10 May 2013

Magnolia Manor: Front Entrance Reveal

Just about the only thing we didn't change on Magnolia Manor was the exterior paint color. (And our bedroom tile, but that will go eventually).  But the setting and the bones, right down to the angle of the entrance, we fell in love with.  We saw past the teal carpeting and the floral wallpaper and big swoopy curtains.
The entrance of a home, I think, is often overlooked.  We pay particular attention to our countertop choice, faucets and the appliances, but the front entrance is where first impressions are indelibly marked on one's mind, as they picture where you live. While people are standing there waiting for us to answer the door, they are either noticing the cobwebs, nature's detritus and peeling paint, or they already feel welcome and invited. 

While we did have the house freshly painted, we kept the color because we like a good grey.  It is, after all, the offspring of black and white.  The doors got a fresh coat of paint as well.  I have always wanted double doors, for those times when you want to open them both wide and let the cool breeze of the morning sweep through the house, wakening those inside, and washing the staleness of sleep.
I ordered the light fixtures, not knowing about the the bonus feature of the light beams behind (do we see a theme?).  I liked the square with the round.  It seems I gravitate toward the duet of shapes within shapes, like the doorbell that mimics our giant Texas star going over our garage. I did love geometry back in the day). But when I came to check on the progress of the house one day, the lights had been installed and were on in their full glory! I loved them even more, which is rare for me.
I repainted (spray paint of course!) some of our giant red pots black and white and planted white flowers (and leaves) to match.  That amaryllis?  Each year, after Christmas, we plant our holiday bulbs outside (the advantage of this balmy weather), and they will bloom again outside every year.  Before we moved, I had 2 of the Dill girls go and dig in the mud to retrieve our amaryllis garden.  We brought them in a big garbage bag and promptly forgot about them.  Until one day, I was looking for my bee suit, poking around amongst the paint cans and building paraphernalia, when I picked up the garbage bag full of slimy spheres.  This amaryllis, in particular, already had a stem about half this size with buds ready to bloom.  I planted the poor wilted, pale beauty and she bloomed mere days later.  This is the second stock from the same bulb, just about a yard high. I also have jasmine on each side that gives the most pleasant scent to warm your senses while you wait for us to answer the door ;). 

And! My penny tile!!
The tile they took out left the floor lower than the rest of the flooring, so they had to "float" it, or raise it.  They did a pretty good job of getting it even for those little round beauties.  I did grey grout, a happy medium between the black and white with a permanent "rug" in the contrasting tile. 
This isn't the entrance we normally use, so we don't have our shoes lined up here, but we are now a no-shoes-in-the-house house. More on that later, because some of you have asked.
Drummer, who normally starts crying when I take pictures, hammed it up for me.  I guess he doesn't mind a dslr in his face compared to my phone? Or was it the fluffy treat in hand?  No, it's probably his sharp lookin' star shirt.
This seemed like a good place for our giant hibiscus.  I almost killed myself hanging it, and realize now that I should have just waited for Ryan to get home, but when I get something in my head I want to accomplish, I get 'er done. I tried to get Clover to assist me in where the hook was when I hoisted the gargantuan flower.  Finally she said, "Maybe we should just wait until the sisters are home."
Surprisingly, Drummer didn't take a single bite of those mammoth marshmallows.
He just smeared them on the tile.
Go figure.  Happy Friday!

57 comments:

  1. Oh my lands, I love it! We are also a no shoes house. :) It was the way I was brought up (being half Chinese) but I also have a lot of other reasons. I'm curious to learn yours. I adore your penny tile "rug", and the exterior of your house is stunning! You are brilliant Katy.

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    1. Delia, Have you ever told the story of being half-Chinese? (mom? dad? how they met?) I'd love to hear it!

