Decor, Home, My house

Foyer Makeover

It’s just a foyer. I need to remind myself of that. But when this is the “before” shot, any change is going to feel epic.

The amount of time I’ve put into thinking about what to put in this space is sort of insane. And here’s the crazier part, it’s actually not even a real foyer. You see, my front door opens into my living room so this is just a wall. Just a small space by the front door. But I’ve never had a proper entryway space so for years I’ve been dying to have a pretty console table with a lamp and a nice bowl for my mail and a place to put my handbag instead of on a dining chair (where it lived in our old house) or on the floor (where it goes now). We have no mudroom and this is the way we enter the house so in addition to this little vignette being decorative, it needs to be functional.

So, I started thinking.  And dreaming.  And pinning. And the next thing I knew I had a Foyer Inspiration Board with 128 pins. That’s right. 128 pins of foyer ideas. And the more I pinned, the more confused I got. I felt like I had a million different ideas swirling and I needed to start making decisions.

 Question 1: Should I choose a classic console table with no storage…   (image via Decor8)

..or go for a sideboard or credenza that would offer a place to hide some stuff? (image via Annie Schlechter)

The winner is: Open. Even though the idea of some extra storage was enticing, we have a heating/AC vent on that wall so I opted to go with something open.

Question 2: Should I put storage bins underneath…

….or should I put some stools or poufs or even a pair of dreamy x-benchs for extra seating?

(image below via Desire to Inspire)

The winner is: Neither. Since storage was key, I found a table with a top and bottom shelf so there’s no space underneath for either. But I do plan on having some small stools to each side of the table.

Question 3: Should I use one lamp…

…or go for some symmetry (which is SO not my style but I kinda like for an entryway)?

The winner is: The jury is still out on this one. I’m currently borrowing one lamp from the bedroom. The table isn’t super long so if I do two, they would need to be small. I think I’m leaning toward asymmetry though. I’m just more of an off-kilter kinda girl.

Question 4: Should I use oversized art…

…or an oversized mirror (in which case I’d use my grandmother’s old mirror that I’ve had for years)?

(image via Apartment Therapy)

The winner is: Grandma! (But my regular readers already knew that though from this post.) Yup, I hung my grandma’s old mirror vertically above the table. (It was hanging horizontally above Grandma and Grandpa’s couch when my parents sat there and my dad proposed to my mom!)

Question 5: Do I go crazy with color…

(Tory Burch showroom via Habitually Chic)

…or keep it clean and luxe with neutrals? (image via The Decorista)

The winner is: A little bit of both. Since the wall is teal, I already have some color so I’m keeping the furnishings clean and neutral. But this is my house, after all, so I’m sure there will be some color in the styling which is still a work in progress.

Do you understand now what I meant when I said I was putting way too much thought into this decision? Oh – and keep in mind that like all things in my house, this needed to be done on a tiny budget. Like, as-cheap-as-is-humanly-possible budget. So tune in to my next post to see the table I ended up with and hear all about the INSANE deal I got on it. Make sure to click the link below to subscribe to posts by email so you won’t miss a thing.


Sue at Home

Images:  I tried to link to original sources when possible, but in the cases I couldn’t find them, you can locate them all on my Pinterest board called Foyer Inspiration.

Decor, Home, My house

Making a Gallery Wall in 3 Easy Steps

I’d like to take you through a tour of our living room gallery wall. It’s been a work in progress for over a year and I’m sure it will continue to morph with every crazy whim that I have. For the purposes of this experiment, please avert your eyes away from the ginormous television. It will be there only until it craps out and I get a more reasonably sized TV. Don’t get me wrong – Mama loves her TV. How can I not?  It brings me such beautiful gifts – like Mad Men and Happy Endings. But this size was more suited to the long living room in our old house and right now, it’s just messing with my gallery wall.

How I made my gallery wall in 3 easy steps

Step 1: Research.

I went on to my beloved Pinterest and searched “gallery wall” to check out what I liked and didn’t like. I compared every option: matching frames vs random ones, symmetry vs asymmetry, small pics vs large pics, color vs black and white, taking up a small section of the wall vs spanning the majority of the wall, small spaces between frames vs larger spaces between frames. I also spent a lot of time just sitting on the couch starring at the wall. (Hard work, I know, but I swear my gears were turning). Pinterest was a great way to figure out the look I wanted before I commited to anything.

