Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Front Entry - before and after

The photo above is from when we first obtained the keys to the house exactly a year ago today. It doesn't seem possible that we've been here nearly a year. However, there is oh so much more to do to the Sow's Ear.

The front entry was one of the first projects Jason tackled when we moved in mid May last year. It is one of my most favourite rooms in the house. It has an open, airy, uncluttered feel which I adore.

The entry gets the lovely warm winter sun in the morning and cool afternoon breezes on a summer's afternoon - a really good place to hang out with a book and drink.

In the above picture there used to be VJs (vertical join) boards nailed over the green painted area. It was a very crude effort and looked out of place. We suspect it was done to hide the electrical wires which snake their way along the walls. It was probably VJ-less originally, but we're not sure.

We thought it best to line it with VJs again but add cornice and a frame to give it a more finished look. As you can see from the above picture, this room was orignially a deep sea green.

This is the door to the study and that's a glimpse of Jason (fully clothed? It was winter) filling the gaps between the VJs before painting the entire room. The study door was also frameless.

This is what the entry looks like today.

It took about two weeks for the entire project with work done on weekends and week nights. White paint magically transformed this formerly bland entry. It cost approximately $500 to refresh this room - for new timber, VJs, paint and other building materials.

I like that this room makes a statement about what to expect when you enter our home - it is certainly a departure from what is traditionally expected in a Queenslander home in the burbs.

The Marimekko fabric hanging, I made myself. I bought a good quality large stretched canvas from Eckersley's in Milton (best and friendliest art store in Brisbane) and simply stapled the Marimekko Mini-Unikko fabric onto it. A very effective way to obtain instant, happy colour.

The Butterfly Chair was purchased from Katherine at theoldboathouse a number of years ago. I have another adult sized chair under the house which needs a cover. I was thinking of getting orange with white piping, so I can have the Holy Trinity of citrus the name of the lemon and the lime and the blood-red orange...

The large white Chinese lantern was about $8 from an Asian homewares store and replaced the green plastic shade that offended me so much.

The new VJs above the front lattice door. Neater and seamless.

In this picture you can see the frame Jason made for the VJs, above the lattice.

The yellow child's butterfly chair was a gift from friends when our first child was born. A very funky present.

Another friend gave us the swirly black cast iron table when she was de-cluttering for her move to North Queensland. The retro style planter was bought from Katherine at theoldboathouse - she has some great finds. The mothers-in-law tongue plant was from our backyard.

In this photograph you can see the door frame Jason made. It definitely presents a more finished look.

The vintage anodised bullet planter was an ebay purchase and it cost $17 including postage from Bundaberg. An absolute bargain. The spider plant was from my Mum's backyard.

The Jack and Jill coat hooks, which are made in South Australia, were from Great Dane. They were $25 each.

The bus roll we have had for years. Our mate Chris used to collect vintage Brisbane vinyl bus rolls and had this one framed decades ago before they were ever fashionable. When he moved house to a different suburb, he gave it to us because he knew we like a bit of Brisbane history and we also live in one of the suburbs listed.

(Also for Ange from Signed by Ange,  my fabric handbag was bought at the BrisStyle Indie Designer's Market last December from acreaturestrange who also operates an Etsy store.)

So, there you have the story of our front entry.


  1. love it so much. All the slightly disparate elements work really well together. The ONLY improvement I would make is one of those square hanging light things I can't even remember their name your Chinese light looks brilliant but I feel square something would be even better. xoxo

  2. Thanks Jane. Where does one get a square hanging light thing? Something square would look good - the Chinese lantern is really an el cheapo fix until a better shade enters my life. But I never really thought about square. A great suggestion.

  3. What a great spot to relax and enjoy your Mothers Day lunch and that husband (on behalf of your kids) will be preparing for you;-)
    Isn't the weather glorious today.

  4. It looks fabulous! You've done a great job! It's so good to look back and see what you have achieved, isn't it? The door frame looks like it has always been there. It's funny as I see that same colour under all the layers at our place. It must have been in fashion...and I also have a very large red marimekko print at home too!

  5. what an incredible job you guys have done with it! i love those buttterfly chairs - so cool.


  6. You realy have put a lot of work into your gorgeous home and it shows. The front entrance is welcoming and is so representative of your styles and tastes. I love it!

    Hope you have had a fabulous Mother's day.

    Take care and best wishes for a great week, Anita.

  7. You and your husband always do nice work. What a great entry way. Love the hooks and the bright Marimeko.


  8. Oh lovely! I've seen lots of the individual bits before out it's great to see it all together, and FINALLY I know what VJs are - I didn't like to ask in case the whole world except me knew. I may have to borrow your idea of the fabric over a canvas frame - I was thinking of using some of my fabric-stash like that but was considering making my own frame, something which I know I'd keep fruitlessly considering for years.

    Jack and Jill are my friends now - I miss them whenever they're not in your blog posts.

  9. i didnt know what VJs were either:)
    great job. everything together looks amazing.
    i still cant get over how clean the floor is!

  10. I didn't know what VJs were either. And I'm Australian. But not a Queenslander. How embarrassment. Now I, like Mise, know. What a relief. I can see why you like them. I like them too. xoxo

  11. I can't believe how much you have achieved in a year! Considering you have done most of the work yourself plus you have three small boys. I love your entry it is so fresh and smart and I think the colour for your other butterfly chair is a great idea, it will also flow nicely into the colours in the next room and the stained glass panels. I feel very chuffed and lucky to have had a small part in the creation of the room, thanks for the lovely mention, cheers Katherine

  12. find the funkiest, grooviest things. You might have even inspired me to look for a reno.. I'm scared of them... hey thanks for your support and kind words always... really appreciated. A-M xx

  13. This brings back memories. I did a cottage at Nundah many years ago and think I still have the callouses on my pointer finger from smoothing the No More Gaps into the VJ's. That house would never fall down as it was held together with No More Gaps.

    Jennifer XX

  14. You guys do such stylish makeovers. Your entry looks so uncluttered, light and welcomming. Please show more summer reno's so we can see Jason sans shirt again;)

  15. Hey, Anita! Thanks for the link for the great bag. I've been out of action blogwise as you can tell. What a great post and you must be really pleased to see all the changes and the progress you've made in a year! I'm an oldfashioned girl myself; Love having the sink by a window ...
    Well done you guys - you make me want to live in a QLDer!!


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