Decorating Foyer + Hallway

Back to Black

Door Color: Anonymous by Behr / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Last week I was walking through the foyer and realized that whenever I walk through that little area, something just bugs me. Like, a lot. It doesn’t make me happy; it just stresses me out. I’ve never felt this area to be “done” nor have I ever really “loved loved” what we put together during what seemed to be a whirlwind of a project. It’s been a good temporary solution while we spent some time realizing what we really wanted to do. Really, I was just happy to have anything at all filling up the otherwise empty area. The foyer isn’t big by any means, but it can still house a small table just fine. I’m currently on the lookout for something to replace the existing one, and I’m thinking about finding a new home for the lamp (either in our house our someone else’s house entirely – not sure yet).

Foyer (Part 1) / 7thhouseontheleft.com

I look at that and immediately think “circus”. To be honest, I’m still not totally sure how to get the “circus” feeling out of this area. All I know at the moment is I love the pendant light fixture (it makes more of a statement in person) and the sliver of a gallery wall to the right of the door. That’s about it. Everything else is on the chopping block. Since we took this picture, I’ve moved the basket under the table to the living room and taken the books on the top shelf back to my office. The vintage umbrella stand is now being used as wrapping paper storage (which makes me happy every time I see it), and the rug is currently folded up the foyer closet. I really do like the rug, and might even bring it back later somewhere else in the house. But for now, it’s just too much for my mind to handle.

Realizing how much frustration this little area has been causing me, I mentioned to Greg that I thought we needed to bring the foyer down a notch and start over. So, being the oh-so-thoughtful husband that he is, he pulled out a paint brush and the same paint we used on the two back doors (Black Suede by Behr) and got to work. About three hours later (including two coats and drying time), our front door now has a new, classier, lease on life.

Door Color: Black Suede by Behr / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Even though all we’ve done is paint the door and move the rug, it already feels less “trend shack” and a little more on the subdued and classic side of the spectrum. Since the umbrella stand isn’t there anymore, I’m thinking about picking up a few more frames to bring the gallery wall sliver down to the floor to make it look a bit more finished. We’re also contemplating getting some chunky aged brass door hardware. Greg actually came up with that idea, and I think it will make the hardware stand out nicely against the new, dark color.

All of that to say… sometimes we make mistakes, and guess what? That’s okay. We just scale it back, pick out what we actually like, take a breather and start over. I’ve got to be honest and say it’s quite a bit nerve-wracking to make mistakes on the internet for thousands and thousands of people to see. You’d think after blogging for three years, I’d be over that by now, but, I’m not quite there yet. Hopefully you guys will continue to stick with us as we live and learn.

Even though we aren’t quite sure what direction this foyer will go in the future, here are a few inspiring spaces that we’re really digging:

Foyer Inspiration / 7thhouseontheleft.com

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

These inspiration photos are classy, grown-up, and as far from circus-like as possible. On top of that, have the whole rustic/modern thing going on we love so much. We definitely want to incorporate some fun eclectic accents mixed in here and there, but we’re going to be much more selective this time around. We shall see where that takes us!

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55 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan
    June 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I love the black door! What if you took the lamp away and switched it to a mercury glass base and a simple one color shade? Ivory? White? Or a simple striped one. I get the “circus” feel you mentioned…maybe too many colors? Good luck! My house is overwhelmed with bright colors due to baby toys. Some day it’ll be more neutral….. Until then, I read lots of blogs! 😉

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Hmm, that’s a thought! I’ve definitely been keeping my eye out for a good mercury glass lamp – love me some mercury glass!

    • Reply
      Sheri
      July 25, 2014 at 9:33 am

      I have seen the effect of the black door and love the classic look. Think about black and white chevron rug. Paint, perhaps, the base of the lamp metallic silver and shade a smaller black and white chevron pattern. One could, also, paint the base of the lamp a gloss white.

  • Reply
    Kelley
    June 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    What’s the wall color? I LOVE that warm grey. It looks great behind everything!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      It’s Cobblestone by Martha Stewart (Home Depot). It’s a tad darker in person than it appears in photos, but it’s a great medium gray hue.

  • Reply
    Elisa
    June 10, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I’m totally feeling the black. It definitely adds some drama and chic sophistication to the space. And It looks like from your inspirational images you are going for a more neutral look, so I think you are getting closer to your dream!

  • Reply
    caroline [the diy nurse]
    June 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Love the inspiration photos for sure! And that black door looks fantastic- we love our black doors! Sometimes it just takes a few tries to get a space looking ‘right’ 😉

  • Reply
    Brandie
    June 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I don’t think you should consider any area you design in your own house as a mistake. Designing anything is a bit like dating, you try out a few different styles until you find what you do and don’t like or what you can or can’t live with. After all, you wouldn’t change your husband out because people on the internet didn’t like him would you? 😉

    I am excited to see what you do next.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Oh no, this change was totally encouraged by myself, not people on the internet, haha. Perfect dating/decorating metaphor!

  • Reply
    Karen
    June 10, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I’ll miss the red door, but I do like the black as well. I’m a real fan of red front doors.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      I’ve always been a fan of red doors too – and still am. I especially love this photo: http://bit.ly/1oRYafm So pretty!