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    2. Yes. My dad is from Hong Kong but came to the U.S. to attend a Deaf university. Both my parents are Deaf. After graduation, he went to California to work and met my mom at a Deaf club (they were really popular in the 70's but have begun to peter out). My grandmother still lives in Hong Kong. We are going there this summer for my brother's wedding. I'm nervous and excited! :) I haven't seen her for 16 years.

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    3. I am a Delia fan, also. :) What a fascinating upbringing and story you have! Best wishes for your summer reunion.

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    4. Who's NOT a Delia fan!?! This IS fascinating and want to hear more stories about growing up with two deaf parents! Will you do it?

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  2. Wow - what a great entrance! Those lights are to die for!!! I'm excited to see the rest of the house. Good job!

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    1. The rest is coming along! We still have boxes to unpack and rooms to paint, but trying to chip at it a bit at a time!

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  3. Wow, that is a lot of penny tile. It looks great though. I love the curb appeal of your front entrance. We also don't wear shoes in the house. It just helps to cut down on the dirt that gets tracked inside. I sweep too many times a day already.

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    1. another no-shoe policy person! Hooray!

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  4. Weeee!!! I can't wait to come and visit someday (soon?)! You have such a great eye!! xo

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    1. Thank you :) And you and CHB are welcome at the drop of the hat. My kids would eat you up! ;)

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  5. Love the penny tile! Great entry ;) We also don't wear shoes in the house. As I wait (patiently) for our attached garages to be built, we are using our front door for our main entrance and I am (again patiently!) waiting for that to be over so I can properly 'dress' our entry ;)

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    1. Yes, properly dressed entrances are underrated. It will be worth it!

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  6. p.s. my security word was "bishopric"

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  7. Very pretty! I LOVE your flower are. Kind of classic since it's a flower, but moderns in style.

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    1. Thanks, Jenny. Some days I wish I could change up the color, but it's one of our favorite pieces.

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  8. So beautiful ! I loooove it ! Thank you for sharing this with us :)
    Iris
    The {colored} Married Life

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  9. What a stunning entry. :) Can't believe how big Drummer is getting. I love that you show your befores and afters from the exact same angle! Also we are a no shoe house.

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    1. I wish I had more befores, but I took most of them during the estate sale, before we closed on the house and thought I took plenty. Asian culture for the no shoes?

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  10. OH! That tile! Absolutly loving it.
    And Drummer is looking so grown up!

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  11. He's becoming quite the little man :) Thanks, TIna!

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  12. I love the contrast between the two inside entry shots - the before is all neutral but BROWN. I love the crisp white and gray. We're in the process of closing a house that's painted all nice and neutral for us, and I plan to repaint as soon as possible. Colors, and if there's white, it's going to be WHITE. I am so sick of the "off-white" beige-y tone of apartments (in which I've lived for the better part of the last 2 decades) that I could scream. It just looks dirty. Anyway - your entry is giving me more ideas - thanks! I love your style!

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    1. Yes, bright white was my main request from the painter. Even the "WHITE" from the store wasn't bright enough, I have them add no grey and extra white.

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  13. This looks soooo wonderful!! You've done a simply marvelous job! I can't wait to live in a house again! We are in the middle of a military move, living in a hotel room at the moment, so I'm prone to swooning over home pics. But yours is truly swoon-worthy!! :-)

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    1. It stretches everyone living in such close quarters, but then you will appreciate the house that much more when the time comes!

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  14. I can hear your house whispering, "Thank you, Dill's, for reusing, restoring, and reviving me from my 80's oblivion."

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    1. Hahaha! You're too funny. Yes, I believe she whispered just that :)

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  15. Stunning! Love your little cuties in the front door, as well. This is a great inspiration for changes happening around our house.

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  16. It's great to have you back blogging, Katy Dill! :) Your house looks amazing!

