March 4, 2009

Foyer Embellishment


Do you have a room in your home that you have struggled with? How about for 12 years? That room in my home is my FOYER. This poor space has been painted probably 6 times in 12 years…I recently added the chair rail (which was extremely tricky because this house is CADDY WOMPUS!)

I am currently happier with the space, than I have been, but feel like it still needs “MORE”. Here are a few pictures with some detail about the challenges.

The framed photos are all my images. I have a ton of additional B/W images/frames I could add.

What do you think this space needs…more wall decorations, more floor decorations, lighting suggestions..color?


Down home friends and what they say...

Comments (23)

Virginia said:

Shawn - hi!!! Your stairwell would be THE perfect spot for a “London Wall” ala Tracy Porter!!!! In fact, you COULD do it above that entry table if you’d prefer. It’s such a great space. Just add more. :)

Dawn said:

Hi Shawn…I just asked for advice yesterday, so I am not one to throw out ideas as wonderful as some of the other ladies…but I think a b&w photo wall in your stairwell would look great. I have one going up my stairs which I started after seeing Tracy’s photo wall prior to it being her huntress wall…look for that is back towards the beginning.

I cant wait to see what ideas all these wonderful ladies give you…keep us posted. AND…the Carribean???!!!!Enjoy!


Emily said:

Shawn, Virginia took the words right out of my mouth. A London Wall!!! Also, in my old house I had a collection of mirrors going up the stair wall. All different shapes, sizes and colors. My stair wall now has a weird curve, so I have the mirror collection somewhere else. I always receive lots of compliments on my mirror wall.

gretchen said:

Shawn, I agree with Virginia about the London Wall up the stairs. I’d load that baby up all the way up the stairway… all the way to the ceiling. Have fun! (Your floors are really pretty.)

Jennifer said:

Shawn, YES London wall all the way up! I think you also should consider painting the ceiling the same color as the walls or a slightly darker or lighter tone of the same color. I think I’d also like to see another color below the chair rail- maybe a plummy wine color? Love your sconces!! A runner on those stairs would be fabulous!!!

Enjoy your trip!!!!

Kelly said:

Hi Shawn,

I love the paint colors, trim, chairs, table, but how about a bigger rug? Place it at an angle for more interest. And a chandelier with red shades and embellishments. Would love to see a runner going up the stairs. I thought you were working on a London Wall, was I mistaken?
Why don’t you add a pretty umbrella stand filled with walking sticks and antique canes? Two big black urns on either side of the door with olive tree or - our favorite - boxwood topiaries? Whatever you do, it
will look smashing. You must share before and after
pics! Have a great day.

Sarah Turner said:

I love it and I don’t think it needs much. My first impression is floor covering to warm it up. Some kind of runner in the hallway or up the stairs…a natural fiber, or wool.

Allegra said:

Hi Shawn–I love all your “stuff” but would like to see you do your groupings with more drama. Things look a little spread out right now. Remember, Big is usually better! (the famed decorator Bunny Williams said that.) I would take the beautiful wall candle sconces and incorporate them into a picture grouping for more interest. As per the London wall it looks better to have interesting ojets in the mix. And I would bring your line of pictures (above the entry table) down to anchor the table more. I’d beef up the candlestick lamp with fringe and gimp (cheap at Walmart) to give it more weight as well. Also, I’d minimize the white objects on the table as it takes away from the richness–try slapping some color on some of them–maybe even paint the candlestick an animal print and cover with stain (I use brown liquid shoe polish–so instant and easy!).That would be so Tracy Porter! So, I guess I’d conclude with this plan: 1) find a large picture or mirror for above the table. 2) do your london wall going up the stairs. 3) Find a beautiful tapestry/cloth for the table top. 4) Beef up the lampshade with trim. That’s all for now. Have fun!!!

