7th House on the Left

Back to Black

posted by Ashley  /  51 Comments

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!

…or at least how I installed one anyway. Something I’ve wanted in the house since Day One is a gallery wall. I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a good gallery wall, right? Haha. I didn’t want anything major, just a little tid bit of organized chaos that happens to look pretty. I just needed an excuse to put one together.

Foyer Wall Before / 7th House on the Left

Just when we were nearing the end of decorating the foyer, we got to the awkward skinny wall by the front door. It was too skinny to put a single piece of artwork, not enough floor space for a coat tree and too wide to just ignore and do nothing. And right then and there, I was handed an excuse for a gallery wall on a silver platter.

How to Install a Gallery Wall / 7th House on the Left

We had a stack of frames stashed away in the guest room closet that weren’t being used, so I gathered them up along with scissors, scrap sheets of card stock, a Sharpie, tape and a good amount of Command Picture Hanging Strips.

How to Install a Gallery Wall / 7th House on the Left

First off, I traced the outer edges of the frames on pieces of card stock then cut them out.

How to Install a Gallery Wall / 7th House on the Left

When they were all cut out, I taped the “paper frames” on the wall one by one until I  had a design I liked. Being a visual thinker, this proved to be a really valuable step that saved me a lot of brain power. I used clear tape rather than my go-to paper tape so I could get a really good visual of the spacing between the frames.

Oh! The umbrella stand. Greg and I found this super neat vintage porcelain umbrella stand at a local antique mall  (Cold Harbor Antique Mall for you locals) for $23. I was shocked when I saw the tag because I’ve been searching for one similar and the cheapest one I found was around $120 plus shipping. So, needless to say, I snatched that baby right up. I’m now on the search for a few fancy umbrellas – the kind with the pretty silver handles. It will be something fun to keep our eyes out for during our shopping travels. Okay, back to the gallery wall…

How to Install a Gallery Wall / 7th House on the Left

We had some frames that were the same size but a different style, so to plan out things a little further – because I’m weird like that – I laid them out on the floor to put together a collection that geared toward the look we were looking for (casual, collected over time and not trying too hard). The rest is pretty self-explanatory… time to hang the frames!

How to Install a Gallery Wall / 7th House on the Left

Because the frames were going on a wall with a door, we wanted to make sure they were going to be very secure. So, we opted to use the Command Strips. We used these on the tile wall in the kitchen, and they haven’t budged since the day we hung them. Another perk of using these is that if you hang it a smidge crooked, you can easily lift it up and try again.

How to Install a Gallery Wall / 7th House on the Left

We’re really happy with how our little gallery wall turned out. Now we’re able to display some of our favorite photos (like this one of me and my grandma cooking in her kitchen sporting matching Mickey Mouse aprons) including the mat our friends and family signed at our wedding and our paint shirt art.

Brown & Barkley / 7th House on the Left

One of our favorite pieces on the wall is this art print of a quote my great grandpa used to say (which is now available here over at Brown & Barkley). I never got the chance to meet him because he passed away a few years before I was born, but I hear stories all the time about what an amazing man he was. So, it’s neat to have a little piece of him here.

Framed Vintage Numbers / 7th House on the Left

Another favorite are these framed vintage numbers. I bought the cardboard numbers on Etsy for about $4 (including shipping) and taped them on a piece of white card stock. I decided to put them in a large frame to give it a more modern look. Oh, and the 29 – we were married on the 29th of December. The numbers look a little flat in the photo, but the texture in person makes them look even cooler.

How to Install a Gallery Wall / 7th House on the Left

We can’t end this post without a before and after…

How to Install a Gallery Wall / 7th House on the Left

Yeah, we still need a few umbrellas for the stand, but I think it’s safe to say that with that, my friends, we wrap up the foyer. It feels so good to mark an area of the house off the list. I think I totally deserve a Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper.