Tuesday, November 2, 2010

At the Front Door

The onion lantern is installed.   I wasn't sure about it but now that it's in, I love it.

In the last photo on my recent "before and after" post, I added a photo of the front door just after painting it.  As I was adding the photo and finishing up the post, I saw a young lady walk past my front windows (on the porch!) and down the side steps.  What nerve, I thought!  I hope that isn't going to be a problem or I'll have to consider changing something to stop it.

It turned out the little darling saw the tape I had put across the door and invited herself up my front steps to write her initial--"A"--in the damp paint.

Her mother was with her but mom was texting and was paying no attention to what her little "A" was doing.

So I've been sanding down the door (wear a dust mask!) so I can put a new coat on.  I sanded down right into the gray primer and although it's not a look I want for my house, it did look pretty cool.  It reminded me of the pieces that Lori of Frugal Farmhouse Design does for her shop.

This is probably more sanding than you'd want to do for that "aged" look, but this is what the door looked like before I put on a new coat.

I taped plastic over the front door opening from the outside so I could leave the door open while it dried without having to worry about the cats.  This worked beautifully.

After a light sanding on the first coat, I put on a thin second coat.  I think it needs one more coat to bring up the shine but I'm happy with the finish.


My sidelights are done but I haven't made a decision on the glass so the ball is in my court.  With sidelights that go to the floor  like this...

...passersby have a view into the house.  One solution could be curtains and I found a great vendor, Cooper's Cottage Lace, that makes lace curtains perfect for old houses in styles such as Art Deco, Arts & Crafts, Victorian and even Greek Revival.  They even make a curtain specifically for sidelights.

This Grecian pattern would be perfect for a Greek Revival and was designed by the owner of Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers.

This is the Eastlake pattern, I'm assuming for a Victorian era home.

This pattern called Glen's Edge seems perfectly suited to an Arts and Crafts home.  The company also does custom sizing and offers loaner panels so you can try them out in your home.  

While the Grecian pattern would be suitable to my house, I felt lace is too delicate and feminine for my house, so I thought I could find glass that will offer some privacy.

I visited several glass places and no one had glass that looked "historical"; you know, wavy or seedy.  I saw a lot of things that be great for cabinets or shower doors, but the closest thing anyone could come up with that was "historical" was this Florentine glass.  It's been made since 1890 but, at least to me, it feels a little bathroom-in-an-old-building glass.

Finally someone suggested I call a stained glass company.  I never would have thought of it on my own.

But there at Burnham & Laroche in Medford, Mass. (who maintain the leaded glass windows for Harvard University) I found this handblown glass made by LambertsGlas in Germany.  It comes in sheets (how do they do that?) about 24 by 36 inches, although none of them are exactly the same, and the thickness is about 1/8 inch which also varies.  This sample is "normal seedy" but they also have "medium seedy" and "heavy seedy." I think it obscures the view enough and although it's not historically accurate, I think it's perfect.  I don't think it needs to be accurate.  It's art glass.   So it's not much different than stained glass, just in simple single panes.  And not so much more expensive than shower door glass.

And I think it will look great with the light.


  1. I love the light and I'm glad you are going for the 'historic' glass. It may not be authentic but it is close enough and will look great.

  2. I was just going to tell you to check out a stained glass supplier when you beat me to it! I can't wait to see the side panels installed.
    I can't believe that mother didn't notice what that kid was doing! Honestly, it makes me mad just thinking about it so I can't imagine what you were feeling. The sanded paint on the door was neat but I'm glad you didn't stay with that. Looking good!

  3. I think you've made an excellent choice on both the light fixture and the sidelight glass. I wouldn't have thought of going to a stained glass supplier either - the internet is awesome, isn't it? I wish I could say I can't believe that mother let her child do that, but unfortunately, I can.

  4. Oh! I love the lantern! It looks very east coast and very historical. love it!
    I can't believe that girl did that to your door! It's one of those things that just leave you speechless....

    I never thought either to check out a stain glass company - I really like glass you found. The glass and door are going to make such a big statement that I think the perfect glass is a must. The normal seedy is quite "seedy" - I think the heavier seedy would make me dizzy but I think this glass is definately historical looking.

    What are you going to do when this is all done? I can't wait to see the view from inside...

  5. Yes I do sand A LOT of stuff don't I! I am sorry to hear about the door vandalism, I do love how things are coming along and your wonderful painted front door. I absolutely think that the onion lamp is perfect. You have such a great eye for detail, can't wait to see the finished entrance. All the best, Lori

  6. texting = oblivious

    How annoying about the child.

    The door looks great!

  7. I'm STUNNED about the child drawing in your wet paint. I hope you had a word with her oblivious mother. I'm so fed up with texters.

    The onion light is great--the seedy glass with complement the sidelights in a subtle way.

    The door, sanded, looks very country-cottagey, but the newly painted door is perfect with the house. If you don't mind my asking, what color is this?

  8. I love the glass you chose. I have that florentine glass in the doors of my little built in corner cabinet in my breakfast nook. It's original...but I don't like it. I know its original and I've been trying to embrace it for 6 years but still don't like it. So I think yes, you should go with a glass you love even if it's not quite historically accurate.

  9. Love, love, love the onion lamp. Laughed out loud about the little darling who wrote in your wet paint. And, I agree that the lace curtains would be lovely, but just a tad to feminine. Good choice with the seeded glass!

  10. I'm just now catching up Steve!

    The house looks AMAZING! Love all of it. Go with the seedy glass that matches the lantern, it will look perfect...

    You are amazing with the small details... the things that set great design and renovations apart from the ordinary and average.

    I really love the paint choices as well...now we want to see the inside!

    xx kelley

  11. hi steve,

    little "A", i'm sure short for adorable, is lucky she didn't do that to my front door. and i like the idea of obscuring the view b/c little "A" may be back to take a peek inside. what's whith kids these days?

    everything looks great and the attention to detail is what is setting it apart. love it all.


  12. Steve, I love that glass! I think you should go for it. Lace really isn't my thing, but it would look nice, too. My only question is (practical me) would the wind whip through it and make for a cold foyer and high heating bills?

  13. Horrid Miss A - you should have got the mother to do the sanding! But the door now looks very handsome. Decisions, decisions, don't you find it exhausting, or do you love it? I'm so glad that you didn't go for the floral glass. Flawless judgement, Steve!

  14. Unbelievable! What was little "A" thinking?
    Love the gorgeous onion lantern! And I like the regular clear glass idea with curtains.
    Happy weekend to you!