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Monday, November 15, 2010

"An entryway is an introduction...."

"An entryway is an introduction.
Like the opening pages of a book, it leads us in and welcomes us to the world inside."
~Rose Tarlow~

Welcome to our world inside!
Come in, won't you?!!

Large dried gourd in an antique urn mixed with gourds and pumpkins at the front door; wicker basket holds shoes, rain boots, dog toys and towels for wet puppy feet!

The newel post was a tired, stained wood when we bought the house. I had it painted a gloss black to make it pop, and to make the statement that this is the entry! This is the same gloss black paint as the front door.
Antique chest holds: antique mirror with vintage oil painting leaning against it; antique wooden pediment fragment that serves as candle holder; vintage hotel silver tray that holds orchid and assortment of car keys, sunglasses and letters waiting to be mailed; lamp with linen shade was originally a vintage iron "smoking stand" which Dan turned into a lamp- the matchbox-holder from the stand is now the lamp's finial.
Antique French urn sitting on the floor holds ivy.
Collection of antique tortoiseshell frame mirrors on wall.
All of the walls in the farmhouse are plaster and are painted shades of gray.

Photo taken from the living room.
If you were to stand at the front door facing the base of the stairs and you turned right, that is the Dining Room (you can see a chair in this photo), if you turn left that is the Living Room. If you were to walk past the entry chest and turn to the left (behind the living room) that is the Reading Room. If you go past the entry chest and turn to the right (under the staircase) this will take you into the Kitchen. The stairs will take you up to the bedrooms.

View of the front door coming down the stairs.
Vintage alabaster chandelier was found at the Paris Flea Market at Porte de Clignancourt.
Antique rug.

Close-up of antique tortoiseshell frame mirrors. The top two we found at the Paris Flea Market. The top frame has a story that is worthy of it's own post! The bottom tortoiseshell framed mirror was found in Jackson, Mississippi.

Afternoon sunlight on the entry chest.

150 year old treads.... I love the wear.

Thank you for coming in!
I hope you'll come visit again.


  1. The pictures look great! I feel so privileged that I have actually seen this beautiful entryway in person. Can I come back soon? I miss you, Dan and those sweet puppy feet ;) Tell Ella that Norah Belle and Chandler send their love.

  2. Hi Joan and Dan: Welcoming...very welcoming home! Thanks for another beautiful post.

  3. Awesome house. I love the architectural features of the old staircase, wide mouldings, etc.

    It's really nice to see how you pulled everything together--I love the front porch vignette, very fall and inviting.

    That paint color in the entry is great. It looks crisp and goes well with the white trim, dark wood floors.


  4. Such a beautiful post! What exquisite taste you have!! So looking forward to hearing about the mirror-story.....

  5. A very welcoming entry from the front door. I love how evrything you used tells a story and is important.

  6. Oh WOW Joan and Dan,

    I can't thank you enough for sharing. I can visualise where everything is from your explanations. Loved seeing more photo's of your stunning house.

    American farmhouses have SO much more character than what we have here (sigh). Look forward to more photo's when you are ready.
    Take care
    Tasmania, Australia

  7. WOW! I love everything! Especially the tortoiseshell frames. You are so talented!


  8. Love every bit of it, especially since I haven't actually been able to walk through that front door, YET! Your style is so lovely, Joan, and your ability to edit and place your treasures where they show best is so good. Thanks for sharing your special home. xo Ann

  9. dear joanie,

    omg. is it christmas? i can't believe you let me in. i've been stalking you for well over a year now and you finally let me in. lesson - persistence pays off. where do i start? ok, first your perfect descriptions of the layout of the downstairs, and the details of all the elements of the entryway are spot on. the pictures are stunning. they are just what i thought they would be too. your attention to detail is what separates you from the rest of us joan. i love it all and i'm sure the pictures don't do it justice. they never do. but it is just beautiful. you need to write a book entitled, for the love of a house. you really do. i love the crispness of the white, grey and glossy black. the stair treads are amazing too. ok, i'll shut up now, but i'll be back soon.


  10. Love seeing your entry. From the front door to the tortoise shell frames - beautiful. You can't beat the charm of a well-loved farm house.

