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Monday, July 6, 2009

My Entryway Update


I recently discovered Metamorphosis Monday on 'Between Naps on the Porch', which is inspiring me to reveal a few of the updates that have gone on in my own home. I have shown bits and pieces of my entryway over the past year - the Scott's Antique Market chair that I updated, and a small glimpse into my front hall in a post I did on flowering quince. Here is a little bit of background on my entry and its progress over the past few years.

My front door is on the left side of my house, and because of this my entry actually has two good sized walls in it. I also have 'light on two sides' - the sidelights of the front door, and the fan light above it, as well as windows at the base of the stairs and the top. I truly enjoy having nice wall space in the entry, as it has enabled me to decorate the entry with both art and furniture.

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For many years, my entryway had a French provincial style chest of drawers, an average looking mirror, and some Anna Weatherly plates hanging on the wall; unfortunately, I can't find a picture of this arrangement, as it was in my pre-digital days. A few years ago, I was ready for a change. When I bought the Niermann Weeks beaton mirror (pictured above), I decided to re-do my entry around this new piece. Of course, as is typical when I am doing a project for myself, it took a long, long time. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that my entry looked like this for over a year!

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OK, now a bit of progress has been made! I have some samples of sisal rugs, and I got a chest of drawers for the front hall - the Murano chest by Hickory Chair, with a limestone top. Here is a cautionary tale - I went to my Hickory Chair representative and told him that I wanted to order a chest 'just like the one in the picture' of the catalog. I meant same color (parchment), with a stone top. I did not realize that Hickory Chair painted finishes come in three levels of distress - weathered, vintage, and rustic (rustic being the thickest and crustiest application). If I was aware of this, I would have ordered the weathered finish as I prefer a smoother look. When the chest arrived, I was quite dismayed as it was in the rustic finish (which is lovely, just not my style). The dealer offered to take it back, but I would have had to pay a huge restocking fee - so I kept it. The error was absolutely mine, as the picture in the catalog was of the rustic finish; however, since it was not a close-up, I did not see the details of the finish. I absolutely love Hickory Chair products, and overall am very pleased with the chest. Next time I order Hickory Chair, though, I will be certain to specify the weathered finish! Live and learn.

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Here is the picture from my 'flowering quince post'. Some more progress has been made! I ended up ordering an area rug for the front hall, a sisal called 'Siskiyou' made by Fibreworks, color #777. I also had sconces installed - they were custom made by Julie Neill, a wonderful lighting designer out of New Orleans. For those of you new to my blog, I devoted quite a bit of blog space to my love for the sconces on the show 'Gossip Girl'. I searched high and low for sconces that had a similar style, to no avail. So, I contacted Julie, and we worked on the design - I had a specific look and feel I was going for, both with the sconces and the shades. Julie, a master at scale and proportion, provided wonderful guidance for the size and overall design of the sconces. And here they are! I smile every time I see them, even though I think the electrician hung them a little high (I had requested 60" above the floor, and he suggested 64"). Why did I agree to this? Another live and learn.

Here is a picture of the entryway on this gray, rainy day in Atlanta (not a lot of natural light for the pictures, unfortunately). The crystal Simon Pearce lamp has returned to its original place in the family room, and now the Baker pleated murano lamp in peridot has taken its place (from the Barbara Barry collection). I purchased it at Mrs. Howard; Phoebe Howard suggested it after I showed her a picture of my entry, and I really love it - it looks like a little glowing jewel in the evening. A small crystal bowl filled with hand painted paper mache eggs (purchased in London 12 years ago) sits atop a small stack of books. I have added a Target seagrass basket for my kids shoes - it makes life a lot easier in the morning, since they are all in one place. Since flowering quince is only in season for a short time in the spring, I usually put seasonal flowers on the left side of the chest. My long suffering orchid has has the place of honor right now since we are traveling so much this summer - it often goes for weeks at a time with no water, although it looks a little worse for the wear. And there is Ben the dog - my walking and house hunting buddy. When he is not out exploring Atlanta neighborhoods with me, he spends most of his time sprawled out on this rug.

Here is the other side of the entryway. One small detail, I changed out the old brass doorknob a few months ago, and got a lever style handle in a oil rubbed bronze finish.


Here is a view of the entire area from the stairs, to get a perspective on the layout.

