Monday, March 16, 2009

Sensible Luxury Entry

Giving a new house character is a tall order. In this newly constructed home, the European styling starts in the entryway. The staircase mixes wood and iron, a classic Spanish touch. Natural light, a neutral palette, and curvy furniture add to the international flair.

This Southwestern-style foyer, part of a whole-house renovation, includes beautifully arched passageways created with plywood, bendable lath, metal corners, and a plasterlike compound.

Subtle colors, quiet patterns, and graceful antiques help this charming entry embrace the softer side of country French style. A tone-on-tone wallpaper and an 18th-century Italian bench give this new home the calm elegance of a timeworn French estate.

In this home, the soaring entry hall is like the center of a wheel with the other rooms radiating from it. Racing up the staircase like switchbacks, twisted-iron balusters steer the eye upward where the drama unfolds with a gridlike box-beam ceiling in the adjacent great-room.

This whitewashed entryway is brought to life with a hefty dose of lipstick red. Two wicker ottomans painted in the bright shade are tucked under a table for extra seating when needed. Graphic red and black accessories complete the funky look.

Although this home is new, its three-story balustrade is true to Federal farmhouses of the area. Plain white plasterwork and wood molding distinctively set off heirloom furnishings, including an antique grandfather clock and demilune table.

As an ode to the ocean outside its walls, this Key West home is all dressed up in island style. The look starts in the entry, which includes Colonial-inspired furniture with intricate carvings, a giant conch shell, Caribbean artwork, and woodwork that appears weathered by the sea.

A custom hand-hooked rug and painted walls add subtle dashes of color in this entry hall. A formally planted garden hints at the design of the interior, which employs comfortable contemporary upholstery, antiques, and a mix of decorative objects.

To make this entryway open and airy, a solid wall was removed and replaced with an architecturally appealing screen of cherrywood slats. The wood screen, floors, and stairs give the area a modern and organic feeling, which is further emphasized by the light-colored walls.

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