7th House on the Left

Back to Black

posted by Ashley  /  55 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!

It’s the last Monday of May, so you know what that means… three day weekend! With our schedules being so hectic the past month or so, we’re welcoming this 3-day weekend with open arms… and a glass of lemonade hoping the sense of relaxation will stick around for a while.

A List of Home Decor Memorial Day Sales / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Along with the extra 24 hours for rest and relaxation, comes some pretty great online sales. Every year, it seems that I get clued in on the good sales on Monday night, after all the good stuff is already out of stock. That being the case, I thought it would be fun to compile a short list of the good home-related sales that have come across my radar the last day or so.

Serena & Lily  // 20% off everything // CODE: SUMMER20

Home Decorators // Free Shipping on Everything

Pottery Barn // Up to 60% off on Hundreds of Items

Art.com // 35% off sitewide // CODE: PNAT97

OpenSky // Save an additional 30% on everything

Kohls // $10 off any purchase of $25 or more // CODE: HONOR10

Furbish Studio // 15% off everything // CODE: SUMMERTIME

World Market // 10% off everything // CODE: MAYPASS

JC Penney // 15% off everything + 10% off furniture, mattresses and blinds // CODE: SUNNYDAY

Bruke Decor // Spend $100 and Save 15% (CODE: FLAG14), Spend $250 and Save 20% (CODE: RED2014), Spend $500 and Save 25% (CODE: WHITE2014), or Spend $1,000 and Save 30% (CODE: BLUE14)

Brown & Barkley // 15% off everything // CODE: SUMMERFUN

Good sales and long weekends are great, but the real meaning of Memorial Day is to celebrate the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We are so thankful for the soldiers who have given their lives for our freedom. We hope everyone has a happy and safe Memorial Day. Happy weekend, folks!


posted by Ashley  /  11 Comments

Let’s just deem this “Kids Week” because I’m back with a How To for the DIY art boards I made for Tiffany and Josh’s playroom makeover. This little DIY project was a little messy (I’ll get to that part in a minute) but it was totally easy and affordable.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Obviously, these aren’t just for playrooms and kid’s art. One of these guys would be perfect in a kitchen or laundry room as a memo board to keep coupons, calendars, recipes, etc. It would also make a great inspiration board in a home office/studio setting. It’s kind of like a “dressed up” version of a regular bulletin board you’d get from an office supply store – but a whole lot cheaper. Okay, enough chatting, here’s the 411…

Here’s what you need…

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

ONE // Burlap (4″ larger than your foam board) TWO // Spray Adhesive
THREE // Foam (“Project”) Board FOUR // 3M Picture Hanging Strips
FIVE // A Large Pair of Scissors  SIX // Duct Tape (optional)

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

First, let’s talk a bit about the foam board. I found four 2’x2′ pieces of foam board at Home Depot that were 1.5 to 2 inches thick for around $5 each. Foam board comes in all different types, but it’s important to choose one that will hold tight to a push pin. The foam board I used is also called “project board”. They also sold it in huge 4’x8′ sheets that can be cut down, but for this project, I thought four 2’x2′ boards would make more of a statement and break up the wall a bit.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Oddly enough, it was really hard to hunt down burlap. I checked Michaels, Hobby Lobby and AC Moore and they were all out of stock or only sold 1’x1′ sections. I finally found it at Walmart for $3 a yard. I asked the saleswoman to cut it in yard-long pieces thinking I wouldn’t have to do any cutting when it came time to attach it to the boards. I still ended up having to cut a good amount of excess off, but the smaller pieces were a lot easier to handle.

To start out, I sprayed a light coat of spray adhesive on one side of the foam board. Once the glue had set for about 30 seconds, I simply laid the fabric down on the sticky surface and smoothed out any bubbles or wrinkles.

If you’re following along, remember: You must, must do this outside and away from furniture, cell phones, cameras (hence why I don’t have a photo of this step), etc. If you get this spray adhesive on anything, it will be murder getting it off. Not only does the spray adhesive go everywhere, but the burlap also sheds like crazy. At the end of this process, my hands were covered with strands of burlap and glue. I looked like Chewbacca. I ended up having to use nail plush remover to get a majority of the furriness off, but even that didn’t remove it all. That being said, it’s probably best to do this entire project outside, away from anything you don’t want “stickified,” as Greg put it. However, once you get the boards on the wall, they won’t shed or anything. Burlap is just messy to work with.

Another thing to note: If you’re using any type of fabric other than burlap, it’s super important to iron the fabric first and get rid of creases and wrinkles. Otherwise, your board will forever be creased/wrinkled. I was using rather rustic burlap and going for a rustic look, so I skipped this step.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

It’s important to trim the fabric after you adhere it to the front of the foam board because you don’t want to accidentally cut too much off and have to go out, buy more fabric, get frustrated, etc. I’m told the same thing goes when you’re upholstering furniture, so we’ll have to keep that in mind for potential future projects.

DIY Burlap Pinboards // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The rest of the board-making process is super simple. All you have to do is spray more adhesive on the edge of the foam board and tightly wrap the excess burlap over the edge toward the back of the board. Basically, you just wrap it like a big, flat present. It’s that simple. If you feel like it needs a little more hold, you can add small pieces of duct tape to where the edge of the fabric meets the back of the foam board – but that’s totally optional.

Playroom Makeover // 7thhouseontheleft.com // #targetinnercircle

We hung the boards about two inches away from each other and used two 3M Picture Hanging Strips per board to attach them to the wall. I love how these turned out and can’t wait to see them piled with lots of art and craft projects.