Here is a view up the stairs (Ben is used to me taking pictures of houses, so he is unperturbed). I used to have a cream colored carpet runner, which was not practical and looked absolutely awful after a few years! I looked and looked for a good carpet to use as a runner; I wanted a different look than sisal.

Once I saw this carpet, Sotheby made by Masland (in nickel), I knew I had had found the perfect runner! Green is my favorite color, and I think green makes an excellent neutral for stairs. This carpet is a wool/polyester blend, and it has held up beautifully. We had it installed 18 months ago, and still looks new. I would like to use this pattern again in my next home! Notice how the shapes in the rug echo the shapes in the Murano chest.

I hope you enjoyed the slow but sure metamorphosis of my entry! I am very open to constructive improvement suggestions, particularly when it comes to the tablescape (I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to tablescapes).


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95 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm awestruck! Your entry is truly beautiful! Love your swirly framed mirror and your sconces look wonderful with it! Sorry you didn't get your way on the height! But it looks great! Also love all the light you have in here! The lamp is beautiful and the carpet for your stairs is so lovely! We recarpeted and put a patterned carpet on our stairs and I love it! Oh, everything is so beautiful! Great job!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  2. What a lovely entry vignette. And I too {heart} Julie Neill. The sconces really make it!

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  3. Your entry is just stunning. I love the mirror, chest, sconces and all the other lovely accessories. So beautifully done. Hugs, Marty

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  4. Your entry is just beautiful. I LOVE the sconces, the chest of drawers and the lamp. I'm sorry the electrician talked you out of the height you wanted, but it is probably only something you notice.

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  5. What a dreamy entry! The coloration is beautiful. I think all the pieces work terrific together. And the runner on the stairs is gorgeous.

    Even if it takes a while, you get what you want - and it is worth the wait!

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  6. I'm pleasantly distracted by your fan and side lights. My brain wants to see a panorama: to see the whole door, the chair, the window and the stairs all at once. I think my overall feeling is light, the room, the sunlight, the floor, the rug, the pictures - not a dark note in there. From your intaglio post, you have another window at the top of the stair. It's a room I'm sure I'd feel great to be in.

    I've got one of those baskets in my attic, still has my kids' shoes in I think. Ben stays.!!

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  7. Pretty! Really like the colors. And what a pretty dog.:)
    Glenda

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  8. I like the way you have placed the dog in your vignette. He is just the right shade and his size is proportioned perfectly.
    The rest of the entry way is fab too. Well done.

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  9. Wow! What a huge difference!

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  10. What a fabulous entry! So pretty.

    Blessings,
    Marie
    http://emmacallsmemama.com

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  11. Oh how gorgeous!!!!

    I'm not sure I have seen an entryway I have enjoyed touring more than yours.
    It's so welcoming yet elegant.
    Love your beautiful light sconces and the branches. Sigh...:)
    ~Wonderful transformation!
    Your blog is a true inspiration to me and I will be back to visit you often.

    Thank you very much for the kind words on mine as well. I really appreciate it. I do like your idea.

    Have a blessed evening.
    ~Warmly, Melissa :)

    PS Ben is darling too!

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  12. Wow! That is truly breathtaking! And I can hardly take my eyes off of Ben--gorgeous coat on him. Hope to see you over my way someday...

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  13. I'm very fond of that chest also, and I really like the lamp with it. It's an unexpectec combination I think, and it works.

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  14. I have been along for the ride, but it is fun to see the evolution all in one post. It looks wonderful.

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  15. It looks great. I always feel like when you take your time it comes out right!

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  16. You are right, Ben does match the decor - I will freely admit that this was somewhat intentional! I have never owned a dog, and my husband grew up with black labs. I am not a stickler for things being pristine, but with the bleached oak floors and light decor, plus three young children, I thought that a golden retriever would be a good fit for our family (and I gave in after years of campaigning, primarily by my oldest).

    Yes, Ben sheds, and he sheds quite a bit! But, the fur barely shows up against the floor or the rugs. And, doesn't he look handsome in his environment?

