HGTV Green Home 2009: Foyer Details

Bold stripes and beach cabana style lend a casual air of elegance to this statement-making space.


Interior designer Linda Woodrum wanted the foyer of HGTV Green Home 2009 to catch the eye, to be that big "welcome, how are you?" when visitors walk through the front door. "It's fun. It's bold. It's big," adds Linda of the dramatic space. "It's the message of what to expect, what the house will be about."

A design scheme materialized as soon as Linda discovered the striped fabric. The vibrant shade of orange conjured images of beach-cabana style and circa-1950s Florida interiors and complemented the home's modern Spanish architecture. Used to upholster a diminutive Traditions by Charles Stewart and Co. bench, which was then paired with a Kenya crewelwork pillow by West Elm and a cane garden tea stool topped with a flowering orchid plant, her vision began to take shape.

The focal point? "I had that wonderful free-standing wall," Linda adds, "and I thought, 'I am going to use the stripe on the wall and throw a sunburst mirror on it. And it's going be fun, it's going be dramatic and it's going to set the tone for the house.'" The process of painting the wall was a painstaking one, but a technique homeowners could easily replicate at home. First, Linda covered the wall in a creamy semi-gloss paint. Stripes were taped off and painted in a vibrant orange shade called Red Cent. To tone down the intense hue, a glaze made from one part wall base to two parts latex-based faux-finish glazing liquid was applied and then quickly wiped off with a soft cloth.

To counterbalance the visually arresting front entry, Linda chose toned-down flooring and fixtures: neutral tiles made from recycled material, bamboo window shades and zebrawood and metal side tables to flank the front door, each topped with a Phalaenopsis orchid potted in a pierced resin bowl. The quiet drama continues with a sitting area just past the front entry. A 6-foot-long free-form slab table, crafted from a fallen tree, rests just under a picture window. Sunlight streams in and highlights the tabletop accessories, including two Boston-arm desk lamps, a potted Phalaenopsis orchid, a cast-cement bust, a tower of neatly stacked art books and an unexpected organic twist — a 5-foot-long date branch. A faux-bamboo latticed chair with a muslin cushion, discovered during a shopping trip to Palm Beach, invites one to take a seat and enjoy the outside view. Why the mix of rustic and formal? "You've got this heavy clunky table, a more massive piece of furniture," Linda explains, "and next to it you place a lighter and more airy piece to balance the weight. That's the thing you want to do in that entrance — make a big statement and mix all these funky things together that are going to show up throughout the house."

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