  • Reply
    julia
    June 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    The new door looks terrific. And your choices of more natural material, chunkier tables look good too. One little detail that stands out to me is that the quarter round molding next to the floor is floor colored instead of white like the rest of the trim. I’m being picky but little stuff like that can make a big difference.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      The quarter round is actually stained the same color as the floor. It’s a ton more durable than having painted quarter round. However, the baseboards could definitely use some beefing up. Maybe we’ll get to that later down the road.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      June 11, 2014 at 7:27 am

      We have lived in our house for eight years and something always bothered me when I walked through our first floor. It was the quarter round. It is / was stained the same as the hardwoods. I’m in the process of painting it the trim color( white) and I can’t believe the difference it makes. Now when I walk through I don’t get that feeling like you get walking in your foyer.
      Love the black door and I really love the pendant light.

  • Reply
    Amy
    June 10, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I LOVE the quick transformation! That new door color makes everything ‘ pop’ in the best ways. I was just wondering…1. What finish did you use on the door paint; flat, satin etc? … and 2. Did your husband sand the door down at all prior to painting? Thanks, Amy

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm

      It’s Satin finish with primer built in. He didn’t sand before painting because it was latex on latex. If you’re covering an oil-based paint with a latex-based paint (or vise versa), you’ll want to sand before painting. Or! If you’re covering a high-gloss paint, you’ll also want to do a light sand before painting.

  • Reply
    Amanda
    June 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    While I wouldn’t describe it as a “circus” (haha), I think it’s the number of colors that’s making it feel that way to you. I was actually surprised by the color combinations when you put the foyer table together because the style seemed different from the rest of your house.

    Something I’ve been learning lately is how to be more selective about where I put color in my home, particularly because I love colorful abstract art which can make a room get out control (for me anyway) very quickly. I’d start with the neutrals first and then add color in where it seems to need a punch.

    Anyway, I’m sure that what you put together will be even more beautiful than your first plan 🙂 I love the inspiration photos and the new door color; they seem like a good fit!

    Btw, what happened with your dining room curtains?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      My mom actually had the same reaction, haha.
      Ahhh, yes! The curtains! I’ll be posting about those soon : )

  • Reply
    Mandy
    June 10, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Ok, I didn’t see circus at all. However, I love your changes, too. I have been frustrated with my furniture/decor purchases lately because I’ve been comparing my style to the style of others via their beautiful blog photos. In actuality, my family’s style is very similar to yours and Greg’s. Occasional pops of color are really all we need. Thanks for the reminder to just be myself and go with my gut. Your house is coming together beautifully.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you, Mandy! : )

  • Reply
    Laura
    June 10, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Your foyer is beautiful, but I’m sure whatever you come up with will be even more so! You have great taste. And I know of a good home your lamp can go to, if it doesn’t mind traveling to Georgia. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisak
    June 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    I like the mercury glass lamp idea, or even a glass base lamp. The current lamp and mirror are very “heavy” for the glass table.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      Agreed!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 10, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    You know, the red didn’t bug me but the black is fantastic! That’s why you’re the pro 🙂

  • Reply
    Barbara
    June 11, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Ashley, I normally love your style but that lampshade looks really out of place.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 11, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Which is why we’re changing things up, haha

  • Reply
    Arden - Real-Food-Real-Life.com
    June 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Love that Black Suede door! Excellent choice. And I think better without the rug, too. But I gotta put my vote in with the “white quarter round” folks. It would make such a difference!

  • Reply
    Juanita
    June 11, 2014 at 11:30 am

    i would love to see a “how you guys painted the door’ tutorial, post….love the black! we want, no need to paint our doors.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 11, 2014 at 11:37 am

      We actually chatted about painting the inside and outside of the front door here and here. Hope those links help!

  • Reply
    Nikki
    June 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Oh, I like this post! I am a huge fan of a colorful door, but I do really like the black. I think that the door, rug, and lamp are all competing because they are in a small space and they are all different colors. I LIKE color, but have found that limiting the number of colors feel a lot more pulled together. I would have never thought that about this room until you put the 2 pics side by side. I also really like that lamp and shade, but I think that if you changed just that you would feel better about it all. I am rambling.

    What I really like about this post is that I have been on the fence about what color to paint the interior of our doors in the living room. I think that after seeing this, I am going to play it safe and go with a really dark gray. They have been white, dark brown, light gray (that is a little too blue), and now need something else. My living room has a ton of color and I have a large colorful abstract painting next to the doors. Thanks so much for helping me decide!

    I may actually break out that paint brush today.

  • Reply
    patty
    June 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Ashley – I loved it before and I’m sure will love it more with a chunkier table and gallery wall above. the lamp was always the one thing that kind of stuck out to me. the rug could have been smaller. but other than that – love everything you do. and can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the dining room curtains and/or sectional in the living room…

    p.s. miss your posts and I absolutely love the photo of you alone.. it’s magnificient!!

