(Part 1) Empty Entry: The Making of an Entryway



Tori McBrien EntrywayI’ve always found it funny when people say to me, “Your home must be amazing!” It seems to be a common misconception that an interior designer’s home is as perfect as his/her clients’. Well, when it comes to my home, that hasn’t been the case, at least not yet. My husband and I bought our first house and spent years renovating and designing it, turning it into the home we wanted. It took us four years just to finish our basement due not only to our penchant for perfectionism (we’ve both been cursed with the affliction) but also because we have busy work schedules and decided to start our family during the process. It was the addition of those two beautiful kids that nudged us out of the recently perfected home we had created. So, this past summer, with a little reluctance to leave after seven years of blood, sweat and tears, we sold it to move into a new house which we hope will be our “forever home.”

Entryway tips

This new house is one that needs a major overhaul. Yes, the bones are great, the property is fantastic and it is nestled in a great neighborhood within walking distance to the local elementary school. Many visiting our house would think, “This is amazing. There’s no need to renovate.” However, the layout and flow are….let’s just say interesting. So we bought this home knowing in a few years we will need a pretty decent renovation, something that will have to happen in the hopefully, not too distant, future. The issue is I’m an interior designer. I want my home to reflect our style and showcase what I am capable of, not what the previous owners’ preferred. And because it’s my own home and I’m both the client and the designer, I’m impatient. I constantly tell my own clients how important the design process is and not to rush too quickly into anything. But it’s hard to follow my own advice. I have to sit on my hands to keep myself from diving into a renovation. With all that said, I HAVE to work on something or I’ll go stir crazy so I decided to begin with our entryway. Let the design process begin!

Entryway

Programming

The first phase of any interior design project is to start with gathering basic information. Typically, there would be an initial conversation and potential consultation to learn more about the scope of the work and the client(s) themselves. Because it’s my own home, I obviously know the “client” and their living habits quite intimately, so it is really about determining what we like and dislike about the space.

Tori McBrien entrywayOur entry has a lot going for it. Actually, the fact that we even have one is a major bonus in this house. The front door of our previous home opened right into the living room and this one has the potential to become the grand foyer I’ve always wanted. It also has beautiful detailed crown moulding, lots of closet space and has the perfect spot for the new-to-me antique chest I purchased earlier this year on an antique-hunting trip in Parma, Italy with none other than CTC&G editor, DJ Carey.

BUT there are also several things I’d like to update in our entry. Right now, everything is painted the color of pale pea soup: walls, trim, even inside the closets. Yuck! And it’s completely void of furniture. Our entryway doesn’t scream welcome, or even whisper hello. I believe that an entryway sets the tone of the home and ours is apathetic and depressing, the exact opposite of how I want my guests to feel when they visit. I envision an entryway that reflects our personalities: classic, tidy, and a little bit playful while being warm and inviting.

For my clients, I design spaces with a large range of styles but for my own home, I prefer a traditional look with a twist. This includes a love of antiques but adding modern elements to create a curated look that’s elevated but still comfortable.

Stay tuned to see how I use the next steps in the design process (site analysis, schematic design and design development) to pull together a game plan for our “Empty Entry.”

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Designer Spotlight

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Karen Wells Design
Karen Wells Design creates professionally finished, uniquely beautiful interiors. Interior design, furniture design, interior architecture, project management, space planning, and curating collections are our specialty. Each project brings a fresh aesthetic based on the clients tastes, idiosyncrasies, and how they want to live. Interpreting each space for its functionality, refining it through the use of color, texture ,light, art, and furniture proportions allows KWD to create environments called home.

Karen Wells Design

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Builder Spotlight

M&M Custom Homes
M&M Custom Homes is recognized as one of the premier home builders in the Hamptons and throughout Nassau County. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, we provide a superior client experience—creating exceptional value with state-of-the-art construction and unsurpassed design.


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Garden Spotlight

Gardeneering
For thirty three years, every design we create stems from our holistic approach to landscape gardening. Beginning with developing the best possible soil, our attention branches out to address all facets of a project with similar focus. Whether it's hardscape or quality of plant material, the installations are of the highest order -- as is the quality of our estate maintenance services. Every effort is made to blend the client's vision with the aesthetic aspects of the house and property -- ultimately, to create an organic realization.


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Kathryn’s Flower Gardens
Kathryn’s Flower Gardens is committed to providing exquisite cutting gardens, container plantings and unique and heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits and herbs, all grown right outside your door. Inspired by the agricultural heritage of the east end, Kathryn’s was created as a sentimental tribute to the owner’s young daughter. Led by a team of experienced horticulturalists, the firm’s sole focus is on providing boutique and personalized containers, flower and vegetable gardens. Located in Sag Harbor, Kathryn’s Flower Gardens is a subsidiary of Summerhill Landscapes.


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Garden Spotlight

HARMONIA INC Creative Landscapes and Fine Stonework
HARMONIA INC was founded out of a profound passion for creating complete landscapes and gardens that co-exist in harmony, with the natural settings that grace each property. Harmonia will design and install a customized landscape complimentary to your visual desires, and your personal lifestyle. “ Our work is a reflection of how you will want to enjoy your property for years to come.” Harmonia Inc is a full service design, installation and maintenance company, beautifying the Hamptons every day. 631-537-9672

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