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  17. I really love the colors and pieces you have used in your entry - very elegant. The stair runner is stunning and it all works beautifully together...great job!! I especially love Ben :) Ax

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  18. lovely entry and beautiful dog!

    xo,
    cristin

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  19. Absolutely Fan-Tas-TIC! The chest is beautiful - the detailing, oh my!
    And you did an amazing job getting just the right sconces - I think the height looks perfect.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Quite lovely! And Ben is a cutie as well. He even looks color-coordianted. ;-)

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  21. Oh so pretty. It all just looks so great. I love your dog too.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a Blessed Week,
    Sherry

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  22. I love the chest. And the dog certainly knows how to pose for a picture!

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  23. Yes, Ben was supposed to be a showdog but had a slight physical abnormality that prevented this from happening...I often think he would have made a great showdog given his photogenic demeanor and his showdog strut!

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  24. Your entry looks fabulous, just like a picture out of a high-end decorating magazine! Ben looks like such a sweet dog, too.

    Jane

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  25. Those sconces are worth whatever they cost!!! And I don't think they are too high--Don't change the dog--he's a keeper :)

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  26. Wow! This is really beautiful! I love the mirror and the sconces are magical next to it...but the chest is amazing!! You've done an outstanding job here!

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  27. Your entryway is Stunning! I absolutely love it! That chest is Beautiful!

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  28. Beautiful!! Love the custom sconces and the whole look & feel - elegant. All the natural light is terrific too.

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  29. Very beautiful ! I love that chest and the colors - are yummy !
    Hugs ~ Kammy

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  30. Love the evolution of the entry hall - it is just beautiful. I have a soft heart for dogs and Ben is wonderful! I am not sure if you know how lucky you are that he is so cooperative and photogenic!

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  31. Looks wonderful!! And I love love love your stair runner! Hadn't seen that yet- It looks fabulous!

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  32. Your entryway is stunning. And I do love your stair runner as well. Am shopping around for one and am completely inspired by your choice.

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  33. Beautiful!! Love the chest and the sconces...now I want to see more of your house!

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  34. Your entryway is gorgeous. I.love.it!

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  35. Just beautiful! I think the sconces look great where they are, and I love how your dog has made the two photos he's in look just like a magazine shot (you know how they always get the homeowner's pets in the pictures)!

    I like a chest in an entry as well. I put one in mine about 10 years ago and did so mainly so I could have a place to corral hats, gloves, scarves, mittens, etc., and it has worked out great for us.

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  36. Thank you for the comments, everyone. I must admit, I have a lot of chest of drawers around the house, but I use every inch of them for storage!

    The one in my front hall is for the mail. My husband travels a lot, so I get the mail and immediately sort it out right in the front hall - my stuff, his stuff, and trash - the stuff we keep goes in the top drawer. I have nice placemats and tablecloths and such in one of the other drawers, and the middle drawer is for miscellaneous - fabric samples, this and that.

    We are lucky that Ben is such a calm dog - he is only 1 1/2 years old, but he is very mellow. I think all of his walks helps manage his energy level! Today we went on a 90 minute walk while I collected pictures for a future post :).

    As soon as I get some pillows made, I will post my bedroom transformation. I am buying the fabric on Tuesday!

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  37. Beautiful!! What a great entryway. It is so fresh and calming. I must admit though - Ben is just as beautiful. (The black lab my brother had for 19 years was also named Ben.) Thanks for stopping by my blog. ~Anna

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  38. entry ways are so important to our "comings and goings..." :)

    love that chest!

    great progression...

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  39. Such a gorgeous entryway. So welcoming, too. I love the changes you have made; the peridot lamp is perfect! And the stair runner is lovely.

    But Ben is the star of the piece! What a soulful charmer.

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  40. You did a wonderful job -- very chic, cool, and sophisticated. Yet you kept it inviting and family-friendly. VERY nice balance -- congratulations!

    Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog. I liked what you said about lampshades being like "the jewelry of a home!"
    Hope your week goes well!

    Bill @ Affordable Accoutrements

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  41. Love it all, the runner is beautiful, I have wanted to put in a subtle pattern for some time now.The stacked art is amazing, who is it by?

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  42. Love your rug,
    Love your sconces - they absolutely make that space for me,
    and LOVE LOVE LOVE Ben!

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  43. Beautiful! Loved hearing the progression of how you chose each piece. I LOVE your chest...it's really beautiful and looks perfect there! The sconces are truly wonderful...great design. I love the way you described the lamp in the evening...sounds soooo lovely! Ben is a cutie...I just see love for you in his sweet face. :-) Susan

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  44. Like what you have done! looks great.

