Our stairwell has a new console piece and I hung more art:
When we first moved in, we put the antique secretary in this spot. Its a fairly narrow piece, so it fit fine, but even though the legs are fairly high, the piece still blocked the the return air grate it was sitting on top of. During a heat wave we moved the piece over a few feet, but that meant that that the top of the secretary was taller than the bannister. I really didn't like the way it looked.
I took the top off, but then it just looked like a rather squat piece of furniture in a longer space. The angled line of the orangy brown bannister broken up by the short secretary did not look very harmonious. A few weeks later I moved the secretary to the other side of the room, where it looks much better. I searched for a long console table, and considered a number of options (here and here), but then I came across this piece on craigslist. Its long, its fairly low, its open on the bottom over the air grate, and its just a lovely piece.
The triangular piece of wall above the table seemed like the perfect spot for our ceramic pieces from Italy. I cut a piece of craft paper in the shape of the triangle:
I arranged all the pieces on the floor on the template (forgot to take pictures of this step), drew around the shapes, then taped the craft paper to the wall and hammered in all the nails. I gently ripped off the paper and then hung the pieces.
This was the piece that started our collection, and its still my favorite. We bought it on our first trip to Italy in 2003, right before our wedding. I've bought more pieces every time we've gone, and I've asked my inlaws to bring back pieces when they go.
Of course, as always, this area is a work in progress. Here is what the the area looks like before I removed everything for pictures.
The only phone jack in the house is under the table, so this is where the phone and all its attendant wires live. I need to figure out how to hide those wires. The lampshade sustained some damage in the move, so it needs to be fixed. The chair practically blends into the stairwell with all the brown, so it needs a fresh coat of not-brown paint and a new fabric for the seat.
I'd also like to find a long low box with a lid for mail, since this is right inside the front door. But I'm happy with how this space is shaping up.