Fixing Up the Foyer

In my last post, I talked about how I finally gave up and started working on rooms that I won’t truly be redoing for a while.  I also decided in the spirit of this forward action, to do as much as I could for the foyer, and ASAP.

Area Over the Front Door, Before

Area Over the Front Door, Before

The main issue with the foyer is that the walls and ceiling are nasty, and are really in need of a coat or two of better paint.  It. Is. Making. Me. Crazy.  Reeeally bad.  I am the type of gal that is glad to jump in there and give it a coat or two on my own, but I cannot figure out how to accomplish this in the 2-story areas of the space.  Its like, 25 feet from lowest to highest point, too much for me and my dinky little 6 foot ladder.  And on stairs… I’m not accustomed to painting on… terrain.  So, I’m working on that.  I fear I may be breaking down and hiring someone, somehow.  Ouch.  I kinda feel like that’s admitting defeat!  I wonder if I can negotiate the landlord into paying for it…?

Let’s play a little game– click on the image to the left *twice* and it will show you the pic large-format, on a black  background.  If you look closely at the area behind the light, you will see lines of dirt where the studs are, and rectangles of grime, where the previous renters had had things hanging there.  How many are there?  Aren’t they too gross?  (No, not the number, the condition.)  Would you be able to live with that level of groditude?  Actually,  maybe you shouldn’t really click twice and just trust me, it’s nasty.  That will be your prize– sparing you from inspecting my foyer wall grime.

(I actually like the vintage light fixture, it reminds me of a pearl earring.  I’m so tempted to paint the oxidized brassy metal hardware though.  I’d have to go with white, any of my *real* choices would likely be landlord-unacceptable.)

Anyway.  The unpaintable corner of doom issue aside, there is still a lot that I can do, and have done.  I have painted the shorter walls, although I’m not totally crazy about my choice for one of them– a deep smokey grey– it was a $1 sample can of Benjamin Moore that I got off the clearance table one day at Ace.  It cleaned up all the grubby fingerprints and scuff marks, and frankly, I couldn’t be happier with the price.  Well, free–  I guess I would have been happier with free, but goodness, I can’t argue about a job well done with a buck.  I’m eccentric, not crazy.

Art On the Green Wall

Art On the Green Wall

Up the Stairs, Before

Up the Stairs, Before

You’re never going to believe this, but the shorter wall to the left in the first picture?  The one that divides the living room from the foyer going up the stairs?  I painted it “Wales Green.”  Yeah, the Benjamin Moore color that made me all squirmy in the guest room–  Its GORGEOUS out here.  When the door is open during the day, it’s bright and cheerful and so *clean,* and at night it’s mysterious and almost golden when illuminated with the overhead light.  Really nice.  I also think that the art I have arranged on that wall really pops against it, the light tone makes a great background.

The Wall Up the Stairs, After

The Wall Up the Stairs, After

Its really fresh, right?  Tallulah kitty likes it because it really sets off her *eyes.*  Little minky diva.  I think that she’s somehow read the blog and figured out that the orange dudes are getting so much coverage.  She’s been showing up in a lot more images lately….

Well, once I got those walls painted and a little bit of art hung on that fun, light green, I became determined that if I couldn’t paint the wall over the door, I could at least come up with some art to go over it until then.  The problem is… getting a canvas that size is as much of a challenge as painting that space.  Le sigh.  I’m sorry, but I cannot have it so that whenever I glance at my front door, I’m distracted by how ugly it all is– I was not to be denied!

First I looked at a few thrift stores, thinking I could paint over something huge, hideous and cheap.  I found plenty of huge and hideous, no cheap.  When that route didn’t pay off, I then began to look more closely at the stuff hanging out around the house.  Somehow we’d ended up with not one, but two of these flat spring/ frame parts that go to baby cribs, I think we were intending to use them for trellising beans or vines in the greenhouse when we finally start using that mess to grow stuff.  But that will be a while and for now, we don’t need them lying around making us look like hoarders.  I looked at them a little bit harder– they *were* about the size I wanted.

At first I kept thinking in terms of stretching some sort of great fabric over it, and just using like a giant stretching frame.  But because I can’t staple into metal, I got hung up on, “How would I attach that?”  Well, maybe duct tape… then my mind shifted gears.  Hmm.  Duct tape!   I have quite the collection of duct tape, I went through and pulled all the rolls that went with the triad of colors I’d chosen for the rest of the house– aqua blues, fresh greens, and orange.  As of right now, every room in this place uses at least two of the three tones.  This main room/ foyer/ hallway combination is one of the few places where we’ll use all three.

Upcycled Wacky Wall Art

Upcycled Wacky Wall Art

I hauled that thing out into the yard, laid it on top of an old shower curtain, and gave it a couple of coats of bright turquoise spray paint.  (Kaycee, if you’re reading this– you hit the nail on the head!  Turq is my default color for painting things….)  Once that was totally dry, I brought it in and propped it against a wall in an area where I could sit on the floor and work.  My process was so simple– I would just eyeball a strip of duct tape about six or seven inches long and tear it off; loop it around a section of wire at its midpoint and carefully stick it to itself; and notch the bottom with a pair of heavy-duty scissors.  I had no particular pattern with what color or design of tape, but I did end up doing every other square in a sort of checkerboard pattern.  Reeeeally easy.

Foyer With Wacky Wall Art

Foyer With Wacky Wall Art

I thought about doing more to it, adding more details like hot gluing on plastic flowers and whatnot, but then it grew on me in this state.  And it occurred to me that when I go on and replace this with something I like better, this could still be used this way, someday, to grow beans…  just like this.  Getting wet when we water and everything.  That’s good enough for me!  Love the potential of having something glorious over the door AND dynamic, functional outdoor art!  So keeping it simplistic won.

I enlisted the help of the husband in hanging my oddball upcycled ‘art’ over the front door, and though he seemed skeptical at the time, he has since noted that he really likes it.  He said, “It’s visually dynamic.  The eye moves all over it.”  That sounds a lot like official art gallery talk to me!

I think it fills the space well, and I like that its large and colorful but doesn’t SAY anything other than– hey, fun!  But the best part is– it cost me zero money.  Ahhh.  I LOVE that price!  Yes, I still reeeally want that space covered in a coupe of coats of Moore pale grey, but now I don’t look at it and immediately *see* how drastically it all needs to be painted.  I see a foyer, and one that feels welcoming and like it might belong in my home.  That.  Is.  Awesome.  Now if only I could find a rug….

**Don’t forget that I’m running a giveaway during the month of June, and each comment on these posts enters you to win my Alice in Funderland tin of inspiration!  So log in and get commenting, you really wanna win this thing!**


 


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