Melanie Tindale said:

I like the idea of doing the B&W photos up the staircase wall. And maybe there in the foyer some kind of big, decorative mirror!

desiree said:

Hi Shawn! I like the idea of a little more drama… a colorful table runner, perhaps burgandy and olive and cream,…and I’d put a weathered garden urn on the table and stuff it with large forsythia branches ( Think height.) Hey!!!! Soak up some island fun and sun for moi!!!! Have a safe and wonderful time!!! xoxo Desiree

Shawn from Buttercup said:

Ok…YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!! So many great ideas here that make total sense to me. You know sometimes how you look at something so long…you can’t see the obvious? That is how I have felt about this space until NOW! When I get back from the ISLANDS….I am going to get working on these ideas….

artist in NC said:

Hi Shawn, it’s a beautiful space to be working with.
1-Start with 2 great big urns filled with something green and tall on each side of the door, in front of the slim windows.
2-Use a larger rug in the foyer and a runner up those stairs in an oriental.
3-Hang a drippy chandy from the ceiling, it doesn’t need more than a few links of chain to get the effect so don’t let a low ceiling be a problem.
4-When you walk in you look right into the far door and doggie gate ( I think that’s what I am seeing) That doorway would be a perfect spot for doorway draperies a la Tracy.Beautiful brocade or handpainted or tapestry. Go back and see her video.
5-I personally like the walls the way they are but I think I would add a throw over the table, at an angle. Then use a fat lamp for some bulk to add substance to your vignette.
6- I also love the paint combination as it is!

Kim said:

Hi Shawn,

You have lovely taste. Your vingette is great, love the cameras. I am enjoying your website and all the beauty that surrounds you. I also live on a few acres but we are in the beginnings of making it “beatiful” vs. just plain “natural” ha! Anyway, I had chandeliers put up in every one of my rooms. I think you already have that idea for the foyer in your head, a nice iron/bronze with 5 arms or so….with shades. Or Ballard has a great 3 candle one with crystals that I hung over my tub. Also, is there a small space at the top of the steps to put a small table or urn? I am looking in to putting curtains up in a few of my archways ala TP, and thought maybe you could use one to hide the dog/child gate? Dog is very cute though! PS: my foyer is currently under design construction now! 23 ft. ceilings and 1 large mirror so far…..I am not a London wall convert yet…but I am open to seeing what you do! Thank you for sharing your home, love to see the kitchen. I love kitchen design! Oh, and who painted the wonderful large painting I can see over the couch!?

desiree said:

Hi lovely Shawn! You have me thinking about this foyer some more….would love to see a large gilded mirror (Tracy style) above the side table to bring in more light. Above and around this mirror place some fab. china plates… that will bring in some more color…burgandy, fushia, green, use Tracy’s pear wishbox for inspiration and put that on the table with a weathered urn…chippy white/grey, add some cherry blossoms and forsythia…. maybe a crystal bowl filled with pears, know you love them! Keep the tall lamp on the left side and embellish with trim. Put all the pictures together on the stairwell side. Oh, add some custom pillows to the chairs- that will bring in more color that ties into the china plates….xoxo Desiree

desiree said:

Me again… look at Tracy’s little flock of birds (on sale for 20 dollars…the colors!!!! They would tie in with the color scheme you have on the walls and then bring in a little more…the pinks and the tourquoise….oh my!!! Sooo wishing I was going to the islands!!! Have fun!!!!

desiree said:

One last thing….think of using Tracy’s Parisian urn on top of a stack of books…..would give it more height–put the braches into florist foam to hold them in…. Place that at the right side of the table.

desiree said:

One more last thing..promise!!! Tee hee!!! That urn, sooo gorgeous….maybe a bit small for what I’m thinking…Anyhoooo, whatever you decide, I’m sure it will be lovely!!! Love seeing everyone else’s ideas!!! Soooo……Have a beautiful day and get packing!!! xoxo Desiree

Rebecca said:

Hi Shawn - what a treat to see a glimpse of your home! You have a knack…

Lots of great ideas. I have to agree with the London wall suggestion if you feel that the wall is too bare. has a lot of nice frames, some plain, some ornate - a mix could be nice!

When you say “original” pocket doors, do you mean original to the farmhouse? If so, WOW! I am an architecture junkie so that would impress me. I’m also impressed that you got the chair rail to look so good - I too own a not-so-square-or-level house!

desiree said:

Helloooooo!…..Guess I’m a promise breaker, LoL!!!
Did you see Tracy’s video of Robyn’s Foyer—An Old Fashioned Notion…….Look at her curtain treatments by the doors…. Loving It!!!

