Our foyer is such a diva

She takes forever to get ready.

Like, for real.

Remember when the foyer looked like this??

Well, she looks very different now.  And it all started with five dollars.  Are you noting a theme here?? I find a cheapo thrift store find, and before I know it, I no longer recognize the space.   It’s totally a thing.  A sickness. An addiction.   Totally.

See, I found this mirror for $5…

It needed a little love, but I was a huge fan of the shape (and the insane price).  Once I got it home, I simply used wood filler to fill the dents, dings, and seams.  Waited for it to dry, then sanded to a smooth finish (although this was taken pre-sanding)…

Then, I gave it several coats of Valspar’s metallic spray paint in gold (which is becoming a new favorite of mine)…

After a day or so, I hung it above our lawyer’s cabinet in the foyer…

…but it was looking a little… lonely.  So, after a few attempts at photographing it, I just couldn’t do it.  It needed SOMETHING. Something more.   So, I dug though my stash, and came across this lovely print (sorry for the reflection on it)…

After hanging it up to see what I thought, I LOVED IT.  And suddenly I had this vision of an asymmetrical gallery wall with grays and blues and a touch of red to tie in with the rest of the house.

In no time flat, my foyer looked like this…

And I thoroughly gave up on doing anything else productive that day.  Laundry be damned.

My technique to create this gallery wall was pretty involved.  Haha.  Not really.  Have you met me??   I simply punched a bunch of holes in the wall…

Not kidding.   It looks like Swiss cheese behind those pictures.   I just started hammering.   There was a LOT of hammering.  I played for DAYS and swiftly learned that once Lucas is asleep hammering will not wake him. #momoftheyear

Do I recommend you do the same should you attempt a gallery wall? Probably not.  Planning is not overrated.  I’ve planned gallery walls before, as I outlined in detail in this post.  But somehow this worked for me this go-around.  I just patched and painted any visible holes when I was done.

At one point, my wall looked like this…

But it was WAY too busy.   It annoyed me every time I walked past.  Just too many THINGS.  I felt claustrophobic when I looked at it.  So, I scaled it back and ended up here…

Much better.   The arrangement can breathe now.   And I have to say that this wall completes me totally compliments the lawyer’s cabinet and just feels “right”…

I’m seriously tired of apologizing for and/or explaining the presence of the boob light and the fact that I hate it and did NOT choose it.   Seriously, I’ve gotta take action on that.   Aside from that anatomically-correct replica hanging above our heads, I’m enamored of our foyer.  Like, big time.

Here’s a bit of a closer look at what we’ve got on there…

From the top, we have a pic of Lucas when he was almost 2 years old, a watercolor that he did at school when he was three, a pic of Joey and I in Paris in front of a cool metal sculpture, and a photostrip that we took when Lucas was deep into his ninja turtle phase.

The other side holds a pic of the cake topper from our wedding cake (made by my Joey’s parents), a print from New Orleans that reminds me of college, that blue print, and a shot from Lucas’s newborn pics (taken by my talented friend Susie).   All in all, it contains a good smattering of stuff, and totally represents us, but I feel like it’s not too in your face with family pics either.  I like my subtle nuances when it comes to art.  Fun candid shots along with others that hold meaning.

On the opposite side of the foyer, I hung my new best friends…

I found these chrome beauties at TJ Maxx for about $10 a piece.   And they turned out to be my new favorite medium from which to hang my brother, Alex’s, dog tags.

They’re perfect for this spot as they add dimension, but they don’t stick out far enough to impede traffic..


And here’s that side of the foyer now..


It’s coming together!!!   We still have a big blank wall to address across from the front door, but I’m not sure what to do with that yet.  I have an idea, but we’ll see how it plays out.  In any case, walking through the foyer is now a much more pleasant experience.

So, have you ever attempted a gallery wall?  What’s your favorite technique?  Are you a planner or a “just do it” sort of person when it comes to projects like that?

Masterful artsiness

A few days ago, I posted this on Instagram….


True statement right there.

It’s funny how one decorating movement made on a total whim can get the juices flowing.  After I popped this guy above our bed, I actually (1) made my bed (Please, no applause. ;)) and (2) I busted out the camera and tripod and took pics of not only this space, but all of the other spaces that I’ve worked on in the past month or so.  It was a successful morning to say the least.

So, with that I give you my art…

DIY art for the master bedroom

This, my friends,  is a HUGE piece of DIY art that I created for (waitforit) EIGHT DOLLARS.  No joke.

Now, granted, a big part of this project costing practically pennies was luck.  I found this giant canvas that was already framed in raw wood at a thrift store for $7.99.  It looked like a DIY painting of a winterscape painted in brown and white before I painted over it.   Had it been attractive, I may have kept it, but sadly, it was not.   At least not for my taste.   It wasn’t signed and didn’t appear to be anything other than maybe a school project or something so I didn’t feel too bad covering it up.

Master bedroom

Now, because I was in my little Money-Pit-Funk when I completed this project, I have no process pics, but transforming it was pretty simple and self-explanatory.   Let me put it this way… My four-year-old-helped me do it.  For that reason alone, I really wish I’d snapped some pics… the little man was so excited to be wielding a paint roller.  And he did really well.

Anyways, updating the art took very little time and zero dollars.  I just used what I had on hand.   I simply taped off the frame and then Lucas and I painted over the canvas with white primer (It was Kilz Premium).  Once that was dry, I taped off the canvas and stained the wooden frame using two coats of Varathane’s Early American stain.  I then decoupaged a print that I already owned in the middle of the canvas with Matte Mod Podge (after cutting it down to size using my sweet neighbor’s paper slicer (have I mentioned that I love our neighbors?)).   I’ve found that the key to Mod Podging paper is to “glue” the paper down with one coat of Mod Podge, then let it dry thoroughly before adding coats over top.   This prevents the paper from sliding and tearing.

That’s all it took.   It was easy and pretty darn foolproof.

DIY art

I may go back eventually and add some hints of color over top of the white so it’s not so stark, but I’m still deciding on that.  Right now I kind of like the simplicity of it.  In the meantime, this over-sized art really helps to fill the wall and make this side of the room feel more finished.

Master bedroom with art

Here’s a view from the doorway (PLEASE ignore the ceiling fan… It’s destined for replacement with something more our style)…

The frame is looking a bit orange in some of these pics, but it’s actually a beautiful medium-dark wood tone that plays really well with my vintage foot stool and rattan table on the opposite side of the room.   The bed area really needed that tone to make it feel more cohesive with the rest of the space.  I still need to play with the night stand styling a bit to account for our newest addition, but I’ll tell ya.   It’s SUCH an improvement from this purple mess with stained carpeting and rickety windows that we started with a year ago…


There’s still lots to do in this room… I’d love to add an area rug, a bench at the foot of the bed, more art, and a dresser to the wall by the doorway (and the ceiling fan… OH, the ceiling fan), but for now I’m just glad to have done SOMETHING in here.

As for coming projects around the house, I’ve been on an “art mission” as of late.   I’m trying to fill the walls in thoughtful, inexpensive ways.   So, the next few posts will cover changes to the walls in the living and hangout rooms and foyer.    I’ve already taken pics, so now it’s just a matter of writing my posts.  Woot!