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  45. So lovely to see inside your beautiful home. I love everything in your entryway arrangement and I am quite fond of the chest, even if it is the wrong finish! It is quite distinctive and adds that element of texture, (at least visual texture if not the tactile sort - ). I especially love your stair runner - what a wonderful pattern - so it's green? It looks cream/beige from the photo.

    Love everything. It never even occurred to me that one could have a sisal mat made to order. I will have to check with my carpet stores - I have a downstairs hallway that sorely needs a runner.

    The lamp from Mrs. Howard is also stunning but I must admit that I liked the lucite (or crystal was it?) one more in that location! But I bet it looks like a jewel at night.

    You've done a splendid job and nice to see your impeccable taste all gathered together! And nice to see someone who is as painfully slow as me. I wish I had access to the decor resources you do in Atlanta (and also your budget!), but I must admit that with more choices, I am afraid I'd never get anything done. So marvellous job you!!

    xo T.

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  46. That is a very striking entry! They say that your entry should give your guest a snapshot of your home. This says elegant! Very lovely!

    ~Liz

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  47. I have learned a lesson...I will use my golden (a deeper gold than Ben) as my reason for needing new floors! I must find a color that matches him!

    Ben's beautiful, as is your entry. Thanks for sharing it. :)

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  48. You did such a nice job - it looks wonderful!

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  49. Fantastic entrance.

    I really like your adorable blonde friend you had posing for us!

    TTFN~~Claudia ♥

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  50. Wow - very elegant and well put together. I just love it all!

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  51. Looks lovely and livable. And Ben looks ready to retrieve what needs to be retrieved. All good!

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  52. Oh, the runner is beautiful! And I loveteh mirror, andthe chest of drawers is very nice too! :)

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  53. Your Golden is the absolute best finishing touch!:o)He even matches!

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  54. Beautiful, simple and elegant! I love what you've done! Deborah

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  55. Wow, I love everything so it's hard to know where to start. Julie did such a wonderful job with your sconces. They really are perfect with that gorgeous mirror. I love the frame. It adds a bit of femininity, doesn't it?
    Your Murano chest looks fantastic. I know you mentioned the finish issue, but it looks great to me!
    Buying custom furniture is always a challenge. So many things can go wrong, but it is the only way to get exactly what you want. I won't go into the mistakes that I have made, but let's just say that I have made my share.
    How exciting to get advice from Phoebe Howard! The murano lamp adds a perfect hint of pale color.
    Oh, I could go on and on....
    Gorgeous job.
    I can't wait to see your bedroom!

    xo
    Brooke

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  56. I adore that chest, just the way it is! I think it's quite beautiful. But then I like "rustic." You made a very pretty entrance vignette here. Welcoming to all who enter!
    Brenda

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  57. This looks great! The sconces are really beautiful and the color of the entry is such a great neutral. Ben is really cute too :)

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  58. Your entry way could be in a magazine! How spacious and elegant. I just love it! Amy :)

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  59. Thank you for the nice comments, everyone! It is a little nerve-wracking to post images of my own home, as I usually post magazine photos, so I appreciate the positive response!

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  60. Michele@Michele Beatty Interior DesignJuly 6, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Beautiful job...I love the chest and the sconces. Also can relate to the reluctance to show your own home. As an interior designer I always feel like my home should look like the ones I design for my clients but because it is always a work in progress, it never feels "done" to me. Your entry feels welcoming and filled with light and you should be proud!

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  61. This is such a treat, thank you! To share all your thoughts, the details, the information, the (hard) lessons learned, and also to see the progress makes for a wonderful post and space.

    I think the chest looks great, and do hope it has grown on you.

    The carpet on the stairs is stunning. I have used a few of their patterned carpets before, but not this one, and I am certainly inspired to do so as soon as I can :)

    It is truly a beautiful space. Very much grateful you posted and shared with us all. Thank you.

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  62. That's beautiful, it looks right out of a magazine! Soft and welcoming!
    I hope you have a fabulous week!
    ~Really Rainey~

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  63. Here by way of Cote de Texas. Your entryway is just gorgeous!!!!! Thanks for sharing. Don't change a thing! It is restrained and beautiful. I imagine a feeling of calm every time you walk through the front door. Lovely!