  11. Hi Joan,
    Thanks for the invitation - I've been waiting for this day!
    It is very apparent that you have filled your home with not only timeless and beautiful things but I love that they all have stories and memories attached to them.
    The first thing that I noticed was that GORGEOUS newel post. It really makes a grand statement painted glossy that!
    I could go on and on about everything I find just beautiful - I seem to overuse that word - but really, it's all so beautiful and very cozy. I love all the contrast with the bright white and the floors are amazing. Aren't time worn treads on the stairs a wonderful thing to live with...that's real history that you can never recreate.
    Your love for your home really shows - thank you for the visit.

  12. I have a bunch of questions. What color are your walls; is that the Simply White you're famous for? Did you open up the wall between the living room and front foyer? That's really lovely. Were your stair treads painted when you bought the house? I too love that worn edge. Love that you painted your front door casing black. Love the mirrors and how they reflect the light. It's a very warm, welcoming space. I wish I had a larger entryway like that.

  13. I will surely visit you again, such a lovely house you have.

    Lovely greetings from Holland,

  14. Joan, you have a positively stunning way of putting things together. The lovely wear on your rugs, your wonderful mirror finds, and your lighting choices are all just perfect. Yet, I think, the restraint you use is just as important as the items you choose.

    Can't thank you enough for this lovely look at your style and your home.


  15. Beautiful entryway Joan abd the tortoise shell frames are some of my favorites.

  16. Kristen- You are now family my sweet! You can come back anytime!!
    Cindy- Thank you!
    Simone- Thank you so much for your comment.
    Just Martha- The mirror story involves the Paris Flea Market and the Louvre!!
    Red Door- Hi! Yes, EVERYTHING has a story! If someone is interested in antiques it can take hours to get through the house!:)
    Janine- Thank you! Wonder why farmhouses are so different down under?!
    Jenny- Thank you! Love you too!
    Ann- You WILL see it one day!! I loved your comment as my motto is "edit, edit, edit!!!"
    Janet- I would have shown photos a year ago, but I was just testing YOU!! I wanted to see how much you loved me!!:)
    Brooke- Hopefully you'll see it in person in May;)!
    Michele- It is indeed well-loved! In fact just the other day Dan said he loves living here more with each passing day!!
    Sarah- Oh please, go on;)!!! Thank you. You always leave such wonderful compliments!
    Steve- Actually I think it's Trina who's famous for Simply White- I used White Dove throughout! The walls are BM Ashwood OC-47 in eggshell. It's a soft gray that has some green and putty tones. "We" didn't take down the wall between the living room and the foyer, but someone did!! It really opens up the space, as otherwise the rooms are small in the front of the house. I love that they did that! Treads were not painted (thankfully;) And you have quite the eye for detail my friend! The black door casing was a trick I came up with to camouflage an unlevel door frame! Luckily the whole house is very straight and level (especially for a 150 year old house) except for the front door, go figure. I had the painter paint a "level" line actually above the door frame on the shingles to fool the eye, and it works great!
    Jeanette- I can't tell you how fun it is to have a guest from Holland! And, please do come visit again!
    Donna- Thank you!! I love the "Simplicity" quote on my sidebar and use the saying often... that what you don't put in is just as important as what you do! (or to that effect;)
    Debra- Thank you! Now, must work on getting you to the house to see it in person!:)

  17. ...finally being able to come through that door was more than worth the wait!...every single thing is perfectly can't wait to go up those stairs ...(not to mention visiting the kitchen and other downstairs rooms)

  18. I am in heaven when I visit you and Trina and Steve. What wonderful houses you all have. I have followed your updates and was so happy to finally get in the front door!! That's been me peeking through all the windows. :) Pats to Ella. Love it all!!!!

  19. hi joan,

    i'm back with a bowl of soup to look again at all the little details. i want to redo my whole house. you def have a way with things. i adore that rug and am kicking myself b/c i was at a yard sale recently and passed up an old worn rug that is very similar. what was i thinking? arghhh. i also have a very old concrete pediment piece such as yours and mine is in the garden somewhere and now i want it in my house. i need a chest like yours too. and of course i want to paint my house white this instant. it's taking everything i've got to not pick up the phone. this is ridiculous. you are killing me.

  20. A very warm welcome and inviting beautiful space! I love you newel post, is that an acorn finial on top?

  21. Absolutely beautiful, really truly.

    Well done!


