Decorating Foyer + Hallway


Before I get into today’s post, Greg and I want to thank you for the love and support last week! You guys have no idea how much that meant to us, and we’re now even more excited to be jumping back into this portion of our lives. Now, on with the post…

Ah, the foyer. Last time we were in this space with you guys, it looked like is was having an adolescent identity crisis. There was too much going and looking back at photos of the space, I’m just waiting for Mr. Ringling, Barnum and Bailey to make their appearance. Don’t get me wrong, there were bits and pieces I liked, but everything together just wasn’t “us”– come to think of it, kind of like our teenage years. So, we paired down and repurposed some things that we already had to make a much simpler, more pleasant foyer area.

Before we get into that, I need give you a bit of a picture of how this foyer functions for us. A lot of people, when they think “foyer”, they immediately think of a drop zone for jackets, shoes, purses, book bags, etc. But at our house, we have two back doors – one of which is used for all of the normal “foyer happenings” and drop zones. All in all, we never use the front door. All of our friends and family use the back door that goes into the laundry room 99.999% of the time. If someone comes over that hasn’t been to our house before, we always say “Just pull around to the back of the house.” It’s just friendlier that way, I guess. I’d say that the only time we open the front door is for take-out delivery or to get a package that the UPS guy dropped off. (PS Who else is excited about Panera delivering now??) So, for us, this area is simply a passthrough from the living/dining/kitchen end of the house to the bedroom end of the house.

It’s impossible to get the entire area in one photo, so I thought a quick floorpan would be easier to “see” what we’re working with:

foyer layout

As you can tell, it’s a very small foyer with very little wall space. So in order to have this area look “done” but not “over done”, we decided to keep things pretty minimal.

Foyer Door Gallery Wall

One thing that hasn’t changed is the gallery wall. (You can see more details about that project here.) Our friends often stop to look at the photos on their way down the hall to the bathroom and some of the things we’ve framed have become fun conversation starters. Down the road, I’ll probably end up changing out a frame or two, but other than that, this is working for us now. One thing I am wondering though: Should I add a few more frames so it goes all the way down to the floor? Or keep it like it is? What do you guys think?

We painted the inside of the front door black (it used to be red) to match the inside of the two back doors. We love this look so much more than the red. It just suits us better and what we’ve got going on in the rest of the house. I do wish, however, that there was enough room for a transom or we could switch out the door with one that had a window at the top for a little bit more natural light.

We used to have a rug here, but it quickly became more of a nuisance rather than functional. It attracted every. thing. and the graphic pattern was a bit too busy when it was all said and done. If I can ever find one that has a super low pile (that wouldn’t catch on the front door), I might put one back in here. (Something like this or this. For real though, I’ve looked at so many rugs the last few days that they’re all looking the same to me now.) The only thing is that I’d like to have a runner down the hallway one day and my brain has had a hard time imagining a rug in the foyer and one in the hallway since they’re so close to each other. Or… I might be thinking too hard… which is a common thing, haha.

Foyer Table / 7th House on the Left /

For the only “real” wall space we have in this little area, we brought in an antique dresser that we bought a few years ago from a little antique shop here in Hanover. (Here’s a post Greg wrote about the store and finding the dresser.) This piece was actually first here in the foyer, then we moved it to the laundry room. When we decided to revamp the foyer, we decided to move it back to the foyer. And now, somehow, we love it even more. When we first bought it, I thought about painting it. Now, I’m definitely sure that will never happen. It even has a little horse sticker from who knows when on the side. I’m guessing it was in a kid’s room back in the day. I was 2 nano seconds aways from removing it with some Goo-Gone, but it’s kind of grown on me. It tells a story and adds character.

Foyer Table / 7th House on the Left /

The big (and super heavy, I might add) mirror is the same one we had on the wall a while back. However, I feel like it looks completely different now – probably because the proportions are better balanced with the “new” dresser. Also the same is the table lamp. (A find from Tuesday Morning.) All we did was replace the shade with a crisp white one.

Foyer Art: Vintage Family Photos / 7th House on the Left /

The three 18 x 18 frames on the wall are from Target. (They don’t have them listed online, but I’ve seen them in the store from time to time. I’m sure you can also fine something similar at Hobby Lobby or Michaels.) I spray-painted the silver frames with some oil rubbed bronze spray paint. For the “matts”, I just bought three pieces of white poster board and cut them down to size. I took a few old family photos that my Grandma gave us and attached them to the matte side of the poster board, right in the center, and popped them in the frame. I love the simplistic and artsy non-matted look (is that a thing?) and I so love these photos. The photo in the picture above is of my mom and my grandparents at the White House when my mom was a baby. It’s nice seeing them everyday, multiple times a day, when I walk through the foyer.

