A sturdy bookcase replaced the philodendrons.
Tired of babying her scrawny philodendrons, Hildy Manley all but
abandoned the built-in planter box along one side of the entry in her
Tiburon, California, house. As a result, a trellis of vertical 2-by-2s,
originally meant to support the climbing vines, became a jarring
eyesore. "I felt as if I lived in a jail," Mrs. Manley
commented. To update the entire 1950s space, interior designer Marianne
Myers opened up the second-story entry and adjacent hallway. First, she
designed a 33-inch-high bookcase to replace the planter and trellis
above the stairwell. Because the bookcase covers the same area that the
planter did, there was no need to take out or add to the wood flooring.
Next, Myers removed a nonstructural louvered wall in the hall and
replaced it with a second, shallower bookcase for paperbacks and
knickknacks. The case stops 14 inches shy of the ceiling, allowing
daylight from two large picture windows to spill over the top. Track
lights replaced a single ceiling fixture in the hallway. New wood trim
around doorways and on the bookcases was stained to match the original
redwood-paneled walls. Then, to further brighten the space, old and new
surfaces alike were coated with whitewash, which was wiped off to let
the grain show through.