  22. I love your pictures! Where did you find the darling lights for the front porch?

  23. Hi Joan, This is such a beautiful entryway. I love the chest, mirror and the wonderful way you have it accessorized!
    Hugs, Sherry

  24. Rm17- Thank you!
    laney- Your comments always make my day! Which room should I show next?!
    Dianne- I am honored to be in Trina and Steve's company... thank you! Off to clean the window glass;)!
    Janet- sweet Janet! Go back, maybe they still have the rug;) I wish my wood pediment could talk- would love to know where he's been!
    A&A- It's not an acorn, but now that you mention it it does have abstract acorn lines!
    MamaB- Thank you so much!
    Anon- Under the "everything in the house has a story" tag here is a link you can cut and paste that tells the story of the front porch light! We found it in Maine, and just adore that fixture!
    Sherry- Thank you for your comment!!

  25. hi joan- had such a long day so i stopped by for a little mistake- BIG TREAT!!!

    thank you!!!
    your home is so welcoming....and you're able to make it seem so effortless-

    its....well....simply dreamy.

  26. I think those stair treads are my fave...imagine the feet, and hands that have moved down the stairs and rail!

    I soooooo miss liing in an old house....this is our newest. And I am soooo done with it!

    Beautiful, girl, just as I had imagined.

  27. What a great photo of your porch. I have been trying to paint my front porch ceiling blue and testing sample blues. Can't seem to find the right color. Our houses are VERY similar. What color did you use?

  28. Oh Joan what a wonderful entry! I have always wanted an entry with the staircase in it and yours is PERFECT. I LOVE that beautiful chest ..such lovely rich patina and I'm hoping you'll tell us the story of that top picture frame ;) I LOVE all the nooks and crannies in an old home such as sure don't get that character from new homes today. You have done a wonderful restoration to this should be proud of yourselves. Thank you for sharing your entry with us...I enjoyed my visit. I hope you're having a wonderful day up there in the's windy and misty here in our part of Kansas today and I'm so glad we got our new woodstove just in time for the bad weather. Take care.
    Maura :)

  29. are so gracious to personally respond to our comments (southerners know gracious when they hear it...and i do spy a southern blue ceiling on that porch)... perhaps i joined a bit late and you have already done so...but could you tell us a bit of the history of your house...who built it...lived and loved in i am typing i am thinking to check your any event i would love to hear the house's story along with yours... houses do indeed tell stories... speak to us...and give us their blessings...i am certain this house will have a very special thanksgiving...

  30. Hi, thanks for the invitation, which the fancy door and entrance you have .... often look in on your blog and I am always inspired by your amazing pictures, I always look forward to look in to you, is lagging behind with my job time, unfortunately I work too much ...
    Take care

  31. Joan!
    Absolutely delicious photographs of your beautiful home. Everything is stunning and I love that it all has a story. I'll be right over for a cup of tea in your ever so cozy and inviting home! AND love your new blog look!
    Hugs, Trina

  32. Very welcoming indeed!
    You create such beauty Joan.
    i can't imagine anyone who wouldn't feel honored to be invited into your home.


  33. Carolyn- Thank you, and I'm so glad you stopped by!

    Joni- You're too kind, thank you!

    Linda-I do often wonder about the souls who lived here before us; especially the person who designed and built the house. What I wouldn't give to have a conversation with that person!

    Karen- the porch ceilings have California Paints "Smoke and Mirrors" DE5770. A "similar" Benjamin Moore color is "Summer Showers" 2135-60; it's not an exact match, but similar! I found I needed to go lighter and brighter that I expected since it is a bit darker in the shadows of the ceiling.

    Emom- thank you!

    Maura- I will do a post on the frame! It's really a fun story!

    laney- I so agree that houses speak to us and tell stories. Unfortunately we don't know much about the house. I have a lead I need to follow up on, and we want to research the title, just haven't yet- hopefully this winter! The little I do know is that our house once was part of our neighbor's large estate. Our house faces that house instead of the road and our antique maples continue in a row right through his property. Our house was listed on the town map of 1858. We recently found a patented date of 1852 on some window hardware.

    Ulrika- Thank you so much for leaving your comment and regularly checking in! I so greatly appreciate ALL the comments that I recieve, as they give me motivation to keep blogging! Thanks!

    Trina- tea is on! Can't wait to see you and the babies;)

    Brooke- Thank you so much for your lovely compliment.

  34. Just hang on a moment, I think I hear MOTH struggling with our luggage up the front porch steps Joan! I can't help him though, as I'm having such a lovely time admiring your warm & welcoming entry hall & giving you a big, big hug. I hope your Thanksgiving is just as warm & beautiful as you two are!
    Millie & MOTH ^_^

  35. Ah! I love the tortoiseshell mirrors, and wish I could click on the picture to view them up close. So beautiful! I look forward to your post about them. As well, every time I see the fabric on your hall chair I swoon. Another post?

