to try to pick one style when you go to clean it up. Good luck and all your followers will enjoy watching it all come together.

EXVITA said...

It Is A Big Wonderful Looking House! I wish I could have one someday.

Janj7 said...

Hi! Love your new place. It has so much potential, and I know your mind must be filled with wonderful ideas. Can't wait to see what happens here! As for the front door, may I suggest "Stem Green" by Ben Moore. I just re-did our door on our traditional Dutch colonial home, and everyone loves it! It's happy! -Jan

The Avarice said...

I cannot wait to see what you do with it. I'm so excited for you. Now, I have a question, now that you are moving on from a rental to a house of your own, do you have any regrets about the time/money you've put into a place that's not your own?? We just moved from a house we owned to a rental and I (mostly my husband) is having a tough time justifying doing anything to it. Help!! I want to know your thoughts on this.

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

What an awesome layout. So much potential here. I can't wait to see the kitchen!!

NewHomesinUK said...

What is a mud room dare I ask?????

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