Foyer Table Accessories / 7th House on the Left /

When it comes to accessories, simple is better in my book. On top of the dresser, we put a Nate Berkus frame (that sadly isn’t available online anymore) and one of our favorite antique cameras that my great Uncle gave me before he passed away a while back.

Well, that pretty much brings you guys up to speed on the foyer area. This “rendition” of the foyer is much less noisy and makes us feel more at home. If you’re having an area of your house with an identity crisis, my number one tip is to pair it down to the bare essentials and only add things back that you truly love. Things are sure to start looking more like “you” from there.

// paint colors in this post: Black Suede by Behr, Cobblestone by Martha Stewart (a tad darker in person)

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I’m excited you guys decided to revisit the foyer project, love the pared-down clean look now. I say leave the gallery wall as-is (vs taking it all the way down to floor level).

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I love your gallery wall next to the front door! You asked if you should add one more row of pictures toward the floor. I would. I think the gallery would then be centered between the top and bottom of the door. Looks great regardless. Love that you’re back to blogging!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I love that dresser – it’s gorgeous!! I wouldn’t touch the paint – the color is perfect with the black door!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    I like where the frames by the door stop. Anything further down and I think it would feel too low. It’s funny, we never use our front door either (well, in our house in Seattle. Here in London it’s the only door!) I love the color of the dresser. I would love to paint my dining room table that color!

  • Reply
    Laura @
    July 6, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I agree with everyone on the gallery wall — keep it as is. The “border” space at the bottom matches the space at the top.

    Also, major heart eyes for that dresser! *swoon*

  • Reply
    July 6, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Love it!!

    Seeing how you sprayed your frames, has now given me an idea for a clearance frame I saw at Michael’s today. I love the size (more long, rectangular then square) but the color of the frame, i wasn’t digging as much. Now i might go back and buy it and see if it fits the wall in my bathroom that i’ve been searching for a long frame for, for awhile! if it doesn’t fit, i’ll return it before I spray paint the frame!

    • Reply
      July 6, 2016 at 4:57 pm

      Yesss, spray paint can do wonders!

  • Reply
    Lori H
    July 6, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    I love what you did with the Target frames! I never thought of using matte poster board – getting mats cut always adds a lot to the cost. The whole foyer area is very calm. love it!

    • Reply
      July 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks, Lori! Yeah, now that I’ve done the poster board alternate, I’m like, “Hmmm… what else can we frame?” haha

  • Reply
    July 7, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Oh I love the gallery wall! I am quick to spray frames too! Especially if I find some that I like a lot while thrifting or junking as my husband calls it. If I can get a good price (CHEAP) LOL! then a coat of paint works for me. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  • Reply
    July 9, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Ashley, I would keep the frames next to the door as is. If you want to add anything to that space, maybe a dog door-stop or something on the floor (it would be perfect if you could find one that looks like Bentley). The rest of the foyer looks wonderful and I LOVE that you didn’t remove the horse sticker. I am a sucker for the imagined stories of quirky old things. I reiterate: I am so glad you guys are back.

    • Reply
      July 10, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Thank you, Linda! Yes, a doorstop that looks like Bentley would be amazing! I could just search for a “fox” one and it would look just kike him! lol

  • Reply
    mary scott
    July 9, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I would leave the gallery wall as is. I wouldn’t enjoy the bending over to view the frames at the bottom! So glad 1 of my favorite blogs is back, no matter how frequent/infrequent your posts may be! Looking forward to your holiday decorating too.

    • Reply
      July 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

      We’re already looking forward to decorating for Fall!!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2016 at 9:27 am

    In my opinion you should leave the gallery wall as it is. No point in going further down to the floor.

    The dresser looks gorgeous and it goes well with the black door.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Love that you’re back and being true to yourself!

    My vote is to leave the gallery wall as is, but if the empty space keeps calling to you, maybe explore putting graphic prints or something similar that you don’t necessarily have to bend down to examine closely. Looking forward to reading regularly from you guys again!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Hi, Ashley! I’m an “old” reader who’s glad to see you back in action. (And glad to know you just needed a break! I worry about people, even bloggers I don’t know in real life.)
    I LOVE that dresser. The color is absolutely amazing. Amazing.
    And I think the gallery wall would look really neat going all the way to the floor and, possibly, up around the top of the door!

  • Reply
    April 24, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Love that color green on the dresser and yes keep the gallery wall as it is

  • Leave a Reply