Gussying up the Vestibule

Doesn't the word "vestibule" make you think of men smoking pipes and women in peticoats? I'm not even sure what I have can be called a vestibule but thats what I call it.

Todays post is about the least touched "room" in the house - the parlor vestibule. Although this doesn't really count as a room as much as a pass through, it got some renovation attention but mostly cosmetic touch ups.

Here is how it looked when we got started:

Vestibule Floor

As you can see, the ceiling had the most damage - it was a total mess. After the plaster was repaired, a single light was added. Somehow this became a recessed can when I really wanted a small hanging fixture. But once it was there, I sort of liked the drama that the single arch of light added and how the empty space overhead added to the open feeling. Its not like I'm going to be reading Proust in there so the recessed light worked out well.

Thankfully the detail on the walls wasn't in terrible shape. It had a few cracks/chips but it was entirely intact. Our contractors did a nice job of touching up the ornate plaster work while smoothing out the rest of the wall.


The wood wainscoating got a few coats of bone white while the wall above got its due with the lovely Silver Fox. The light switches the control the exterior light and the light in this room got push button switches and an aged brass switch plate.


Our contractor suggested doing a gold leaf treatment on the detail. At first I wasn't too crazy about the idea but the concept has grown on me. Maybe I'll give it a try once I have some free time?

Ideally, I'd love to put a mural of some Brooklyn landmarks in the "frames" I know Patricia of PVE Design would do the most amazing job but alas, that is not in the current decorating budget. So that will have to wait when I don't have more pressing needs (like finding a bed!) on the horizon.


In other weird mix up, the contractors put down a coat of white grout on the floor. Not sure why as we never asked them to and would never want to put white grout in the vestibule. Hey, they meant well. The floor still needs a good scrub down but that will have to wait until the winter is over.

This concludes the end of the vestibule tour. Hope you enjoyed the ride. :)


  1. Your vestibule looks great! Did your contractors remove the paint from the moldings in your house or did they paint over?
    And I tried to offer a suggestion for your kitchen window treatment but I may have misunderstood. I consider myself the queen of making (forcing) things to work!

  2. Wonderful period details in your vestibule.

  3. Is there a reason for the can light being placed off-center?

  4. I gasp in awe and jealousy.

    So... speaking of budget... not to be indelicate but if you ever would consider it, I'd love to read about some of the costs incurred by taking on this kind of project. I know that this can be sensitive information, but even knowing how much, for instance, it cost to fix the vestibule ceiling or redo the wood floors would be hugely appreciated.

    Every time I think of taking on a major project like this, I blanche at the thought of taking on millions and millions and millions of dollars worth of work...

  5. I love seeing all of you transformations! About the blog question you asked yesterday, if you wouldn't mind e-mailing me at the address I provided yesterday I can then have your email to send you an invite. You are also welcome to just post your email here too, but that may be a problem with privacy for you. Can't wait to have you join!

  6. Happy Homemaker: No, we didn't strip the moldings. It was painted over.

    Punky: A lot of the lights in my house were not placed in dead center of the ceilings. In this case it was because the way the beams fell above. But it worked out well here because I would have wanted the light to be shining down closer to the interior door rather than spilling out of the front doors. But in other parts of the house (like the little hallway in my master bedroom), its just because there was a beam or something else where the light would have been.

    s - I don't feel comfortable giving very specific details about how much the renovation cost in total but I can assure you its no where near a million dollars. I didn't hit the lotto. If you have a question about how much something specific cost, Ill be happy to provide as much info as I can. I did do this as a total job so I don't have a specific breakout for everything but I can try to estimate. Otherwise you can email me at Bklimestoner at aol dot com.

    Lizzie - Ok, will do.

  7. It looks wondeful, your home has the best details.

  8. Anonymous10:25 AM

    I love the vestibule. It is just so funny how similar you Brooklynites speak of your Limestones (my family included). I grew up with my Grandmothers "vestibule" ;-)

    LOVE it. Love it. Cannot say that enough.

  9. Laura - I think I call it a vestibule because thats what everyone else in Brooklyn calls this little space you take your wet shoes off in :)

    I just looked it up and the definition of vestibule is "a passage, hall, or antechamber between the outer door and the interior parts of a house or building." So we are calling it the right thing.

  10. Anonymous12:40 PM

    wow, what a difference!

    the word vestibule always makes me think of that Friends episode when Chandler is stuck in the vestibule with a super model. :)

  11. It would be a joke to call my entry a vestibule , mine is an entry at best, you must have details like yours to be a proper vestibule, to me.
    While I am on that what is up with our wonderful friends down south calling a foyer ( pronounced "foi-ay") a "foyure??? funny. Major mispronunciation turns out misused as well as it is "the entrance hall of a cinema or other large building" as I just looked that one up, that concludes the educational portion of this comment, vestibule it is details or not, learn something everyday.
    This is directed not to you Mrs Limestone persay but to all your readers.

  12. Good to know about the definition of foyer although some of the houses that get built in the burbs around here (aka McMansions) might qualify as a foyer.

  13. Anonymous5:40 PM

    i have always wanted a vestibule and yours is simply GORGEOUS!!! debbie

  14. Oh flaming harry what a GORGEOUS home to be renovating!! ( and a lot of work I can imagine) - but what a beautiful structure to start with WOW~!

  15. It's wonderful. I like the choice of paint color, too.

  16. love your vetibule and wish I could just paint inside those panels something glorious and silver leaf the ceiling!

  17. It really needs some pve art :)

  18. My front door is Lowes Lexington Green and my shutters are a dark purple. I love it.


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