Step 2: Determine a layout

I cut up sheets of newspapers in the size of my frames and moved them around the wall until I found a layout that worked. I didn’t take a lot of pictures of this process so I’ll just refer you to my favorite DIY home bloggers on the planet, Young House Love, because they’ve already written the best gallery wall tutorial ever.
I made the mistake of hanging empty frames and then trying to find the art for them. Big mistake. It’s like “Gallery Wall Murphy’s Law”: When you need 3 large vertical pieces of art, you’ll only find small horizontal ones that you like. In time I gave up and started moving things around to get them to fit.

Step 3: Be patient 

If you throw things on their quickly, you won’t love it.  Let it come together over time and it will feel totally personal. Mine is still a work in progress.

So, what’s on the wall? Let’s take a closer look.

Canvas of Aruba water – I took about 50 pictures of the water in Aruba to try and get the perfect shot of the perfect water but I don’t like how it came out on canvas. (Note: Printing on canvas makes your pictures kind of washed out.) It’s ok against the teal wall but I don’t love it.

Isn’t the original so much better?

Swatch of fabric – I absolutely LOVE this fabric and I only have a couple small swatches of it. It’s from Raoul, it’s a fortune, and it’s divine.

New York metro area map by Aaron Straup Cope via 20×200 – If you like cheap art (and who doesn’t?) I highly recommend this site. I particularly love this one because 1) it has all my favorite bright colors in it, 2) it doesn’t necessarily look like a map so it’s kind of like a little surprise, and 3) it extends beyond Manhattan to include our current home area out in Jersey. It reminds me that even though we’re not in our beloved NYC anymore, we’re not that far away either.

L’s painting  – L brought this home from Preschool and it immediately filled an empty frame. I absolutely love it. (And not just because she made it.) I think it needs a bright pink mat, though. I’ll have to buy some neon poster board and DIY that.

S’s canvas – This is S’s abstract take on Aruba. I love the colors and the way she made orange by putting neon pink over yellow.

Canvas of L and S – I absolutely love this picture. I call it Thelma and Louise. Funny thing: all the other kids were just riding the ride like normal human beings and only my crazy kids were screaming and waving. They sure do know how to have fun!

Manhattan neighborhood map from These Are Things – Yes, this is a recurring theme. We love NYC. We miss NYC. Even though we’re happy to have a house with a yard and great public schools, we dream of our years in Manhattan and hope that one day we can have a little pied a terre in the city. (It’s a pipe dream but not one I’m going to forget very easily.) I kind of hate that it’s the only one in a black frame. I went with the “cheapo use-what-you’ve-got plan” on this one but I really do think I need to get a white frame. (Or maybe I should save my money and put it in a “Manhattan pied a terre” fund!)

Panorama of Aruba beach – Aruba is a place that means a lot to us. We go every year with my parents – we even got engaged there. I took these pictures over 10 years ago and had them hanging in our apartment in the city. It’s 7 pictures literally taped together. I still love the blue mat.

Mom’s painting – (I mentioned this one back in this post.) My mom has taken some watercolor classes and though she’ll go on for an hour about all the mistakes she made, I think it’s perfect. Sidenote: my dad calls me ladybug so that’s why she gave me this one instead one of the many snow scenes she’s done. (They’re not really my taste but they kick that Kinkade guy’s ass. Too soon?)

Pablo and baby S – One of my favorite pictures ever. I had just fed her in bed and l laid her toward him and stood over them to take the shot when she gave that big post-breakfast yawn. Other than placing her there, it wasn’t styled or tweaked at all. The wrinkles of the duvet were so perfect, I couldn’t have ever staged it that well if I had tried. And I shot this on my old point and shoot Olympus. Not bad for a pocket camera.

That’s it. So what do you think? Do you have a gallery wall? If you could put anything on one (and you can! There are no rules!) what would it be?


Sue at Home

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the TV console is the Chill Media Console from CB2 (we have 2 of them). The paint is Benjamin Moore Teal. The chair is the Reese Chair from Pottery Barn Teen but sadly they don’t sell it any more. But they do have this beauty. I’m kinda loving it. Chair? Pied a terre? Chair? Pied a terre?