August 12, 2011
Filed Under: Design
I promise I meant to do this post yesterday. I started working on it at a decent hour and had really good
intentions … then the serverÂ interfered. I’m still have issues with things not loading. Typing is no problem
at all but the minute I go to upload those pictures, uggghhh. I almost finished and then after several
attempts to get the image uploading screen to load, I gave up. My patience was spent. Here I am the following
morning with renewed patience and the desire to get this little (huge)Â post a’finished.
Welcome to our foyer! You may remember my foyer inspiration postÂ … the before images can be found
there as well. To check that out click here. I used those pictures as a loose guide when decorating our foyer.
This room used to be a shop for those who stopped while travelling on the stagecoach route from
Grand Rapids to Detroit … which is why there is a fireplace in the room – it kept the shop warm before
radiant heat was around.
Alright … so what does the foyer look like now?
We went with a light blue ceiling, white walls, and a black front door … ideas I got from one of my
inspiration photos. I chose a cowhide rug with some color because I liked how it brought some of the
black from the door and the fireplace down to the floor. I also think the blue on the ceiling will be more
noticeableÂ when we install the new chandelier. It hangs lower than the existing fixture and won’t shine
so directly on the ceiling.
Once we began painting the walls, we came to the dreadful realization that the trim and doors would
need to be painted too. This likely means that all of the woodwork in our home will end up getting a fresh
coat of paint … and we have a lot of woodwork.
I was originally thinking I would do a stencil or wallpaper on the fireplace wall but now I feel like it might
make it too busy … Jury is still out.
I’m planning on painting the rocking chair. Right now I’m picturing the same shade of light blue as the ceiling.
Our housewarming gift from my parents – a wardrobe! Perfect for guest coats.
See that little cut out in the floor beneath the wardrobe? Rumor has it that was a trap door that was used in
the Underground Railroad. It is nailed shut so we have yet to investigate. Makes sense though … the house was
built in 1869 – right at the tail end of the Civil War. It has also be confirmed that part of the Underground
Railroad did pass through Grand Rapids.
A view from the living room.
The mirror above the mantle is from Ikea. We bought it with no intention in mind, I just liked the shape,
and they were phasing it out of their inventory so it was a last chance kind of thing. We are loving the way
it looks above this fireplace! I can’t wait to get the new chandelier installed because it will reflect into
The milk cans were a surprise from Kai. He found them on Etsy. The candlesticks were purchased while we
were in Barcelona and this cute, little, Shabby Chic home goods store that was right across from our
apartment. I wanted a candlestick pair but couldn’t decide between the two so I just got one of each!
We picked up the oar at an estate sale a few weeks back for $3!Â I knew it would have a place in our home
because we are incorporating a lot of natural wood. The shelf is something my mom used to have in her
house but had recently moved to her storage room – I think it is perfect for this corner! The rocking chair
was a gift from Kai’s parents, and as I said before, it might be getting painted. I like it white but would love
for it to stand out some more! The books are a combination of ones given to us by Kai’s parents and ones
that I picked up at the fourth of July Library sale. I can’t wait to go back every year and stock up on
I have to say, it’s been really nice to have such eclectic/antique-y taste. You’d be surprised what kind
of stuff people are looking to unload!
Table was purchased on Craigs list. Books are from the Fourth of July library sale … and the owl is from
Cowhide purchased on Ebay.
Painting the front door black was one of the more challenging parts of this room. The actual process of painting
it was simple, but the decision of what type of paint to use and what sheen could have been debated over and
over and over so I finally just took the plunge. (oh, and that other picture is our B.A. banister finial.)
So here is what I did:
First I spray painted the hardware. I taped/syran wrapped off the section of the trim that was in the spray
paint danger zone. I didn’t care about the door since it was about to be painted black anyway. First I began
with Rust-Oleum clean metal primer. After letting it dry for a half hour, I sprayed them again with
Rust-Oleum metallic paint in the shade Oil Rubbed Bronze. This seemed like the right color choice based on
the name since I was looking for a color that matched all of the oil rubbed bronze lighting fixtures
throughout the home … but when I sprayed it, it looked just like it did before – black. Fail. Kai was nice
enough to make a trip up to the store to buy me one shade lighter, which I think was called “Antique Brass”.
Next, I used Rust0-Oleum door paint in a satin finish in the color black to paint the door. The first coat was
extremely streaky and hardly covered the white at all. It was terrifying. I began the second coat as soon as
recommended on the paint can and was extremely surprised to see that it covered perfectly. Based on
the way the first coat went on I was expecting to have to do at least three coats, but two was enough! I was
also glad to see that the back of the door exactly matches the front of the door in color and in sheen! The
hardware on the front of the door is black still so one of these days I will probably spray paint that,
too … but it will be a bit harder since I will have to be really careful when taping so I don’t get any on the
door. But once it’s done the hardware will match the antique door knocker!
Something else I decided to do while I had the spray paint out …
The true brass outlet covers that didn’t match anything! Yay!
First I primed:
Then I painted!
And then they dried and I put them up.
The end. I’ll update when the chandelier gets put up … and when I paint that chair.