ometimes a space just needs a little pick-me-up. That's how I felt about my foyer. Actually, I've never really put much thought into the space even though it's the first area seen when walking through the front door.
No doubt ignoring your foyer will get you an "F" in most Decorating-101 classes. So I decided to apply some long overdue changes to this area.
Last year, I had a carpenter add some architectural interest to the large blank foyer walls with these molded boxes with scalloped corners.
I've seen this effect in magazines and always admired how the technique adds definition and interest to an otherwise plain, boring wall space.
A little color goes a long way and sure beats the original, ivory paint. I chose Lenox Tan (HC-44) by Benjamin Moore which has a rich, khaki-colored tone.
While researching paint colors, I read an online review of Lenox Tan which referred to it as "one of the most overused colors ever".
If that's true, I can see why because it's a great color that reads quite neutral and goes with just about any adjacent room color.
I was originally going to have the interior of the boxes painted the same color as the wall. However, one of the painters suggested I try using Ralph Lauren's Suede textured paint to create some contrast.
NOTE: I was lucky to find two of the most fabulous, good natured, professional painters ever (pictured above). They delivered clean, superior work and their paint lines were straight-as-an arrow. All free hand too with nothing taped off. Amazing results. Skilled painters really make a big difference, so choose carefully for large/detailed jobs like this.
The Ralph Lauren textured paint used to be widely available at Home Depot but has now been replaced on the shelf with Martha Stewart's paint line.
I also had a powder room painted with this same effect. You may have to call the Ralph Lauren company directly to get an up-to-date listing of the independent retailers who carry this paint in your area.
This is such a cool effect. It really does look just like a suede with a soft, textured appearance. This particular color is called Fawn's Leap and is a tad darker than the Lenox Tan.
Here's a close-up of the paint effect. It may be a little hard to make out in the photo but there definitely is a light texture up close and from a distance it looks very much like suede.
I wanted to frame the front door with some decorative elements and I found several of these 12 X 12 wall plaques at an antique store. I love the grated, floral detail.
However, when I held the plaques up on the wall, the charcoal color made them look too dark and heavy for the space.
Of course, that's an easy enough fix.
I didn't bother priming the plaques, I just painted several coats of Lenox Tan over them.
I also made sure that some of the original dark color remained for a little contrast.
I definitely lean toward a more monochromatic look when it comes to home decor so I liked the idea of painting the plaques the same color as the walls.
This works for me and I really like the way the floral design has a very subtle presentation.
Initially, I thought it would be nice to create a symmetrical look on the other side of the front door. However, a large switch plate threw off the potential visual balance.
Instead, I found a similar but larger decorative plaque to use in the space. It was off-white so I had to spray paint it charcoal gray first, and then apply the Lenox Tan paint to get the same look as the trio of smaller plaques on the other side of the wall-
I'm really pleased with how well the wall plaques look even though though the large plaque obviously did not come from the same source as the smaller ones.
I think the designs are close enough and painting them all the same color helps the arrangement work in this space.
I also wanted to fill the ledge above the door with something visually appealing.
I've held on to these old vases for years hoping to be able to put them to good use one day. They were originally a yellowish color and it didn't occur to me until recently that I could simply paint them to blend in better with the rest of the decor.
The horse statue was re-located from another room and coincidentally has the same grate-like pattern as the wall plaques.
Meanwhile, the moulding adds a totally new dimension to the walls. When walking into the space from the front door, here's the view looking up to the left.
NOTE: The color on the walls in the room beyond the foyer (dining room) is called Spanish Red (1301) by Benjamin Moore. This room is also an on-going work in progress. I'll share photos of my dining room transformation later in an upcoming post.
Here's a look at the moulding on the opposite foyer wall. I think the contrast created by the addition of moulding and Lenox Tan combined with the darker, textured paint really works to bring the wall alive.
You may recall seeing how the room with the olive colored walls was transformed last year into a comfortable, attractive music room.
Here's a look at the moulding on both walls.
The alcove-like space is so empty (except during the holidays when I put my Christmas tree here) and it definitely needs to be filled with a permanent decorative element.
I've narrowed down a few tablecloth fabric choices already, so I'll soon be able to get started on that project which I'll share later in an upcoming post.
I think a nice window treatment above the ledge would be the way to add to the space. I'm still searching for a suitable solution that will add the right amount of color and form without obscuring the natural light that pours in from the window.
Hmm, valence or panels?
There are always new ideas and decorative elements that can be introduced and/or re-located and the end product can take months, even years to get just right.
So far, I'm happy with how this space is shaping up. While there is more foyer tweaking to be done, at least this feels like a really good start. I'll keep you posted. ♥