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  64. Your entry looks so fresh and airy! Everything has really come together so well.

    Also, the 4 of July post was great--as was the Newport post. Oh, gee--they are all so good and well thought out. Thanks so much for taking the time to research and hunt for all of us. We really enjoy it!

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  65. Drool worthy. And I don't hand that accolade out lightly.

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  66. your home is so beautiful! the carpet is amazing

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  67. Absolute perfection. That lamp is a shimmering jewel and I just LOVE Ben! A-M xx

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  68. Gorgeous!! If I walked into your home, I would immediately know that you do indeed love where you live. And, as a result, I'd feel very comfortable. Really pretty. Love the sconces. cheers, -susan

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  69. Great entryway redo. It's very fresh and airy. I am also in search of the perfect sisal rug. Many I've found were too rough for my little one's feet! I also like the pattern of your staircase runner. Well done!

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  70. Thanks for the picture from the stair so we can see more of the room. And thanks for your courage to show everybody.

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  71. The scones are to die for!!!!! Is she allowed to redo them for someone else???? Hint..hint.
    The entryway looks so scrumptious. Maybe if you raise the mirror a few inches the sconces won't look so high to you....to me its just fab!!!!

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  72. This is beautiful! Glad to find your blog! Lu

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  73. Your entry looks great...so clean and inviting! Thanks for mentioning where you got your area rug...I checked out their website and they have a great selection. Your Ben makes me miss my Kenai...sweet doggy. The carpeting you chose going up your stairs is great...I like the pattern.
    Well done...thanks for sharing.

    Blessings...

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  74. I forgot to mention how I adore the sconces that Julie Neill made for you. I love her designs and got to visit her shop and workroom earlier this year. She is one talented lady...I would love to have one (or more) of her designs. They look fabulous over your chest!

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  75. Everything you've done is gorgeous...those sconces are incredible and Ben looks really sweet! ;-)

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  76. your dog looks adorable! love the look!

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  77. That is so stunning! And your dog in the photo is so perfect. (hey how did I miss this post, I haven't received your subscription in a few days). I can't miss any!!

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  78. This is beyond beautiful! I love every tiny detail from the mirror, the little eggs and the dog!! You should post more pictures of your work because it is just outstanding!!

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  79. I'm drooling over your chest - rustic finish or not. It looks great in your photos. But I will keep in mind about the finishes if I ever order anything from them. I also love the runner on your stairs. Your entry is just beautiful. So bright and welcoming. ~ Robyn

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  80. Your entry is beautiful :-) And Ben is the perfect finishing touch to your wonderful decorating :-)

    Love the sconces and the chest -- the circle motif on the front is fab!!

    I also really like the runner on your stairs. We're looking for a runner for our two staircases, but we can't find anything even remotely appealing. I'll have to see if I can find this one -- thanks for providing the link :-)

    Kelly

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  81. I discovered you via Pamela's The House of Edward, and what a lovely find you are! I shall return!

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  82. I love it! Open and bright, warm and inviting! It's just gorgeous! Your pooch is adorable too! :)

    ~Karla @ It's The Little Things...

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  83. Your entry is beautiful! The chest...those sconces...the mirror! FAB!

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  84. I would be very happy to come home, to your entry.
    The sconces are lovely. Your dog is my favorite accessory.
    pve

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  85. I just found your blog tonight after flying back to NC from Washington, DC. I wish that I had found your post last week so that I could have visited this amazing shop while I was in town!

    Thanks for showcasing your home! I am so proud that you have the Murano Chest in your home. It is an amazing piece and I love the finish you chose for it!

    hccuniversity.blogspot.com

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  86. What a gorgeous entry you have! You have inspired me to get going on my own. We have been here for three years and it's still a blank canvas.

    I especially loved your carpet on the stairs. In fact, the day after you posted, I went to my local carpet store to get the board and it was out! Perhaps I'm not the only one up here outside Boston who saw your post...

    I found your blog a few months ago and have loved going back through your older posts. You have a great sense of style and I get excited when I see a new post in my reader!

    Thanks for inspiring us!

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  87. Gorgeous! I could swear those are the same sconces I searched and searched for (they appeared in The Nanny Diaries - probably the same Upper East Side sets for GG!) and never found. Good for you for finding them. They're beautiful. I don't think they're too high either.

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