Sunday, December 4, 2016

Our Foyer Makeover - Progress Report

We have been working on our foyer makeover for the past few weeks during evenings and weekends. You can see the "before" pics in this previous post. As I said then, we were looking for a cleaner, more sophisticated look in our large entryway. Considering the foyer is the first space you see when you enter the haven of your home, shouldn't it be a space that makes you feel good?

The first step in our reno was tearing down the old baseboards and door casing and prepping the walls and doors for our new interior finishings from Metrie. We selected French Curves Scene II 7 ¼-inch poplar baseboard and 5 ¼-inch poplar crown, as well as the matching 2-inch chair rail and 3 ½-inch door casing. These additions alone would be stunning (especially when you consider that we only had small baseboards and casing and no other trim before).

But we decided to incorporate some beautiful Metrie 4-inch Ikons (Rosettes) into the casing surrounding three large open doorways that lead to various rooms off of our foyer. The Ikons are half an inch bigger than the door casing so they stand out slightly. They have a lovely, classic appeal and I think they elevate the look of the room quite a bit. Our friend John (above) came over to get us started on our trim work. He framed this doorway and gave us (okay my husband) lots of tips for the rest of the project.

I've put more thought into the foyer than I have into any other room in our home. I'm glad I took the time to think about all of the elements (such as paint, wallpaper, mouldings and furniture) before starting to work on the foyer. I think it's so important to pick your interior finishings at the start of your reno because they make such a difference to the outcome.

We also decided to create picture frame-style boxes out of 1 ½-inch poplar panel mould for the area below the chair rail. Painted the same colour as the lower portion of the wall, they give a nice wainscoting effect. At first we were a bit intimidated with this part of the job because we didn't know how many picture frame mouldings to make or whether they all had to be the same size.

I did some research and learned that the width of the frames doesn't have to be consistent throughout the room. Rather we simply ensured that the tops and bottoms were all four inches from the chair rail and the baseboard. And then we spaced each frame three inches from the next. 

We get very little natural light in the foyer. We are thinking of two options for the future - a front door with more windows and possibly a skylight over the staircase. But that's for later (when budget permits). In the meantime, we are brightening the room with paint.

I knew immediately that I wanted the lower portion of the wall from the chair rail down to the baseboards to be done in Benjamin Moore's Simply White, OC-117. Simply White was Benjamin Moore's Colour of the Year for 2016. I actually wrote an article about the colour for a magazine. The designers I interviewed relied on Simply White as their go-to trim colour. "The colour is perfect because it’s not a brilliant white so it doesn't look stark," Anita Ricci of Bright Ideas Interiors told me. "Simply White works with gray - whether true grays or warmer grays - in a more contemporary palette," she added. Perfect, because I also knew that I wanted a grey paint for above the chair rail.

I had seen Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl at a home I profiled for a magazine and it was beautiful, however it was a deeper gray than we wanted for the space. So we went with a lighter colour from the same paint card - Intense White. It is indeed a white, however it has quite a bit of gray in it so it looks different from Simply White and provides a contrast between the upper and lower portions of the wall. We chose Regal Select paint in an eggshell finish for the wall and in a semi-gloss finish for the trim.

We have stayed very close to the mood board I showed you in the first blog post about the foyer. We have one small change and a few new additions to share in the reveal, so be sure to come on back and see it!

The Big Foyer Reveal & Canadian Bloggers Holiday Home Tour

As a freelance writer I'm used to being motivated by deadlines. I imposed a deadline for this foyer makeover on us by signing up for a Canadian Bloggers Holiday Home Tour blog hop this Wednesday. I may have stressed my husband out just a bit, but we are working out butts off to finish the foyer makeover in time. We are just about done our work and I can tell you that it's a dramatic (and I think beautiful) transformation! There are a few areas that still need a second coat of paint and we need to install the lighting and then I'll have the clean, fresh space I have been so eager to decorate for the holidays.

Steps in Our Foyer Makeover

The Before + Mood Board
The Progress Report (you are here)
The Reveal 

Thank you to our sponsors!

This foyer makeover would not be possible without the help of these sponsoring companies, each of whom supplied (gorgeous) product. All opinions are authentic and my own. Thank you for supporting the awesome companies that partner with Woman in Real Life.


  1. Looking amazing, I can't wait to see your foyer all dressed for Christmas! :)

    1. Thanks so much Laurie! I'm pretty excited to get it all done and enjoy the holidays in our "fresh" home. :)

  2. exciting stuff! It must feel great to be almost done :D

    1. It does! It would feel even better if we were done completely. Lol.

  3. Congratulations guys! It looks great. I'm looking foreword to the full reveal! We're also looking foreword to your family T.V. Debut tomorrow night.

    1. Thank you! Haha, yep, the whole fam is debuting tonight. :) Should be fun...I hope.

  4. Hi Joann,

    It looks beautiful. I can't wait to see it finished!

    1. Thanks so much Gabriela! I appreciate your kind feedback. :)