With a focus on elevated materials–including marble floors from Stafford Tile & Stone, ironwork by Broussard Iron Works and fluted walls made to look like plaster–the foyer sets the tone for this home’s marriage of modern and traditional elements. And as a distinct space, leading to, but not openly flowing into, both the dining and formal living spaces, the area lent itself to a design transformation by Gary McDaniel of Rogers & McDaniel.
“I saw the space, metaphorically, as a portal to a new, post-pandemic era,” McDaniel explains. “As a society, I believe we are ready to pull back the curtains and move through a portal to a better place. A place certainly drawing from history and all its aesthetic delights, but also one of individuality where people want to explore and express their ideas for today and the future with more of an uninhibited flair.”
Since limited furniture is needed in a foyer, McDaniel made the most impact through a selection of artworks. A large yellow expressionist piece by Ed Pramuk, whose work McDaniel first saw on display at LSU in the 1980s, was sourced with the help of Ann Connelly Fine Art. Titled “Portal Flare,” the piece brings a dose of color to the space and helps to translate McDaniel’s vision of a bright, post-COVID world. To juxtapose the minimalist work, portraits in a range of styles are dotted throughout the space. Immediately below the Pramuk work, atop an iron and marble console table in the style of Gilbert Poillerat, is a black-and-white photo by South African visual artist Zanele Muholi. Across the room, an oversized bust of the Sun King is framed by the staircase, while an early Flemish portrait of a boy is suspended from a medallion and chains in the stairwell.
“The space reminded me of how, in the 1920s and ’30s, some of the avant-garde Parisian patrons of modernism updated the interiors of their own 19th-century homes to reflect a more innovative flair,” McDaniel says, noting other details like a vintage Angelo Donghia Venetian glass ‘Stellare’ chandelier and star motifs on the drapery hardware that speak to the ’20s influence. “I wanted to embrace the idea of these more open-minded individuals who took an unorthodox and experimental approach to culture and the arts.”
Click the photos below for a closer look at this foyer. And check out more of the 2021 Ivy House Designer Showhome here.