Why entry hall styles provide hints to what lies beyond.
Formal entry hall styles can be similar but send a different message. Each of these is the work of a different designer but there are certain similarities: the high contrast sepia-and-white color scheme, two-story staircase, dark iron balusters and railings and dark stair treads. Since furniture is always minimal in entry spaces, decoration takes the lead. So the story is told by the interplay of architectural style and details that support or shift the emphasis.
Regardless of the details, though, the main question is: seeing each entry, what do you to expect from the rest of the house?
For me, the beauty of this entry, by Bunny Williams, lies in the antique limestone block floor and the Vitruvian scroll detailing below the handrail. The architecture screams classical (as in Greek and Roman) and that concept is articulated through the use of the flowing Roman-style chair with curved sides, center hall table with seahorse motifs in the base, and wall sconce with garlands. What type of furniture goes upstairs?
Many grand homes built in West Los Angeles during the 1920s have a signature Spanish colonial style preserved here by L.A. designer Timothy Corrigan’s entry. Some of these homes have talavera tile on the staircases – here the treads, riser and stringer are kept consistently dark so as not to compete with the hexagonal quarry tile floor. Instead, the staircase deftly ties into the handsome wrought iron hall lantern chandelier and sconce. Looking at the Spanish baroque hall chair, could the rest of the house be equally traditional?
Taking a guess about this transitional house from Burnham Design, I’d bet on Spanish colonial, again, as the core. The beautiful front door is modernized by whitening all the detail. A smooth, shiny stone floor has a more modern feel than a rusticated surface. The zebra skin rug versus, say, an Oriental or one made of vegetable fiber, ramps up the drama. What’s also interesting is how very dark walls, painted a drab mauvy-taupe, make what’s obviously a dark space seem light by virtue of the single window in back. Painting the sides of the risers white also makes them pop and look quite modern against the other inky spaces. Does this forecast Hollywood Regency at the top?
(Sources: Bunny Wiliams, Timothy Corrigan, Burnham Design)
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