Cameo said:

Shawn love,
Hope you are having a grand time. I love decorating a farmhouse because……. there are so many options for you…… Immediately, I can see you need COLOR and PATTERN………. First,……keep your wall colors….they are good neutrals to work on top of… you more options with color layers. SECOND,………I would look for a big rug for the foyer. I am talking color. YOU desperately need color in this foyer. A runner up the stairs would work also,….but I prefer seeing the real deal wooden stairs. It adds so much character……… And that my love you never want to cover up. ………THIRD,…… Adore the original pocket doors. I would keep the door closest to the front door pulled shut to expose it’s beauty and existence. Might want to sit a cool english or french chair in front of the door if you have room…….FORTH,…….You need a ceiling mount or chandy hanging on just a couple of chain loops . I would look for something in the stained glass dept….. Will add the color you need and the country warmth you are trying to accomplish here. Ok…………now for the WALLS….. REMOVE everything you have up and start over…… I would do a collage of brightly colored plates ( at least 10-15 )…… a collage of old farm implements……Hubby would like that……can’t forget about our men!… a collage of old antique portraits ( if you don’t have your own… several from an old antique mall or flea market. Then a collage of your favorite prints…. family photos and /or a collage of funky old baskets………..pop all collages in together close and throw a wall sconce in there with a vase on top every now and again….. I would recommend the blue/ white porcelain……… Fill the walls up my love….. next the…… .STAIRWAY WALL find some brightly colored small quilts and hang a couple going up the stairs… In between the quilts,……hang more old portraits, or antique pictures…….FURNITURE in the foyer…….. A large copper bucket, old outside urn or basket for canes and umbrellas under the dormer window nearest to the closed pocket door……. a chunky old chair with quilted
pillows under the other dormer window with stacked up books on the floor beside the chair. Keep the table where you have it. Put glass lanterns/ pagodas of all sorts under the table ( 3-8) put candles in them and light them on special occasions. Need two lamps on each side of the table. With some sort of Killer shades……colorful shades….. display family photos on the table, a silver old tray with crystal decanters and highball/ wine glasses and some sort of greenery on top of the table and under the table with the lanterns. If you have room under the table……maybe a basket of dried hydrangeas, or twigs or……….even driftwood. ………..Ok Shawn my love, Cameo must run…….Demitasse is in survival camp this week and thought I would clean her closet out while she was away……I am missing her sooo. Talk later love.

Desiree said:

Hi Shawn! can’t wait to read about your trip!! I agree with Cameo about keeping the stairs bare. Looks gorgeous and so much easier to keep clean.

Tracy Porter said:

I am late to the party….so sorry! What a great little space to play around with!
I think a chandelier of sorts is in order? Something to give a little more ” funk” to the space…love the wall color…..elegant as you my love!
I agree that a delicious richly colored runner would warm the entire area…or a killer sisal one…could be quite chic!
( my kids + dogs would ruin sisal on my stairs….a consideration for sure!)
Also a cool pop of color would tie the elements together….what colors do you love? even that darling table ( would you dare paint it?)….RED or BLACK……a big funky mirror above it….love that you are using family photos……you have a beautiful style…most importantly,it makes you and your family delighted! It is endless the tinkering one can do with a space…..keep walking away…then back…….I look back at photos of our home when we first built and while i loved it then the layers have really been not only a wonderful thing for me…creatively….but they make our house feel more like a home…….xoxoxo

TheOldPostRoad said:

Love your blog - just found it! I have a similar hall in my 1850’s home in Georgia. I personally think a lighter paint - one color both above and below the rail, would widen the room. Perhaps a creamy yellow. I would also put a more substantial lamp on that table. I love those white chairs on either side of the table, by the way. My stairs are visible when you walk in the door, like yours, but the portion of the stair that you “kick” is painted high gloss white, with the top of each step wooden. That is typical for stairs in my historic town. However, the white gets scuffed. That would help brighten the hall a little. One last thing, because I just love giving advice (and I don’t want to pick up shoes and go through the mail in MY hallway that matches yours, right now) - I would make the portion of that back room that is visible a focal point. Maybe a long pretty fabric (yellow buffalo check?) between those windows and a plant to make someone wonder what else is back there. Okay - not done, yet - I would remove some of the picts along the long wall. Just maybe a few over the table and leave the rest of the wall bare (yes, BARE) - too much to look at could make it seem narrower that it is. With THAT all said - please realize that I LOVE your house and farm!!! You are blessed, don’t forget it!!!!! The weather is beautiful, here in Georgia - It would have to be a very nice spring in Maryland, too!

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