    When I lived in Wisconsin, almost everyone took their shoes off in other people's houses. Maybe it was because there was often snow or rain, that no one wanted to track in muddy footprints. Now we live in Texas and no one takes their shoes off. I'll never forget the first time I hosted a play date when our oldest was just a toddler and all of these moms and their littles came traipsing in with their shoes on. I had just spent so much time getting my floors sparkly clean. I was truly shocked. Since then, it's really a losing battle. People here just don't take off their shoes, to ask feels awkward, and my in-laws who live in FL say it's considered tacky to host people and not wear shoes. It makes it nearly impossible to keep my floors clean and also shoes are the #1 source of indoor air pollution... or so I've read.

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    1. Thank you, Rachel!! It's good to be back!

      I'm currently in the process of making a little sign so people are aware that their shoes need to come off, and if they're good friends who come over often, they will already be aware and it will become second nature. It's such a good custom in so many other countries, it shouldn't be seen as offensive in ours.

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  17. My husband and I will often just go driving to look at front doors on homes. Seriously, that part of the home is so up-close and personal that it pays to have something looking awesome! Yours looks stunning, it would get thumbs up from both of us.

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    1. Yes, we not only look at front entrances, I sometimes make Ryan stop, or pause our walk to take photos...sometimes with the kids on the front stoop! ;)

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  18. Oh, it's beautiful! The penny tile is a delightful invitation. We've always been a no-shoe house for several reasons, mainly because I have a weird clean-floor obsession. One thing I've noticed is that it's not as loud when all three kids are running through the house at full speed. Bonus!

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    1. Yes, less noise is one HUGE bonus!

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  19. The house looks magnificent. We are no shoes too. It's cleaner, quieter and less injuries occur as a bonus.

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  20. Just gorgeous! I love the bright, fresh, Katy Dill look. It makes me want to set fire to all my stuff and start over!

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    1. Haha! Don't do that! Just spray paint it white...or orange ;)

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  21. I never comment...but I love the circle within the square lights...totally symbolic. Love.

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    1. Thank you, Amy! Symbolism...<3

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  22. The changes you have made to your home are beautiful!! I hope to come see them in person some day. No shoes in our house either, it's how I was raised, have had to do major convincing to get Matt on board though.

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    1. It makes so much sense, but it's very against American tradition and custom.

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  23. gorgeous Katy! I was so excited to see your penny tiles and had no idea you were doing a rectangle like that. Very cool! It turned out lovely. And makes me excited that we picked black for our front door too :).
    Well done lady!

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    1. Thanks, friend! I think the tile rug makes it. Great minds... ;)

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  24. Wow, the entrance looks amazing! I really love the lights and the penny tile and well...everything! I can't believe how big Drummer is getting. He's adorable. I'm sure you've already mentioned it before, but where did you get the giant flower? I love it. I think it's perfect for the entryway!

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    1. It came from a local art fair several years ago. Thank you :)

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  25. What a gorgeous entrance. I love the simplicity of it all. Yet it is so inviting. I can't wait to see the rest of the house!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. The rest is coming along :)

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  26. I propose a sewing retreat at Magnolia Manor once you've got everything squared away! Looks so inviting, you make me want to invite myself over (and I just did I suppose, hehe).

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    1. Oh, yes, yes, yes!!! Always welcome!

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  27. Yeah! Love the befores and afters AND the story behind each one.

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  28. I love, love, love it!! You've been teasing so much on ig - I'm thrilled to finally see the penny tile. Gorgeous! I'm curious to hear more about the no shoes policy. In Canada no shoes is the norm so I always wondered what the was up with wearing shoes in the house. :)

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  30. the penny tile is beautiful!

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  31. I'm totally late to this comment party, haha, but I just started reading your blog really recently and so I'm jumping all over the place. Anyway, it is totally WEIRD to me that people wouldn't take their shoes off in a house, lol. I'm Canadian, and no one ever leaves their shoes on. Ever. And when I visited my extended family in Finland, shoes came off there too. Why would you leave your shoes on? It just doesn't make sense to me dirt-wise or noise-wise. And where are they kept when you take them off to go to bed?

    Love your blog, by the way, such a good read.

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