    More please!

  36. Oh Joan I just love everything about your house. You have such an eye for picking just the right things. Hope you had a great holiday too. Kara

  37. I do enjoy your decorating- casual elegance! The black on the newel post was an excellent choice! Your stairs look wonderful, I'm glad you didn't remove the original treads, so much history! Love the frames...great layout!

  38. love your glad I found you!

  39. OMG!!! GORGEOUS!!! Stunning, gorgeous - words escape me, and that's hard to do! Love love love your work!

  40. Wow- amazing! I love the gloss black on the front door and newel post! Beautiful! And I love how you painted the front porch ceiling a light blue. It oftentimes is a forgotten place to change up the color. Very well done!

  41. Your house is more fun to look at than a Martha Stewart catalog!

  42. Just found your blog, you have an amazingly beautiful and welcoming home! Enjoy it and working on it, I'll be reading! :)

  43. Just found you through blogland. I love your home! The post below this one gave me a lump in my throat...why do I live here in Illinois?? I lived in Swanzey Center, New Hampshire for three years as a little girl, and returned to work there for three Summers at a camp. My husband and I met there, and it's our favorite vacation spot. Everytime I go, I don't want to go back home. It's not in the cards to move....maybe someday. In the meantime I can live vicariously through you and others I know right?! :)

  44. You have a very warm and welcoming home entryway.

  45. Hello. I ended up here from google image search. I was wondering if it would be ok for me to use one of the pictures posted here (EntryI.jpg) in a small video I am making. I need a living room in the background.

    I'll be waiting for your answer. Thank You!

  46. Hello Radu, Thank you so much for asking, I greatly appreciate that. After looking at video number 2 and loving your Elvis impersonation :) I am inclined to say ok, but can you first tell me what the video is about before I give you an answer, and I would love to know what country you are in! Thank you. You can reply here or email me at

  47. I replied with an email.
    Thank You

  48. I love your entry, it is so warm and welcoming!

  49. Hello:)
    I also believe the idea of making your entry the introduction of your home. Yours is very lovely, I am liking the beautiful black banister at the bottom of your stairs. Love the idea of putting a dresser by the stairs too. It really looks so cozy. You have really pretty area rugs, please tell me you found them on Craigslist:)Thanks for sharing your lovely blog.

  50. My favorite thing is the antique wooden pediment/ candle holder. I look all over for one. Your home is so charming and beautiful. I am trying to see any posts I have missed. XO

  51. Wow, wow, wow. Love the entry way, do you have photos of the outside online? I have found a few, but did you do an exterior renovation as well? Would love to feature your house on our Before & After section!

    1. Yes, if you go to the sidebar and look under "topics of interest" and then "exterior" you will find several pages of exterior renovations!

  52. What paint color is your porch ceiling? We are searching for the perfect blue for our backporch ceiling, and I love this.

    1. Mrs. Volker, All paint info is on my sidebar - click "my paint and stain colors."

  53. Hi, your house is beautiful. Can you tell me what color you painted your interior entry as well as your kitchen? Can you also tell me where you purchased your kitchen cabinet hardware?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Please see the above comment!
      Kitchen details can be found here...

  54. Your home and your blog are beautiful. Keep up the fabulous work!😀😀😀😀

  55. Hi Joan,
    Your home is beautiful!! I have been following fortheloveofahouse/blog for about 8 years. I love the way you make every inch of your home look loved and lived in. I have a question? My husband and I are empty nesters and will be building our dream home on a small lake in Georgia within the next year. I am trying to pick out a house plan now but when thinking of building and decorating I want to make this new home look like it has been around for a little while. I don't like the brand new feel of a new home. Is there a book you would recommend for me to read when making my choices that would help me with what I am trying to accomplish? I love every room of your home! Thank you for any recommendations. Tamela

  56. Do you have a picture of the top of your stairs where your railing ends? We are building a house and it seems as though our staircase may be similar to yours in how the railing will need to be run up the steps. It is hard for me to visualize what it will look like with the balusters running right next to the wall and terminating on a post that is at the top of the stairs. Thanks!


Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one. Comments are moderated by me prior to publishing on the blog, so if you don't see your comment post immediately it will be posted as soon as I receive and read it. joan