  • Reply
    Colleen
    June 12, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Its a great space and you’ve made it into something special instead of an area you just walk through. However, there is so much going on in there!! Do you need the table lamp in addition to the gorgeous overhead star? And I’d totally clear off that perfect table and just leave the table, the cameras on the lower shelf and the mirror so its just simple, insteresting and peaceful when you first enter the door. Right now its overdressed (with lovely things) and you can’t really take it all in.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Totally agree! As for the lamp, we have a relatively low-wattage bulb in the overhead light and it’s always nice to have the lamp on at night (it’s really cozy to have at the end of the hallway). So, I’m thinking we’ll just replace this chunky lamp with something glass to take up less visual space. We shall see!

  • Reply
    Erin
    June 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

    I love the black door! i liked the entryway makeover, but i think it will be way better with a rustic wood table… I’ve had that west elm table pinned for a while! i always liked that lampshade- because i love those colors, but i think it would be better suited to a simple white lamp… i love the idea of a glass or mercury glass lamp to offset the rustic wood! cannot wait to see whats next… and like mentioned above cannot wait to see what you do with the dining room curtains!

  • Reply
    Karla
    June 12, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Ashley, I love reading your blog and looking over the photos of how you are transforming your home!!! I think you are being a little hard on yourself!!! I loved what you did to your foyer, and I also love the new look! Change is change, not necessarily a mistake!! Thanks for all the great ideas and inspiration!!! You have a beautiful home!

  • Reply
    carole
    June 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    i suffer from analysis paralysis – in other words – rather than pulling the trigger on buying something i think i love – i hesitate – thinking i’ll find something i like better later – as a result – nothing gets accomplished. so i say to you – congratulations for actually trying something, admitting you’re not really crazy about it – and trying something different!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 15, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Haha, thanks! : )

  • Reply
    Christine
    June 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    I probably move furniture or art in my house a few times a week. I do it almost subconsciously – I’m constantly tweaking. Part of it is because I’m not very confident in my own abilities to decorate, but also because with every little change I make, I learn something new (even a small thing) about proportion, colors, lighting, placement, etc., and how it all plays a role in decorating.

    Anyway, I love reading other people’s blogs, because what’s better than learning from your own experiences? Learning from others’ as well! I love seeing what other people are trying, why they like it or why they don’t. It saves me some labor in doing the switcharoos myself! 🙂

    Keep on keepin’ on. Your home is beautiful!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    June 23, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Where are you guys?? Miss you!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 26, 2014 at 10:17 am

      We’ve just been taking a much-needed blogging break. We’ll be back at it next week : ) Thanks so much for sticking in there with us!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 23, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I just spent the last two weeks reading through every entry on your site in-between thesis deadlines (I know, obsessive much, but one of the only things that have kept me sane lately!) and I really like how you deal with this whole house-owning-and-turning-it-into-a-home thing. Me and my newly acquired husband are looking for a house of our own, and I can definitely draw inspiration and tips from Greg and you ♥

    I think the black door ties everything in in a lovely, glamorous way and it’s honestly never a mistake if you decide you disliked your past style and decide to go a completely different way! I’m excited to see where you take this 🙂

    (I know it’s just an opinion, but I think I’d hold onto the rug! It’s too lovely to do away with completely!)

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 26, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Thank you so much, Sarah! : )
      (Definitely hanging onto that rug!)

  • Reply
    Niki :: Village Cape Cod
    June 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I agree. Every time I pass my front door area – I shutter. I need artwork, new table, new lamp… you name it and I need it. I completely get it. Plus its the first thing people see (sometimes the only area if you don’t invite them in), so I want it to be awesome!

  • Reply
    deb
    June 25, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Are you guys okay? I’ve missed reading your material!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 26, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Yeah, we’re good! Promise! Just taking a bit of a break. We’ll be back at it next week! : )

  • Reply
    Bethany
    June 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I love your blog! Any plans to post more regularly/often? I’d love to read more!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      June 26, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Thanks! We’ve just been taking a bit of a “blogging break” and will be back at it next week. Thanks for sticking in there with us!

  • Reply
    Geesha
    June 29, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Ashley,you talked about maybe doing away w/ the lamp all together. I was wondering if you would be interested in selling your lampshade? I know you made it from a shower curtain that you purchased from target. I think it would be perfect in our house! Would you think about parting w/ the shade?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      July 1, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      I’m not sure as of right now, but will definitely let you know if/when we decide to get rid of it : )

    • Reply
      Geesha
      July 1, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      I understand, but if you ever change your mind I would love to know! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Diana
    July 2, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Wow, I didn’t know black can make things as beautiful as this!

  • Reply
    Brennan Heating
    August 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    I like the black door, its pretty rare and looks really sleek. Nice choice!

  • Reply
    Catherine Crandall
    September 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Don’t worry, you just have to keep on trying until you get what you want. Your door looks good in black paint, it blended nicely into the room’s wall paint. I like your ideas about eclectic accents when it comes to furniture pieces and decors for your house. I hope you find a great piece!

  • Reply
    Vann
    October 24, 2014 at 10:19 am

    What finish is the black paint. Semi gloss, gloss?

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 25, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      We actually used Satin : )

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